To Nathaniel Barrell

    Philadelphia        18 November 1794

    My dear Sir—

    Your favour of the 4th. instant came to hand by the last mail—And as it is wholly on the subject of the late election I shall make but a short, tho very honest, reply to it, and pass on to give you some account of the general state of news & politics1—Then as to the state of votes in the five towns from which you & Mr. [Joseph?] Tucker have given me some account, I am more surprised to find them so scattered than at the small number given to me—The right of suffrage is the great political hinge on which all political Liberty turns—And therefore I hold it sacred above all others—And let the votes be given as they may be I hope the people will always exercise this right independently, & understandingly—And you may be assured I am the last man who will ever arraigne a fellow citizen on this subject—

    We have made a house for business ever since the second day of our meeting, but there not being a quorum of the Senate, the President has not made his Speech, nor have we proceeded to any business of much importance—It is expected there will be a full Senate to day; if so tis probable the President will give us an account of the State of the Union tomorrow—Immediately after which we shall proceed to take it up—

    The Pittsburgh Insurgents have dispersed and disappeared before the Army that went against them—And I expect the army, or the greater part of them, will soon be on their return—After it was seen that the citizens readily marched to suppress the increasing Rebellion, some of those who I really look upon as having been the cause of the opposition to the Laws, came forward as a sort of a Committee on the part of the people, and addressed the President requesting that the army might not be permitted to march over the mountains, assuring him that there was a disposition in the people to obey the Laws2—But the army marched on—And have traversed the heart of the Country of Insurgency and all the regions round about—So that the Insurgents now have occular proof of the general determination as well as power of the people and Government to carry all the constitutional Laws into compleat execution—And I must confess that I look upon the Insurgency on the whole, as being of beneficial consequences to the United States—And that hereafter the people will be more cautious of lending a willing ear to those who preach sedition & discontent—to such men we are to look for what has already hapened—

    Notwithstanding the peaceable march of the army, & disappearance of the Insurgents and the pretended disposition of the people there to submit to the execution of the Laws, you must not expect that people have done finding fault with the President or Administration—if you do you will find yourself exceedingly mistaken—for the very circumstance in the army which, in the opinion of good judges has been the means of preventing measures from proceeding to blood & slaughter, I mean its greatness, has is now made the subject of complaint against the President And he with such as are supposed to have advised him to call forth so many troops, as have marched against the insurgents, are charged indirectly in what are called the Antifederal papers, with having something further in view than barely to suppress the Insurgents—

    The accounts from Mr. [John] Jay hitherto promise a happy termination of the disputes between America & England, And I have pretty good reason to believe that the western posts will all be given up—& perhaps some commercial advantages may be obtained—a compensation for the depredations committed on our navigation in the West-Indies will also be made—but in what manner the real losses will be ascertained I am not able to say3

    The papers will give you all the news we have here from Europe—By these you will see, the French <lined out> are victorious to a degree of astonishment—Tho it seems the Combined powers are resolved upon one effort more before the campaine ends, to repossess themselves of Treves [Trier] & the Austrian Netherlands4—And I am inclined to think we shall hear of one or two more very bloody battles—Few people with whom I have conversed appear to me to have a just view of Revolution in France with regard to its causes, & their extention—But on this subject I shall write you again—I am, my dear Sir

    your friend & humble Servant

    * * *

    ALS, Barrell Correspondence. Addressed to York; franked; postmarked 19 November.