Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 3 July 1814

To William Duane

Monticello July 3. 14.

Dear Sir

The intercourse with France being now open, I expect every hour a letter from M. de Tutt Tracy, on the subject of his book. what shall I be able to say to him? is it translated? is it in print? & when may it be expected? on the late change of government, he will probably print the original there, and as it will be instantly translated ours may be anticipated.

We are looking to new arrivals for interesting news. the allies having reestablished their brother king on his throne, & the honey-moon now over, the lion, the tyger, the panther & bear are now to divide their spoil with magnanimity. some snarling already appears. maritime rights are to be settled. Ferdinand & his Cortes have a bone to contend for; the old and new Noblesse of France have some little questions of property to settle. I think we may see in all this the seeds of new contentions, and that the present is but a cessation of arms, until the new objects & new coalitions may be formed. in this state of things, none of the powers will be precipitate in disarming; nor great Britain in detaching much of her force to this country. perhaps she may find new motives for peace with us, and by suspending her views on the fisheries, relieve the heart-ache of the Yankees, who will now be able to decide on which side of the water is their safest dependance. all these things make the present a moment of great interest, and induce me to view them but as the 1st chapter of a new history of which I shall not see much. Accept assurances of great esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Genl Duane”; endorsed by TJ.

The brother king was Louis XVIII of France, and the lion, the tyger, the panther & bear represented Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Napoleon had forced ferdinand VII to abdicate in 1808, but he regained the Spanish throne in 1814 after Napoleon’s downfall. Ferdinand renounced the Spanish constitution of 1812 and persecuted the liberal faction in his country (Connelly, Napoleonic France description begins Owen Connelly and others, eds., Historical Dictionary of Napoleonic France, 1799–1815, 1985 description ends , 175–6).

Index Entries

  • Canada; and U.S. fishing rights search
  • Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude; Élémens d’Idéologie search
  • Duane, William; and Destutt de Tracy’s works search
  • Duane, William; letters to search
  • Élémens d’Idéologie (Destutt de Tracy); TJ on search
  • Ferdinand VII, king of Spain; royal claims of search
  • fisheries, Canadian; U.S. rights to search
  • France; TJ on search
  • Great Britain; TJ on war with search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; European affairs search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; European monarchs search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; France search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; peace with Great Britain search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; war with Great Britain search
  • Louis XVIII, king of France search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; and Spain search
  • Spain; constitution of search
  • Spain; Cortes of search
  • Spain; TJ on search