Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., 7 January 1793

To Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr.

Philadelphia Jan. 7. 1793.

Dear Sir

Our news from France continues to be good, and to promise a continuance. The event of the revolution there is now little doubted of, even by it’s enemies. The sensations it has produced here, and the indications of them in the public papers, have shewn that the form our own government was to take depended much more on the events of France than any body had before imagined. The tide which, after our former relaxed government, took a violent course towards the opposite extreme, and seemed ready to hang every thing round with the tassils and baubles of monarchy, is now getting back as we hope to a just mean, a government of laws addressed to the reason of the people, and not to their weaknesses. The daily papers shew it more than those you recieve.—An attempt in the house of representatives to stop the recruiting service has been rejected. Indeed the conferences for peace, agreed to by the Indians, do not promise much, as we have reason to believe they will insist on taking back lands purchased at former treaties.—Maria is well. We hope all are so at Monticello. My best love to my dear Martha and am most affectionately Dear Sir your’s &c.

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr. Randolph.” PrC (DLC).

On 20 Dec. 1792 John Steele, a Federalist representative from North Carolina, introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to reduce the size of the regular army, citing the need for a more effective form of frontier defense and the desirability of applying the resultant savings to the reduction of the public debt so as to avoid new taxes. During the ensuing debates on this resolution, Steele urged that greater reliance be placed on the militia to defend the western frontier against Indian attacks. At the same time, Hugh Williamson, another North Carolina Federalist, offered an amendment to Steele’s resolution that proposed to stop the recruiting service at a specified date instead of immediately reducing the size of the army. Williamson’s amendment and Steele’s resolution were both rejected in committee of the whole on 5 Jan. 1793 and in the full House three days later (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The first two volumes of the set cited here have “Compiled … by Joseph Gales, Senior” on the title page and bear the caption “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. The remaining volumes bear the caption “History of Congress” on both recto and verso pages. Those using the first two volumes with the latter caption will need to employ the date of the debate or the indexes of debates and speakers. description ends , iii, 750, 762–8, 773–90, 791–802).

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