To John Hobby

    Philadelphia        10 May 1794

    My dear Sir,

    By this time I imagine it begins to be a subject of inquiry whether the Embargo will be continued, suffered to expire, or taken off before the time for which it was laid on? And I really wish it was in my power to give you certain information as to this fact—But it is a fact, tho not far in future, yet dependent on so many other subordinate facts humours & dispositions of individuals as well as parties, as to render the most judicious opinion little more to be depended upon than our Guesses about the weather, what it will be three or four weeks hence—It appears to me, however, the true reasons that operated on the minds of a majority of Congress for looking on the embargo as necessary, have almost wholly disappeared—And of course, if new reasons have not arisen for continuing it, it would be taken off—For this purpose a motion was brought forward some days ago, for repealing it at a day prior to the time of its expiration; but it was opposed—And, tho the question was not decided but lays over for debate, from what was said by some of the members who have always been in favour of commercial regulations, suspension & non payment of British debts, & generally every thing that was pointed directly at England, I am induced to believe there will be an attempt to continue the Embargo, as an engine to bring that nation to our Terms—But as that party have hitherto been defeated in most of the measures which I have viewed as leading america to a situation wherein a war would be unavoidable, it is my opinion that in this instance they will also be foiled—And unless some reasons, more than what I am now acquainted with, start up I am inclined to believe the embargo will be taken off or suffered to expire—This is my opinion from present appearances,1 And you may do with it

    To continue the embargo with a view to compell England to our Terms of adjustment of the late injuries on our commerce by that nation, appears to me a most hazardous experement—The West Indies have already suffered considerably, & this will be increased; but should the embargo expire, they will not attempt a supply of necessaries through new channels—And as we cannot, at least in my opinion, starve them out by withholding our aid altogether, we ought not to carry the attempt, by the embargo, so far as to put them upon new expedients for provisions—Because, when necessity has once drove them to this, & they find they are, tho with some inconveniences, capable of supporting themselves without us—we shall loose the check we have upon them, or which they may believe we have—For nations, as well as individuals, sometimes suffer themselves to be influenced by imagining future evils to be more grievous than they really are when they come to be borne—And certain it is that necessity is the mother of invention—And there is no doubt in my mind, but that if we now make an attempt to compell Britain to Terms—we shall loose all the advantages we are induced to hope for from a perfectly friendly negotiation—yet in all this I may be mistaken, however I give it to you as my opinion—with my reasons, in general, for it—

    The Democratic, & other Societies, have published a string of Resolutions, against the Supreme Executive of the United States, for the appoint[ment] of the Chief Justice of the United States to the Court of London—They call upon all good Citizens to stand forth & bear testimony against this egregious encroachment upon the rights of the people—by confounding the Judicial & Legislative powers of the United States—And from the Antifederal paper of this City, a stranger would justly conclude that the President had committed some atrocious crime for which he ought forthwith to be tried, & which he really feared; & therefore to avoid a constitutional Trial he had sent the Chief Justice, who must preside, at the Trial, out of the United States2

    I am, my dear Sir, yours &c

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    ALS, TFP