1. This section, originally part of the chapter, was deleted from the 1819 version:

Thady O'Conor had taken the benefit of the insolvent act; nevertheless he was an honest man, for he had nothing that he did not surrender, never having had any thing to surrender, unless his brogues in Ireland; which though they might be considered as still his property, yet they were not in his possession, having fallen from his feet, as he made his escape from sheep stealing in the old country, and so left behind when he came to this. He had imposed upon the captain of a vessel, by telling him that he was a nephew of general Washington, and would have his passage paid for him three times over, the moment he arrived. But no president Washington, or any for him, appearing to claim him as a relation, the Captain was at a loss what to do with him, and while he was deliberating, Thady made a shift to do something for himself; and making his escape from the vessel, had been some years sojourning in the country, and at last got into jail, from which he had not found it convenient to escape, and so paid his debt with a ticket as the phrase is, and being liberated by due course of law, he set out for the new settlement, of which he had heard. He was for a new constitution, and swelled the squad of malecontents with the administration of the government. He was chosen for a convention, as soon as it had been agreed upon, that there should be one.



Fragments

What is the reason that there is usually more talent in a new settlement than in an old? Is it the fact? That would lead to a discussion of some delicacy, in our republic, and induce comparison, which, according to the proverb, is odious. But there is doubtless some ground for the assertion, that our best generals, and ablest orators in congress, have come from the west, or been of the new states. As to generals, Harrison, Brown and Jackson might be mentioned. As to orators, we have had Patrick Henry, of a frontier in Virginia; and I might mention one of my own name of Kentucky, though he spelt it Breckenridge as my father did; but thinking him wrong I altered it, because I found the bulk of the same stock spelt it so; and particularly doctor Brackenridge of the philosophical society in London. Clay, Crawford, &c. of the congress in later times, are examples. But supposing it the fact, can I assign the cause? It is sometimes accident. Sallust in his introduction to the Bellum Catalinarium, asks, How came it, that the Roman state rose to such eminence, the Greeks being before in the arts, and the Gauls in valour? Reflecting on the subject, he resolves it into the circumstance of a few great men having arisen in it.
Nevertheless, though it may be sometimes a matter of casualty, yet it would seem to me that it cannot well be otherwise, but that in new countries the human genius will receive a spring, which it cannot have in the old.-- But the cause lies deeper; and in this, that the strongest minds, and the most enterprising, go there. They are thrown upon the vigour of their own intellect. Why is it that subterranean fire bursts from the earth, but because it has an energy that breaks through obstructions, and ascends to a higher element? The plodding cub stays at home, while the more active tatterdemalion, quits his paternal roof, and goes to build a cabin, and make a new roof for himself, in the wild woods of Tennessee, or elsewhere. The same elasticity and spirit of mind, which brought him there, gives him distinction where he is.-- The independence of his situation contributes to this; fettered by no obligation, and kept down by no superiority of standing. Why is it in the arts, that an age of great men cannot but be succeeded by an inferiority of powers? This hold true in poetry, which is the province of the imagination. Why did the slaves, on a certain occasion, defy the swords of their masters, but yielded to their whips? It was owing to the subjugation of habit.-- People accustomed to feel superiority in a certain way, are discouraged in their efforts.
The streams of a new country are more abundant, and the springs burst more plentifully. This is owing to the shades which hang over them; which not only render their margins and fountain heads more pleasing, but serve to protect from the exhaling heat, and conciliate dews, and the moisture of the clouds. Hence it is, that it is greatly blameable to cut down the trees about a spring head; or, if it can be dispensed with, the grove on the hill above. For these wonderfully contribute to preserve the abundance of the current; and the perennial flow. It is for this reason I was delighted with the cascades of a new country, tumbling over rocks; because when one thinks of bathing, there are mossy banks to strip upon, and deep shades to embower, and conceal from the nymphs. For one is not afraid of any one else there, unless, perhaps, a young girl looking after cows, who would not much mind it, being used to see people without much covering to their carcasses, nor much caring whether they have any. For it is in cities that the abodes of luxury and false taste, where we depart most from the simplicity of Eve in paradise, who
"Clouted Adam's grey breeks,"
or pantaloons, when he had a pair.
I feel the grandeur of these water falls, and at the same time have a sense of the salubrity of the immersion. For I take the application of cold water to the body in hot seasons, to be not only pleasant, by wonderfully medical. The effusion of cold water removes heat, and by the direct action which we call a shock, braces the system.
The visionary philosopher having put himself at the head of an institution for teaching beasts, had collected sundry of what he thought the most docile animals. He had in his academy, as it might be called, under scholastic discipline, a baboon, a pet squirrel, a young bear, and half a dozen pigs, &c. &c. The Squirrel, as in the case of young masters, with the sons of rich people, he encouraged, or coaxed, to get his task by giving him nuts to crack; and the pigs, by throwing them rinds of pompions, or parings of apples; the bear and the baboon, in like manner, by something in their way; and so with all the others. Some he intimidated by the ferule and the birch. He was instructing them according to the Lancastrian mode, or method, to make marks on sand, and to write before they began to read.
Things were going on very well to all appearance, and to the satisfaction of the tutor, when a catastrophe which now took place brought the matter to a conclusion. It was not from the lady who had brought the pet squirrel to be taught, though she had expressed some impatience at the favourite not making a more rapid progress, because she was sure it had genius. But she had forbidden the professor to use the rod; and what ground could she have to expect a close application, and a quickness of perception without a stimulus to the mind, by the feelings of the body? However, it was not from the lady taking away her scholar, or that of any of the other employers and subscribers withdrawing their rabbits or other students, but from that wicked fellow, Will Watlin, followed by Harum Scarum with a switch, who, breaking into the menagerie, exclaimed to the professor, or principal; it is not of much consequence now which he is called; What, said he to the master of the hall, is it in imitation of your pupils, that you are here in your bare buff? Sans culottes, have you nothing to cover your nakedness? Had you put yourselves in your sherryvallies, or overalls, there would have been some decency.-- Every thing is French now-a-days. Is it French that you are teaching these to speak, or write? I see a baboon there; Lewis, I suppose is his name. He will learn French fast enough, if that is all you have put upon his hands. He was a Frenchman as far back as Arbuthnot. The squirrel may chatter something, and it may sound to us like French. Do you mean to make the bear a parlez-vous? No wonder that the two John Bulls, senior and junior, the Old and the New England, should talk of French influence. Do you expect your pigs will be made officers under Bonaparte, interpreters, perhaps? I would have you know that we have too much French amongst us already. If the French should come over to us in an oyster-shell; for I do not see what else they have to come over in; and this they could not do, unless like Scotch witches, there might be some use in currying favour with Napoleon.
But is the discipline of your school correct, even if there was something to be taught that would be of use, in science, in agriculture, or in commerce. Do you instruct them in history and good breeding? To keep their persons clean, to pare their nails, and shave their beards, those of them that are grown gentlemen? That fellow there, the racoon, does not appear to me to have had his beard shaved these two weeks. It is true, I do not see any of them with a cigar in his teeth, like the American monkies and opossums, the greater part of them of a bad family education; and so farewell. But that mongrel between the terrier and the pointer breed, with a collar on his neck, may be said to have a collar without a shirt to it. I am tired of these remarks; away with you, away.
With that, Will Watlin drawing his watlin, and Harum Scarum using his switch, they began to lay about them. The monkey leaped; the pigs squealed; the squirrel chattered, and ran into his cage; the bear growled; the pointer howled, &c &c &c. The education was thus interrupted, and the institution broken up.
The bog-trotter complaining of neglect; alleging his services at the original establishment of the government in trailing a pine log, and thereby intimidating the populace at his coming to the settlement, the governor was constrained to give him an office; and selecting one for which he thought he might be, in some respects, qualified, he made him an auctioneer. It could not be said that he had not a pretty strong voice; and in knocking down an article with his mallet, "once, twice, tree times," with the assistance of a clerk, the sales were pretty rapidly effected. Occasionally he made a blunder, as knocking down a frying pan, and at another time a brass kettle, he rung too long, because the sound pleased him. He alleged that a hive of bees had swarmed, and he was wringing to get them to cluster. All agreed that he made a pretty good vendue master; but still he was not satisfied; and an ambassador being about to be appointed to the Barbary powers, he was willing to go to Algiers, Tunis, or Tripoli. His friends favoured his pretension, Thady O'Connor, and some others, who had an expectation of accompanying him; Thady as secretary, and others in different offices. The governor resisted the application on the ground that one office was enough at a time. His resignation even would not justify it; because it would look as if there was a penury of men of talents, when it behooved to take one from his duty, as if another person could not be found who was as well qualified. The junto, and Teague himself, spoke of the appointment of John Jay to the court of London, while he was chief justice, not resigning; and of Ellsworth, also a chief justice, in a similar situation; and of Albert Gallatin, who was secretary, and continuing such; yet maugre all the clamour, and even good grounds, as Jefferson and Madison, and others thought, he, the said Albert, was appointed by the said Madison to an embassy.
These things were all wrong, said the governor. I do not mean the finding fault, but the doing that with which the fault was found.
Could Washington do wrong? said a stickler on the side of the bog-trotter. Yes, said the governor, and Adams too. These were the bad precedents that Madison followed. I shall not copy after; not questioning but that these treaty-making people might be very capable, or perhaps the most capable; but were they the only persons to be found that were adequate to the task? I will not say, but that my bog-trotter might make a very good ambassador, with instructions, and the advantage of a secretary; but is Teague O'Regan alone, in all the land, to be singled out for this trust? After searching the whole country from Dan to Beer-sheba, can I find no other that can sustain the weight of negociation? If I do appoint him, he must resign his place as auctioneer, and does he know that the Algerines are Turks? and if he goes there, I mean to the Barbary coast, he must be circumcised, and loose--
Loose what? said Thady O'Connor.
I will not say what, said the governor; but you may guess.
There is more effect in a hint, than when the story is spoken out; and therefore Thady, and the auctioneer also, their imagination outrunning their judgment, and their fears their ambition, concluded it would be best to stick to the hammer, and for Teague to remain a crier of vendues, and Thady O'Connor clerk.
I have often thought, that if a president of the United States in our time, had a Jewish prophet to denounce to the people, their political transgressions; that is, the swerving from the true faith; in other words, his own party; how much more secure his standing would be; how much less vexed by the calumny of editors, and paragraphs in gazettes. Among the Britons, the aborigines or early inhabitants, the druids, did not denounce much; but what they lacked in speaking, they paid away in acting; and a disturber of the government being pointed out by these, it was not long before he was in an ozier creel; the Simulacra contexta viminibus, and his breath extinguished by the flame.
Would it not have been possible for president Madison, for the $50,000 paid to Henry, to have secured as many of the New England clergy in his favour, as would have made them act as druidical priests in support of his administration? I cannot, say I would wish to see the wicker basket introduced; but I was thinking of the effect of the practicability of establishing something that would be in lieu of it: that is, the influence of the priesthood; but not in the same way. Pulpit denunciations have a prodigious effect to the eastward. It is no wonder that the religious functionaries of that part of the union have made a noise, both before and since the war. If they really believed, and it is possible they did, that Bonaparte had transmitted several tons of French crowns to the United States; finding that none of them came their way, what wonder if they became dissentients to the war? Madison should have made a point of securing at least a majority of these congregationalists. It was upon this rock the witches split, in not having secured Cotton Mather, when they made their descent upon New England. The consequence was, that an uproar was raised against them; and they were hanged, and drowned, till the people began to be satisfied that there was not a witch left; and for a plain reason, because there never had been one. If the people were not satisfied at this, yet certain it is, they ought to have been--so saith the writer of this book. But I will not take a bible oath upon it, that there are not John Bulls in that quarter, as true as ever crost the ocean, and were imported to this country.
Take the individual man, and how difficult it is to form him. Between the boy, and the man it is the most difficult to govern him; from the time, that the voice begins to break the treble of the puerile age, to the counter of that of manhood. Here we have to do with the confidence of feeling some power of mind, and the insolence of inexperience. It is the same with men in a state of society. A constitution has been framed; it is impossible to convince them that they cannot make a better. The young, as they grow up, despise what has gone before them. They are sanguine of temperament, and take it for granted that the world has never seen such a creature as they are, before. That whatever errors others have committed, in the like situation, they will have the judgment to avoid. It is not until by disappointment, and the vexation attendant upon it, that they can be brought to know themselves, and to rate their natural talents, and their discretion at a lower estimate. A man must be forty years of age, said lord treasurer Burleigh before he begins to suspect that he is a fool, and fifty before he knows it. It is on the same principle that an individual must have lived a long time in a republic before he can be a republican. Some have gone so far as to say, he must have been born and brought up under a republican government, to have the habits and way of thinking of a republican. Rollin, I think it is, who says, he must at least have lived fifty years before he is fit to be trusted with affairs.
There is more in age as a qualification, for the right of suffrage; or the right of delegation, than in that of property REAL or PERSONAL. The longevity of our republic will depend upon there being an amendment of this nature. Young cocks should never be heard to crow in the senate house, or young whelps to bark. It is true the Scripture says, "Bray a fool in a mortar, and he will not be wise." All length of time and all experience of consequences from his own errors, will not correct. But he must be a fool indeed, an idiot that will not derive some advantage from what he has seen and suffered. When a member has made a speech in a deliberative body, of some hours continuance, and finds that he grows no taller in reputation, and which he will, in due time discover, he will not be unwilling to abridge his ventriloquy on other occasions: for I call it ventriloquy; it deserves no better name. There were two Raneys here, some years ago, ventriloquists. If we had them in congress to imitate jay-birds, and amuse the members, till a decent time had passed to let the question be put, it might be an improvement; I say a decent time, because appearances would be saved, and as we on the bench have an advisari vult sometimes out of courtesy to the counsel as if the argument on the wrong side had nevertheless puzzled us, so civility to adversaries is not altogether lost, by affecting to think the matter not just as plain as a pikestaff: you may conciliate, and gain attention when you are wrong yourselves, that is when they think you wrong.
There is no moral truth, the weight of which can be felt without experience. What do I mean by moral truth? I mean that which depends upon the nature of man, and is the foundation of his actions. Who would comprehend without feeling it, that it is of all things the most difficult to govern men? The most simple way, and doubtless the most effectual, is the same by which you would govern a beast; the bridle and the whip. An individual at the head of an organization may command millions, and keep them in subjection: but in this case, no one can be allowed a will of his own, to the smallest extent. If the two legged thing that calls himself a man under such a government, should attempt to speak or act for himself, off his head goes, scalp and all, and there is an end of the disturbance. There is one way, which is to let the multitude alone altogether, and then there is anarchy, or no government. If you let them alone, it does not suit very well, for in that case, they rob; and there being no security, there is no industry; and consequently no improvement in the arts, or amelioration in the condition of man. If you undertake to restrain their passions, how will you go about it; but by force or persuasion? Persuasion will go but a little way with a man that is hungry to hinder him from putting his paw upon whatever eatable there is before him. It must be, therefore, force. All government must be therefore founded in fear. It is but a conceit in Montesquieu, to found a republic upon the principle of virtue; a monarchy upon that of honour; and a despotism upon that of fear. Fear, is the foundation of government, of man, as much as of a horse, or an ass. The great secret is to govern him, not just as you would a beast; but by the fear of suffering a distant evil. The reason and reflection of a man can comprehend this; that of a beast not so much. What we have seen in this new settlement, is a picture of the credulity, and restlessness of man, and his constant struggle to break through that organization of power by which he is restrained from that to which his passions prompt. He will endeavour to break through, by talking of changing the modes of government. But it is not the mode, but the being governed at all that displeases him. A constitution is that organization by which a man is governed by rules that apply to every individual of the community; and from which no one is exempt, but all bound to obey. This is what is called a republican government. The changing a constitution begets the desire of change, and like a dislocated bone, must produce a weak joint. It ought to be some great defect that would justify a change. The one half the effect of laws or general rules, is the being acted under. It injures a saddle horse to put him in harness; because he must change his gaits.
The governor had acquired considerable authority over this mob, by the intimidation of scalping, and I take it he will speak in a more decisive tone, and act with proportioned firmness in the future exigencies of the commonwealth. Fraud is sometimes called, pia fraus, because it is a deception of the people for their own good. But fraud is not admissible, but on the ground that they are in a temporary phrensy, and not in a condition to hear reason.
A book entitled, Incidents of the insurrection in the western parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, in the year 1794, gives a picture of a people broke loose from the restraints of government, and going farther than they had intended to go. If that book was republished at this time, and circulated in the Eastern states, it could contribute to shew the danger of even talking of a severance of the union, or an opposition to the laws.-- The bulk will take one another to be in earnest in these matters, when individually, they never thought of carrying the project farther than talk. It is not a want of understanding that prompts dissatisfaction in this part of the republic, but a want of self-denial, and humility. Doubtless it may be said that Virginia, though she has ore of a good quality, has wrought her mine too much, in producing presidents; and there is no intelligent man, but will approve of an amendment to the constitution of the United States, to remedy such engrossing in time to come; but they will support the administration, since it is the will of the majority for the time being. An error in the expedient, and this could be considered only an error in what was expedient, is a small matter compared with a violation of principle. Opposition to an administration, is an error in principle, and may lead, though not intended by the actors, to the destruction of the machine.
If, in giving a picture of the Hartford convention, in the narrative of the proceedings of a new settlement, I should, in due time, have a convention here too, I will have no chaplains, because it looks like a burlesque; and it would be ten to one, if the governor could keep Teague O'Regan from being one of them. If the people would insist upon it, how could he help it? The Reverend Teague O'Regan, I presume, he must then be called, to give the greater solemnity to his function; but this very designation would but increase the farce.
I wonder what business our legislative bodies, of the individual states; or governors, or congress, or presidents have with proclaiming days of festivity, or humiliation, which ought to be left to the societies of religious denominations. It savours of hypocrisy for the temporal power to interfere.