From Thomas Jefferson
Monticello Oct. 30. 94.
Th: J. to J. M.
In the moment of the departure of the post it occurs to me that you can, by the return of it, note to me the amount of Mazzei’s claim against Dohrman,1 for the information of the Van Staphorsts.2 I will put off my answer to them for that purpose. The day you left me I had a violent attack of the Rheumatism which has confined me ever since. Within these few days I have crept out a little on horseback, but am yet far from being well, or likely to be so soon. I wish much to see the speech, & to know how such an armament against people at their ploughs, will be represented, and an appeal to arms justified before that to the law had been tried & proved ineffectual, by the fact, not by the certified opinion of a magistrate paving the way to an embassy.3 Adieu, a thousand respects to mrs. Madison & joys perpetual to both.
1. For a discussion of JM’s and Jefferson’s assistance to Arnold Henry Dohrman, and Dohrman’s debt to Philip Mazzei, see PJM description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (1 vol. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 2:34 n. 4.
2. Mazzei was indebted to the Amsterdam bankers Nicholas and Jacob Van Staphorst (Mazzei to JM, 22 June 1787, PJM description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (1 vol. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 10:71).
3. Washington’s 19 Nov. annual address to Congress recounted the federal government’s response to the Whiskey Insurrection, citing the 4 Aug. certificate of James Wilson, an associate justice of the Supreme Court: “‘In the counties of Washington and Allegeny, in Pennsylvania, laws of the United States were opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed by combinations, too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshal of that district.’” The necessity of federal intervention was disputed between Republicans and Federalists and between federal and state authorities. Pennsylvania governor Thomas Mifflin and secretary Alexander James Dallas opposed the use of military force and asserted that action by civilian state officials would suffice to deal with the insurrection (Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, 1931–44). description ends , 34:30; Baldwin, Whiskey Rebels, pp. 184–85).