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WASHINGTON, February 17, 1809. SIR,—The resolutions entered into at a meeting of the officers of the Legionary Brigade of the 1st Division of Massachusetts militia, on the 31st ult., which you have been pleased to forward to me, breathe that spirit of fidelity to our common country which must ever be peculiarly the spirit of its militia, and which renders that the safest and last reliance of a republican nation. The perils with which we have been for some time environed, have been such as ought to have induced every faithful citizen to unite in support of the rights of his country, laying aside little differences, political or personal, till they might be indulged without hazarding the safety of our country. Assailed in our essential rights by two of the most powerful nations on the globe, we have remonstrated, negotiated, and at length retired to the last stand, in the hope of peaceably preserving our rights. In this extremity I have entire confidence that no part of the people in any section of the Union, will desert the banners of their country, and co-operate with the enemies who are threatening its existence. The subscribing officers of the legionary brigade have furnished an honorable example of declaring their attachment to the constitution, the laws, and the union of the States, that they will at the call of law, rally around the standard of their country, and protect its constitution, laws, right and liberties, against all foes. I thank them, in the name of their country, for these patriotic resolutions, the pledge of support they tender will lead them to no more than the honor of a soldier and fidelity of a citizen would of itself require. I salute yourself and the subscribing offices with esteem and respect.
TO THE REPUBLICAN YOUNG MEN OF NEW LONDON, BENJAMIN HEMPSTEAD CHAIRMAN.
February 24, 1809. The approbation which you are pleased to express of my past administration, is highly gratifying to me.
That in a free gov
ernment there should be differences of opinion as to public measures and the conduct of those who direct them, is to be expected. It is much, however, to be lamented, that these differences should be indulged at a crisis which calls for the undivided councils and energies of our country, and in a form calculated to encourage our enemies in the refusal of justice, and to force their country into war as the only resource for obtaining it.
You do justice to the government in believing that their utmost endeavors have been used to steer us clear of wars with other nations, and honor to yourselves in declaring that if these endeavors prove ineffectual, and your country is called upon to defend its rights and injured honor by an appeal to arms, you will be ready for the contest, and will meet our enemies at the threshold of our country. While prudence will endeavor to avoid this issue, bravery will prepare to meet it.
I thank you, fellow citizens, for your kind expressions of regard for myself, and prayers for my future happiness, and I join in supplications to that Almighty Being who has heretofore guarded our councils, still to continue his gracious benedictions towards our country, and that yourselves may be under the protection of his divine favor.
TO THE REPUBLICANS OF LOUDON COUNTY, CONVENED AT LEESBURG, FEBRUARY, 13, 1809.
February 24, 1809. The measures lately pursued in preference either to war or an ignominious surrender of our rights as an independent people, have undoubtedly produced the beneficial effects of saving our property and seamen, of lengthening the term of our peace, and of giving time for defensive preparations. Other efficacious results would probably have been produced, in a much higher degree, had not the measures been counteracted by unworthy passions. It is still possible that the blessings of peace may be continued to us, should sounder calculations of interest induce a return to justice by the aggressive nations. But should we be
disappointed in what ought to be so justly expected, the solemn pledge of life and fortune in vindication of our violated rights received from yourselves as well as from other citizens, leaves us without apprehension as to the issue of any contest into which we may be forced.
I thank you particularly for the approbation you manifest of my conduct and motives, and the kind concern you express for my future happiness, and I beg leave to tender you my best wishes and assurances of respect.
TO GOVERNOR TOMPKINS.
WASHINGTON. February 24, 1809. Sir,—I received, a few days ago, your Excellency's favor of the 9th inst., covering the patriotic resolutions of the Legislature of New York, of the 3d. The times do certainly render it incumbent on all good citizens, attached to the rights and honor of their country, to bury in oblivion all internal differences, and rally around the standard of their country in opposition to the outrages of foreign nations. All attempts to enfeeble and destroy the exertions of the General Government, in vindication of our national rights, or to loosen the bands of union by alienating the affections of the people, or opposing the authority of the laws at so eventful a period, merit the discountenance of all.
The confidence which the Legislature expresses in the national administration is highly consolatory, and their determination to support the just rights of their country with their lives and fortunes, are worthy of the high character of the State of New York.
By all, I trust, the union of these States will ever be considcred as the Palladium of their safety, their prosperity and glory, and all attempts to sever it will be frowned on with reprobation and abhorrence. And I have equal confidence, that all moved by the sacred principles of liberty and patriotism will prepare themselves for any crisis we may be able to meet, and will be ready to co-operate with each other, and with the constituted
authorities, in resisting and repelling the aggressions of foreign nations.
The Legislature may be assured that every exertion will be used to put the United States in the best condition of defence, that we may be fully prepared to meet the dangers which menace the peace of our country. I avail myself with pleasure of every occasion to tender to your Excellency the assurances of my high respect and consideration.
TO GENERAL JAMES ROBERTSON.
WASHingroy, February 24, 1809. Sir,—I have duly received your letter covering the resolutions of the citizens of West Tennessee, assembled in the town of Nashville. Every friend of his country must feel the regret and indignation they so laudably express at the unjust and unprecedented measures adopted by the belligerent powers of Europe, violating our maritime rights as a free and independent nation, and compelling us for their preservation to resort to measures the effects of which we must all feel. And all must see with pleasure their honorable declaration against receding from the grounds taken with regard to the belligerent nations, and their reprobation of the surrender of any essential points in difference between us and those nations.
Should the embargo be continued, or a non-intercourse be substituted, it is pleasing to know that our fellow citizens will afford every aid in their power to render it effectual ; and if war must at length be resorted to, I have entire confidence in their declarations, that as citizen soldiers they will be ready at the call of their country to prove to their enemies that they know how to value and defend their rights.
I am happy to learn their approbation of the measures adopted by the General Government in relation to Great Britain and France, and particularly thankful for the satisfaction they express with the course I have pursued in the discharge of the arduous
duties which devolved on me as chief magistrate of the United States.
I pray you to accept for yourself and them the assurances of my great respect and consideration.
THE REPUBLICANS OF THE COUNTY OF NIAGARA, CONVENED
February 24, 1809. The eventful crisis in our national affairs so truly portrayed in your very friendly address, has justly excited your serious attention. The nations of the earth prostrated at the foot of power, the ocean submitted to the despotism of a single nation, the laws of nature and the usages which have hitherto regulated the intercourse of nations and interposed some restraint between power and right, now totally disregarded. Such is the state of things when the United States are left single-handeủ to maintain the rights of neutrals, and the principles of public right against a warring world. Under these circumstances, it is a great consolation to receive the assurances of our faithful citizens that they will unite their destiny with their government, will rally under the banners of their country, and with their lives and fortunes, defend and support their civil and religious rights. This declaration, too, is the more honorable from those whose frontier residence will expose them particularly to the inroads of a foe.
I receive with great pleasure your approbation of the impartial neutrality we have so invariably pursued, and of the trying measure of embargo rendered necessary by the belligerent edicts, which has saved our seamen and our property, has given us time to prepare for vindicating our honor and preserving our national independence, and has excited the spirit of manufacturing for ourselves those things which, though we raised the raw material, we have hitherto sought from other countries at the risk of war and rapine.
I thank you for your kind wishes for my future happiness in retiring from public life to the bosom of my family. Nothing