Source: George Washington, President of the United States, letter to John Adams, Vice-President (November 15, 1794).
"My opinion, with respect to [immigration] is, that except of useful mechanics and some particular descriptions of men or professions, there is no need of encouragement, while the policy or advantage of its taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the Language, habits and principles (good or bad) which they bring with them-Whereas by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures and laws:-in a word, soon become one people."
Source: Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia (published in Paris, 1785)
"The present desire of America is to produce rapid population by as great importations of foreigners as possible. But is this founded in good policy?
"Every species of government has its specific principles. Ours perhaps are more peculiar than those of any other in the universe. It is a composition of the freest principles of the English constitution, with others derived from natural right and natural reason. To these nothing can be more opposed than the maxims of absolute monarchies. Yet from such we are to expect the greatest number of emigrants. They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentious-ness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its directions, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass.
Source: Thomas Jefferson, United States minister to France, letter to Francis Hopkinson of Pennsylvania (March 13, 1789)
"You say that I have been dished up to you as an antifederalist, and ask me if it be just I am not a Federalist, because I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I
Source: Alexander Hamilton, secretary of the treasury; letter to Colonel Edward Carrington of Virginia (May 26, 1792)
"It was not till the last session [of Congress] that I became unequivocally convinced of the following truth: 'That Mr Madison, cooperating with Mr. Jefferson [the secretary of state], is at the head of a faction decidedly hostile to me and my administration; and actuated by views, in my judgment, subversive of the principles of good government and dangerous to the Union, peace, and happiness of the country'
"In almost all the questions, great and small, which have arisen since the first session of Congress, Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madison have been found among those who are disposed to narrow the federal authority.
"In respect to foreign politics, the views of these gentlemen are, in my judgment,... unsound and dangerous. They have a womanish attachment to France and a womanish resentment against Great Britain. They would draw us into the closest embrace of the former, and involve us in all the consequences of her politics; and they would risk the peace of the country in their endeavors to keep us at the greatest possible distance from the latter ... Various circumstances prove to me that if these gentlemen were left to pursue their own course, there would be, in less than six months, an open war between the United States and Great Britain.
"A word on another point. I am told that serious apprehensions are disseminated in your state [Virginia~ as to the existence of a monarchical party meditating the destruction of State and republican government. If it is possible that so absurd an idea can gain ground, it is necessary that it should be combated. I assure you, on my private faith and honor as a man, that there is not, in my judgment, a shadow of foundation for it. A very small number of men indeed may entertain theories less republican than Mr Jefferson and Mr. Madison, but I am persuaded there is not a man among them who would not regard as both criminal and visionary any attempt to subvert the republican system of the country.
Source: Thomas Jefferson, secretary of state, letter to George Washington (September 9, 1792)
"That. .. [internal] dissensions have taken place is certain, and even among those who are nearest to you in the administration. To no one have they given deeper concern than myself....
"That I have utterly, in my private conversations, disapproved of the system of the Secretary of the Treasury [i.e., Hamilton's economic program], I acknowledge and avow; and this was not merely a speculative difference. His. system flowed from principles adverse to liberty, and was calculated to undermine and demolish the Republic, by creating an influence of his department over the members of the Legislature. I saw his influence actually produced, and its first fruits to be the establishment of the great outlines of his project by the votes of the wry persons who, having swallowed his bait, were laying themselves out to profit by his plans....
Source: Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Branch Giles, Democratic-Republican congressman from Virginia (December 31, 1795)
"Were parties here divided merely by a greediness for office, as in England, to take a part with either w6uld be unworthy of a reasonable or moral man, but where the principle of difference is as substantial and as strongly pronounced as between the republicans and the Monocrats of our country, I hold it as honorable to take a firm and decided part, and as immoral to pursue a middle line, as between the parties of Honest men, and Rogues, into which every country is divided."
Source: Thomas Jefferson, letter to Phillip Mazzei of Italy (April 24, 1796)
"The aspect of our politics has wonderfully changed since you left us. In place of that noble love of liberty, & republican government which carried us triumphantly thro' the war, an Anglican monarchical, & aristocratical party has sprung up, whose avowed object is to draw over us the substance, as they have already done the forms, of the British government. The main body of our citiz6ns, however, remain true to their republican principles; the whole landed interest is republican, and so is a great mass of talents. Against us are the Executive, the Judiciary, two out of three branches of the legislature, all the officers of the government, all who want to be officers, all timid men who prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty, British merchants & Americans trading dn British [capital], speculators & holders in the banks & public funds,..
Source: Alexander Hamilton, draft of George Washington's Farewell Address, substantially incorporated in the final version (August, 1796)
"Besides the more serious causes which have been hinted at as endangering our Union, there is another less dangerous, but against which it is necessary to be on our guard; I mean the petulance of party differences of opinion.
"All obstructions to the execution of the laws-all combinations and associations under whatever plausible character, with the real design to counteract, control, or awe the regular action of the constituted authorities, ?re contrary to this fundamental principle [the duty of every individual to obey the established government], and of the most fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, and to put in the stead of the delegated will of the whole nation the will of a party, often a small minority of the whole community.... They are likely to produce, in the course of time and things, the most effectual engines by which artful, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and usurp the reins of government."
Note: During the latter part of 1796, the French Directory, in power for more than a year, interfered with American shipping and refused to receive the American minister
Source: Alexander Hamilton, using the pseudonym "Americus," in The Warning, Parts II and VI
"The man who ... shall be the apologist of France, and [who attacks] his own government, is not an American. The choice for him lies between being deemed a fool, a madman, or a traitor"
Source: John Adams, President of the United States, address to special session of Congress (May 16, 1797)
"The Speech of the President [of the French Directory] ...evinces a disposition to separate the people of the United States from the Government; to persuade them that they have different affections, principles, and interests, from those of their fellow citizens, whom they themselves have chosen to manage their common concerns; and thus to produce divisions fatal to our peace....
Source: Theodore Sedgwick, Federalist whip in the Senate, letter to an unidentified recipient (March 7, 1798)
"It [the publication of the dispatches from the American commissioners about the XYZ Affair] will afford a glorious opportunity to destroy faction."
Source: Thomas Jefferson to James Madison (April 6, 1798)
"The most artful misrepresentations of the contents of these [XYZ Affair] papers were published yesterday, & produced such a shock on the republican mind, as has never been seen since our independence."
Note: During early 1798, President John Adams denounced the French for their demands and refused to apologize for anti-French remarks he had made.
Source: James Madison, letter to Thomas Jefferson (May 20, 1798)
"Every answer [President Adams] gives to his addressers [i.e., resolutions from around the country praising the conduct of the President in the XYZ Affair] unmasks more and more his principles & views>.. . He remarked to me 'that there was not a single principle the same in the American & French Revolutions'.... The abolition of Royalty was it seems not one of his Revolutionary principles. Whether he always made this profession is best known to those, who knew him in the year 1776."
Source: Alexander Hamilton, letter to Oliver Wolcott, secretary of the treasury (June 29, 1798)
"I have this moment seen a bill brought into the Senate entitled 'A Bill to define more particularly the crime of Treason,' etc. [i.e., the first draft of the Sedition Act ].. There are provisions in this bill, which, according to a cursory view, appear to me highly exceptionable, and such as, more than any thing else, may endanger civil war ... I hope sincerely the thing may not be hurried through. Let us not establish a tyranny. Energy is a very different thing from violence. If we make no false step, we shall be essentially united, but if we push things to an extreme, we shall then give to faction and solidity."
Source: Albert Gallatin, Democratic-Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, speech in the House of Representatives on the proposed Sedition Act (July 5, 1798)
"The only evidences brought by the supporters of this bill [i.e., the Sedition Act] consist of writings expressing an opinion that certain measures of government have been dictated by an unwise policy, or by improper motives, and that some of them are unconstitutional. This bill and its supporters suppose, in fact that whoever dislikes the measures of administration and of a temporary majority in Congress, and shall, either by speaking or writing, express his disapprobation and his want of confidence in men now in power, is seditious, is an enemy, not of administration but of the Constitution, and is liable to punishment. That principle... was subversive of the principles of the Constitution itself. If you put the press under any restraint in respect to the measures of members of government; if you thus deprive the people of the means of obtaining information of their conduct you in fact render their right of electing nugatory; and this bill must be considered only as a weapon used by a party now in power in order to perpetuate their authority and preserve their present places;"
Source: Edward Livingston, Democratic-Republican congressman from New York, speech in the House of Representatives on the proposed Alien Act (June 21, 1798)
"... by this act [i.e., the Alien Act] . .. the president alone is empowered to make the law, to fix in his mind what acts, what words, what thoughts or looks, shall constitute the crime contemplated by the bill, that is the crime of being 'suspected t6 be dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States....' The president, then, having made the law, the president having construed and applied it, the same president is by the bill authorized to execute his sentence, in case of disobedience, by imprisonment during his pleasure. This, then, comes completely within the definition of despotism - a union of legislative, executive, and judicial powers."
Source: John Allen, Federalist congressman from Connecticut, speech in the House of Representatives on the proposed Sedition Act Only 5, 1798)
"I say, sir, a combination, a conspiracy against the Constitution, the government, the peace and safety of this country, is formed, and is in full operation. It
"The freedom of the press and opinions was never understood to give the right of publishing falsehoods and slanders, nor of exciting sedition, insurrection, and slaughter, with impunity. A man was always answerable for the malicious publication of falsehood; and what more does this bill require?"
Source: D. M. Erskine, a young Englishman visiting the United States, letters to his father (December 9, 1798 and January 2, 1799)
the intolerance is greater in this Country by much, upon the subject of Politics, than it is with us: they think nothing of wishing each other destroyed; each Party openly descanting upon the probability of its becoming a matter of necessity to extirpate the opponent one, the (Aristocrats [to destroy] the Democrats) and vice versa for so. . are the parties divided & distinguished...."
.... . Politics has so divided Men & so far do they carry it that it seldom happens that a person of one way of thinking visits anybody in the opposite; they are ranked into Federalist & Anti-Federalist, which as I have before explained does not mean those for & against a Federal form of Government, but in fact ins & Outs, tho' it is not confessed. that is the truth I