Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Sylvanus Bourne, 5 December 1801

From Sylvanus Bourne

Consular Office of the U States
Amsterdam Decr. 5h 1801


I herewith transmit you these successive numbers to this date of the Leyden Gazette: It is difficult at this moment to add much to the contents of the public papers relative to the position of Europe which will ere long receive a more correct & decided modification by the Congress destined to meet at Amiens: we can only Collect from the tenor of many Official documents which have lately emanated from the Govts on each side of the Channell that a good understanding appears to exist between England & France on the great points of the modification alluded to & as we know not of any Power disposed or Capable of Counteracting their views in this regard—it is probable All matters will soon be definitively arranged & that with the Century will commence a new & important epoch in the political existence of Europe

I fondly Entertain the hope that the establishment of peace in this part of the World will among its many pleasing consequences produce that of assuaging the spirit of party & discord which seems to have made such untoward progress in our Country & that a reciprocal desire of reconciliation nourished by a wise administration of the Govt. may tend to ensure to the American people all the blessings which can flow from a well regulated Society, Combined with the natural advantages we enjoy—

I still anxiously wait to know the fate of my official situation & prospects as I have had many heavy misfortunes to struggle with in life & on what may be done in this regard will the future w[elfare] of an increasing family very materially depend—

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Yr Ob Sev

S Bourne

PS. I wait for a translation in french of the late adopted Constitution of this Country to transmit it to you—which as far as I am able to comprehend it, seems essentially defective in not having duly preserved that independence & seperation of the great powers of Govt Legislative Executive Judicial which in the U States are thought to be necessary to the preservation of liberty—

RC (DNA: RG 59, CD); at head of text: “The President of the U States”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 Feb. 1802 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures not found.

Fate of My Official Situation: for Bourne’s concern about the future support of consular establishments, especially in Amsterdam, see Vol. 32:133 and Vol. 35:401–2.

For the late adopted constitution of the Batavian Republic, see Vol. 35:296, 297n.

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