To Nathaniel Barrell

    Philadelphia        23 April 1796

    My dear Sir—

    Yours of the 9th instant came to hand yesterday morning—I have noted your indignation against certain characters & confess it is a just resentment to their conduct but a little too high coloured—I have been long acquainted with them & particularly observed every stage of their proceedings—My charity is almost extinguished—I have some time been of opinion that nothing short of a considerable change in the Government [will] satisfy them such as reducing the Senate to three years with a right in the people or Legislatures to recall them when they please—The House of Representatives to one year—with a similar right of recall—They will prune off some of the powers of the President, & others that Congress now possess—That party are <torn> by strong passions to remove Washing[ton] from the Government; & indeed all who have harmonized with him in his administration have become odious, because they have obstructed their views—The present majority in the House who are for destroying the [Jay] Treaty may be traced to a small minority almost co-evil with the Government, composed, at first, by a few persons who were against the Constitution itself, & a small number who were opposed to the administration; these two characters united about the year ninety one, & by <lined out> perseverence have become a majority upon most important questions—Be assured they will weaken, if not deface the Government, unless the people open their eyes in season to froun them from their present course—We are approaching fast to some great change—The question upon the Treaty has not been taken; it probably will be next week—The majority, however, against it, I calculate to be six or seven—& they seeme pretty determined1—The merchants are exceedingly alarmed—The Insurance companies have ceased to underwrite for the present, except against peace risque or with a war premium—Some will not <torn>

    Most of my friends appear more alarmed than I can see cause for—They tell me I view ruin with too much coolness; but I suspect the danger, tho considerable, will stop short of the degree their fears predict—A rejection of the Treaty may, for a time, stagnate trade & lower the price of produce; it may produce irritation on both sides but I trust in the good sense of the Country for order & peace—

    I am, my dear Sir, yours &c

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    ALS, Barrell Correspondence. Addressed to York; franked; postmarked 23 April.