To George Logan
Monticello Oct. 15. 15.
I thank you for the extract in your’s of Aug. 16. respecting the emperor Alexander. it arrived here a day or two after I had left this place, from which I have been absent 7. or 8.1 weeks. I had from other information formed the most favorable opinion of the virtues of Alexander and considered his partiality to this country as a prominent proof of them. the magnanimity of his conduct on the first capture of Paris still magnified every thing we had believed of him; but how he will come out of his present trial remains to be seen. that the sufferings2 which France had inflicted on other countries justified severe reprisals, cannot be questioned. but I have not yet learned what crimes of Poland, Saxony Belgium, Venice, Lombardy and Genoa had merited for the[m] not merely a temporary punishment but that of permanent subjugati[on] & a destitution of independance and self government. the fable of Aesop of the lion dividing the spoils is I fear3 becoming true history, an[d] the moral code of Napoleon and the English government, a substitute for that of Grotius, of Puffendorf, and even of the pure doctri[ne] of the great author of our own religion. we were safe ourselves from Bonaparte because he had not the British fleets at his command. we were safe from the British fleets, because they had Bonaparte at their back. but the British fleets and the conquerors of Bonapar[te] being now combined, and the Hartford nation drawn off to them we have uncommon reason to look to our own affairs. this however I leave to others, offering prayers to heaven4 the only contribution of old age, for the safety of our country. be so good as to present me affectionately to mrs Logan, and to accept yourself the assurance of my esteem and respect.
PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; mutilated at seal, with some missing text rewritten by TJ; edge trimmed; at foot of text: “Doctr Logan.” Printed in Philadelphia Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 2 May 1816.
In Aesop’s fable of “The Lion’s Share,” the lion claims all four quarters of a stag captured during a hunt with the fox, the jackal, and the wolf. The spoils of Europe were divided at the Congress of Vienna by the principal allied powers: Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia (Connelly, Napoleonic France description begins Owen Connelly and others, eds., Historical Dictionary of Napoleonic France, 1799–1815, 1985 description ends , 486–8).
1. Reworked from “6. or 7.”
2. Word interlined in place of “injuries.”
3. Preceding two words interlined.
4. Preceding two words interlined in place of a comma.
- Aesop’s Fables; referenced by TJ search
- Alexander I, emperor of Russia; TJ on search
- Austria; and Congress of Vienna search
- Belgium; and Congress of Vienna search
- Europe; allied powers of as threat to U.S. search
- Federalist party; in New England search
- Genoa, Italy; and Congress of Vienna search
- Great Britain; and Congress of Vienna search
- Grotius, Hugo; mentioned search
- Hartford, Conn.; Federalist convention at search
- Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Congress of Vienna search
- Logan, Deborah Norris (George Logan’s wife); TJ sends greetings to search
- Logan, George; letters to search
- Logan, George; TJ’s correspondence with published search
- Lombardy; and Congress of Vienna search
- Napoleon I, emperor of France; abdicates search
- New England; Federalists in search
- Poland; partitions of search
- Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
- Prussia; and Congress of Vienna search
- Pufendorf, Samuel von; mentioned search
- Russia; and Congress of Vienna search
- Saxony; and Congress of Vienna search
- Venice; and Congress of Vienna search
- Vienna, Congress of; negotiations at search