may 1798–march 1800

    * * *


    To John Woodman

    Philadelphia        10 May 1798

    Dear Sir—

    I am persuaded that, at this time, you wish to obtain as clear and accurate [an] account of the transactions between France & the United States, since the war broke out between that nation and England, as possible, for this purpose I take the liberty to recommend to your perusal the inclosed pamphlet1—This brings to view all the facts, states them with clearness & truth; and I believe his observations, in general, are just; but of this every reader will judge for himself—We may call France a Republic and our sister—But this gives her neither the liberty, safety or security, that we enjoy under our Government2—nor the tenderness one sister usually has for another.

    Since France has taken the name of a Republic, she has acted towards America worse than the Dey of Algiers3—instead of being a sister, her conduct has been that of a Tygress—a wolf among innocent sheep & lambs!

    I hope soon to be able to send to every town in the District a copy of the last dispatches from our Envoys at Paris: They consist chiefly of a memorial presented, by them, to the Directory, which had not been noticed by the latter, when they wrote last. This memorial states the pretended claims of France upon the United States, & shews they are unfounded & unjust. It then recapitulates the agressions & injuries done by that nation to America & supports them by reasoning & arguments that appear to me unanswerable—And I am persuaded the Directory will endeavour to evade, not reply to them.

    If we wish to be respected as a nation, & to defend our Rights, we must imbibe a national character by attaching ourselves to our own Government and our constituted authorities—This attachment must be so great as to produce even hatred to all others—We ought equally to hate France, England, Dutch & all other nations & their Governments when they come in competition with our own—We must literally forsake all others, & cleave to America.

    The pamphlet is so large I must put it into three letters, to save postage—We cannot frank a letter that weighs more than two ounces. These three parts you will put together—When you have read it, I will thank you to lend it to any of the those who are of your committee & may be disposed to read it4—Or any other person in your town who may wish to have a clear understanding of the controversy between France & the United States this Country—

    I am not unaware that many will be prejudiced so much in favour of France as perhaps not to read it; or if they do, they will be disposed to disbelieve the facts; some will ridicule it—But sir, you may rely upon it the facts are true—

    Americans will soon be convinced that the Rulers of France have been Tyrants to that nation, & the vilest Rascals to this—

    Once more, permit me to request you to read Mr. Harpers Pamphlet, & promote the reading it among your neighbours—


    * * *

    FC, TFP