James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John G. Jackson, 13 April 1812

From John G. Jackson

Clarksburg 13th. April 1812

My dear Sir.

The last papers announce that Congress on your recommendation have laid an Embargo, & conjecture naturally points to war as the next step to be taken. I am rejoiced that the crisis has produced a corresponding attitude because I fully believe the national spirit & the national honor demand it; And if the Government were now to succumb—what with the pressure from abroad & at home—it would be crushed to annihilation. Yet it is a source of much regret that so large a portion of our Citizens deny the necessity or the justice of war with G B; as they will upon all occasions—adhering to the false pride of opinion—oppose every obstacle to union in which consists our strength & the consequent ability to make a strong impression upon the enemy. I do not dispair that truth will triumph over their prejudices; & the war will become more & more popular every day. Popularity is not worth pursuing because then its existence is short lived like the partiality of a coquette when assailed by the flattery of a new admirer. But it is indispensibly necessary that it should follow—in a government of the people—& it always will follow where noble ends are pursued with noble means. And I know that your administration of the government has no other objects none other aids. With affectionate regards to Mrs. M your mo obt

J G Jackson

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

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