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the chaos of conflicting opinions concerning the scope and meaning of the various parts of that instrument was not inferior to that required for its creation.

The first great separation of our people into political parties had its origin in the different theories of government and the personal animosities of Hamilton and Jefferson. Washington during the long struggle of the Revolutionary War had the most ample and painful experience of what a government should not be. Afterwards he presided over the convention that framed the Federal Constitution, where he heard all theories pertaining to the science of government discussed by men of the most distinguished talents. It was not only a sense of gratitude for past services, but also an abiding confidence in his ability to perform in a competent manner and with sound discretion the duties of the place that resulted in his call to preside over the new government that he had helped to form.

Though Washington had a modest distrust of his own qualifications, yet he possessed that firmness, fortitude and sound judg ment which are necessary to success in matters demanding executive action; and after deliberate investigation he never shirked responsibility. Desiring to secure the services of the ablest counsellors that the country could afford, his choice naturally fell on Hamilton and Jefferson. Washington did not at that time know how irreconcilable were the differences between these chosen advisers; but probably his choice would have been the same in any event, as he wished to hear both sides of every important question before taking decisive action. It has been said that if there had been no other evidence of Washington's greatness it would be established by the fact that he was able to carry on an administration with two such men in his cabinet as Jefferson and Hamilton. Indeed the differences between his Secretary of the Treasury and his Secretary of State were radical and uncompromising. Hamilton was the apostle of law and order. Jefferson was the apostle of personal liberty. Hamilton had no faith in the people. Jefferson had no faith in governments. Wherever Hamilton looked he saw the spectre of anarchy. Wherever Jefferson looked he saw the spectre of despotism.

It would be difficult to overrate the ability of Hamilton. His fame will always be commensurate with the glory of the Republic in the formation of which he took a leading part. All who came in contact with him were impressed with the amplitude of his resources and the dominating force of his intellect. Talleyrand, who knew nearly all of the great men of his time, and who, whatever else may be said of him, was certainly no mean judge of character, said: "The three greatest men that I have ever known were Napoleon, Fox and Hamilton; and I should not hesitate to say that Hamilton was the greatest of the three."

Hamilton while in the convention that framed the Federal Constitution declared himself opposed to a republican form of government, and proclaimed his preference for a limited monarchy similar to that of Great Britain. Finding that these views would not be entertained he then favored a system in which the President and members of the Senate should hold office for life or during good behavior. Failing here also, he did not imitate his colleagues, Yates and Lansing of New York, who deserted the Convention before the Constitution was formed. He remained and signed it, pledging himself to do all that he could to make the ernment a success; and he consistently kept his promise.


Returning from France, full of admiration for the French people and of hope for their future, and hostile toward England, Jefferson was at once offered by Washington the position of Secretary of State; and, having accepted it, he came into close contact with Hamilton, a born Englishman who detested France, who regarded the English government with unmixed admiration, and believed the country would find its greatest good in an alliance with the land of his birth. It is needless to trace the course of the quarrel between these two men who were equally honest and patriotic, but who differed so widely in their views of public policy. It is rather curious to note that the cabinet of Washington was rent by the hereditary animosity between France and England that, outliving many centuries, had its origin before the days of Crecy and Agincourt; and that the hatred of Hamilton towards everything French was ominous of pathetic and tragic events in

his own history. The French officers who came over to help us fight the battles of the Revolution unfortunately introduced the national custom of duelling. As the result of a political quarrel the son of Hamilton was killed in a duel at Weehawken. Three years later Hamilton, in a fit of despondency, accepted the challenge of Burr, and fell wounded unto death nearly on the same spot.

As to the character of Jefferson the widest differences of opinion have been manifested. His name has been a rallying cry and a rock of obstruction for opposing political parties for more than a century. No one has ever doubted the greatness of his talents; but some have denied his sincerity, and many have denounced his theories.

We probably know more about Jefferson than about any man in history. Washington never wrote or talked about himself. Even in his old age he did not refer to the events of his childhood; and so Weems and other impostors resorted to myths to illustrate that period of his career. Washington did not wear his heart on his sleeve for daws to peck at. He left behind him many letters; but they are all business letters, absolutely wanting in the personal element. He was as impersonal as Shakespeare.

With Jefferson the case was wholly different. He needed no Boswell, for he was his own Boswell. He left behind him 26,000 letters that he had received, and 11,000 copies of letters written by himself; and yet these were only a part of his correspondence. He was not a vain man; but being of Celtic origin he had that emotional nature that goes with the Celtic blood. Every letter is a transcript of his thoughts and feelings for the moment; and they sometimes reveal discrepancies and counter currents of thought; hence his critics have had no difficulty in showing that he was not always consistent. He walked through life pencil in hand, noting down everything that he heard, or saw, together with his views on every scene of the panorama of life as it was unfolded before him. With such self-revelation perfect consistency was

f the question; and those who seek to reduce all of his utterances to a common factor find themselves confronted with a mathematical problem of considerable difficulty.

It would be hard to find a character in all history who came in contact with so many minds both of the living and the dead as Jefferson. He was an omniverous reader of books of all sorts in English, French, Italian, Latin and Greek. Like Bacon he took all knowledge for his province, and knew a great deal about almost everything. He spent five years in France at the most interesting period of her history, the period of transition immediately preceding the Revolution, and ending just after the fall of the Bastile. He traveled extensively on the European continent, and had a very general acquaintance with the most distinguished men of the old world.

Though Jefferson was a great reader of books he was by no means a mere student or bookworm. Among the men of his day he was one of the closest observers, the most diligent of inquirers, the most fascinating in conversation. Not one of your prosy talkers that gets hold of a subject, and will never leave off until he has exhausted it to the last shred. His talk was rambling and discursive, but always full of interest and instruction. Having a natural gift that way, he had cultivated it for five years in France in the best school in the world. He did not confine his discourse to scholars, or to cultivated men; but, mingling with all classes, he found eager listeners everywhere, even among the ignorant and the unrefined.

No man was ever so idolized in a foreign country as was Benjamin Franklin in France. At the court, in literary and artistic circles, in the fashionable salons, in reunions of men of science, of statesmen, diplomats, philosophers, or scholars, he always held a place of honor as a welcome guest; and on the streets and in the market place the populace followed with admiring glance the footsteps of le bonhomme Richard, as they called him.

To take the place of a man so universally approved was a trying ordeal; but Jefferson came out of it remarkably well. As the author of the Declaration of Independence and the friend of Lafayette he was received with the effusiveness peculiar to the Gallic temperament; and he soon made friends with that highly intellectual but visionary class that thought that they perceived in

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America the operation of principles that could easily be domiciled in their own country, and that would secure to its people the greatest happiness within their reach; an ideal happiness equally exalted and inaccessible.

If Jefferson had revolted against the tyranny of George III. he received in France a new lesson in despotism which intensified his hostility to arbitrary power until it became an ever present and an ever besetting thought. He beheld with sympathetic eyes the France that was so faithfully described by Arthur Young; a country where a privileged class, many of them living on pensions, and all largely exempt from taxes, revelled in luxury and indulged in reckless dissipation, while the great body of the people had been reduced by the oppression of centuries to the last stage of degradation, ignorance, poverty and wretchedness. This lesson sank deep into his heart; in future years it colored all of his thoughts, and gave birth to a profound conviction that the world had been too much governed, and that paternalism leaves its blight on everything that it touches.


Jefferson always retained a pleasing recollection of his sojourn in France; and even the excesses of the French Revolution failed to dissolve the attachment which he had formed for that country. Above all things he always retained a keen sense of gratitude towards France for the invaluable aid rendered by her in the darkest hour of the struggle of the Colonies for independHe had visited England, and had been coldly received. When he was presented to George III. that monarch rudely turned his back on the author of the Declaration of Independence; a document that had brought home to him a sense of profound humiliation, and had given rise to many bitter reflections. It is not surprising that under these circumstances feelings of aversion on the part of Jefferson towards England, nurtured during the long struggle of America with the mother country, should remain unalleviated.

No man in the history of our country ever had so many and such uncompromising enemies as Jefferson. They often indulged in feelings of exasperation and hostility that amounted to frenzy.

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