To Jeremiah Hill

    Philadelphia        24 May 1798

    My dear Sir—

    I know you are all looking out for something pleasing as to our public prospects—& hope that each succeeding mail may bring it—By the Boston papers I see they catch at objects lighter than straws and consider them as evidence of a change of affairs in France favourable to America—Thus we have been decieved & decieving ourselves for twelve months—We are now begining, with reluctance, to do what ought to have been done at the extraordinary Session1—But we do it as men [go] to to the Gallows—The multitude rather compell us than follow us—We must do one of two things—Fight France, or submit to her unconditional commands—The President has declared this for months—

    But real Jacobinism has hitherto blinded the eyes of too many, for the true interest of America to be seen—And even now with the ocean of light we have, some in Congress, & many to the South will not be convinced but that France is really friendly to America, & all she does, is only the just corrections of a kind parent—

    Nothwithstanding some reports to the contrary, when the latest information left France, our Envoys had not had any audience, & recieved any overtures of negotiation but what were marked with insult, degredation & submission!

    The French cruisers on our coasts increase in number, insolence & boldness—

    Yours &c

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked; postmarked.