Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, December 16, 1789, Image 1

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    [No. LXXI.]
" Suspicion, for the jttojl part, proceeds from Come
TO be of a suspicious temper is not always
incompatible with the character of a
wife or a virtuous man. Such a temper, how
ever, more generally characterizes persons who
are weak or vicious. A man of knowledge and
integrity may have perceived, in his intercourse
with society, so many instances of deception, and
experienced such a variety of misfortunes, that
all human affairs, wear in his view, some appear
ance of uncertainty. When, from such cuufcs a
man guards hiinfelf against the ignorance or dif
honelty of thole with whom he is connected, it
may be denominated circumspection rather than
jealousy. His diltruft is not without some foun
dation in the general reason of things. It is the
effect of reflection and experience, rather than
pallion and prejudice. It operates uniformly, and
does not nnreafonably discriminate particular
characters as objects of suspicion. Though this
kind of caution often has the complexion of jea
louly, when exercised towards individuals, yet it
is not meant to indicate specially any bad opin
ion of them. Nothing more can be inferred from
such habitual precaution in any person, than that
he is fenlible there are vices and imperfections
more or less incidental to all men ; and that the
belt way to escape the snares of the wicked is to
carry a vigilant eye over the whole of mankind.
The suspicion oflow, uninformed minds, is of
quite another nature. It selects individuals as
objects of prey without any reason, and condemns
them without inercy or trial. It so often imagines
evil without any proof as to render a perlbn
wretched in himfelf and dangerous to his friends.
When suspicion operates in this manner, it de
notes weakness or vice. Sometimes people sus
pect others of bad intentions from an ignorance
of the motives and i-ellraints which their charac
ter and luuation are calculated to impose. And
for.ietiines men feel fuel, depravity of heart, as to
imagine :hat others are too much like themselves
not to pratftife the mifchiefs, which are in their
Such low minds are most apt to harbor suspi
cions againlt persons in public office. It is not re
markable that a man, utterly unacquainted with
the inducements that arefpanfible character feels
to difcliarge his duty, should fufpeit that he will
be regardless of the interest or honor of his con
stituents. Nor mult we be surprised. that vicious,
unprincipled men excite clamors among the peo
ple against their rulers; for a difhonefl: man acts
confidently in apprehending from ofhers the
evils which lie would commit, were he in their
situation. To indicate millrull over those we
employ is apt to make them lose their sentiments
of honor, and to weaken the effect of refponftbi
lity. For when a man knows he is suspected, he
becomes familiarized to reproach, and the (ting
ofit is taken away, it is highly expedient to im
pose checks on persons employed in public bnfi
nefs ; but an oversight that looks like jealousy,
will be more likely to make good men bad, than
so reform those who were bad before.
On the means of preftrving Public Liberty.
W HEN a fyltem of national freedom hath
been established by great exertions, it be
comes an interesting enquiry how it /hall be belt
pref'erved. The speculative PhiJofopher, and the
practical Statesman have united their endeavors
to answer this question.
A natural thirll for power in the human mind,
with the emoluments springing from authority,
tend to a general encroachment 011 the rights of
human nature—Even patriots and lionefl men
have their weakness, pallions, and appetites, and
in little inltances may be tyrants, while they wilh
for general freedom.
Many fyltems have been formed which in theory
appear almolt perfect—many checks have been
deviled ; Itill there are, and we must expect there
will be, abuses of power, until the nature of man
is delivered from its present imperfections. In
every state, some person or persons mult be repre
sentatives of the public, in whose hands the power
of the whole is lodged, for general protection ,•
andwithout this investiture of public authority,
to rettrain and punifh,the wicked will be a Icourge
to all within their reach ; and it is also poflible,
that the very persons who are clothed with public
power, may become cruel and unjust. Without
power in some national head, anarchy will be the
itate of man, every one will retaliate and abnfe
. his pallions dictate, which is the worst of
WEDNESDAY, December 16, 1739.
tyrannies : With power the rulers of a nation
may do injury, for man is frail—great men may
misjudge—good men may fall.
To give any man unlimited power, is a grea
ter temptation than ought to be placed before a
trail being ; at the fame time, placing too many
checks oil rulers is in effeiit difinembering the
body, and destroys its energy of atftion and of
defence, both against foreign enemies and its own
evil fubjedts. So far as we may judge from
American experience, a nation of freemen, in
modelling their government, arc more apt to err
in overliniiting, than in giving too great scope
to the power of rulers—ln both cases the conse
quence is nearly the fame ; for when the citizens
find their constitutional government cannot pro
tect and dojuftice, they will throw- themselves
into the hands of some bold usurper, who promises
much to them, but intendsonly for himfelf ; and
in this way very many free dates have loft their
liberties. The forming a constitution of govern
ment is a serious matter —the spirit of deliberati
on and concession, with which it hath been taken
up by the citizens at large, and thus far carried
into effecft,is anew event in the history of mankind.
The present conflitution of the United States,
appears to embrace the eflential principles both
of freedom and energy in national operations ;
ttill very little dependence is to be made on this
Conflitution, as a future fafeguard to the Ameri
can liberties.—l would by no means undervalue
those fyftematie produiflions, which we call the
Constitutions of the several States, and of the
Union—they express our present ideas of the ru
lers' power and duty, and the fubjedts' rights—
they are a written basis on which national habits
will be formed, and in this way will cheriilifenti
ments of freedom and retard the rife of oppres
sion—on these your children will look as maxims
of their fathers' wisdom ; but if they have no
other protection, the lust of those who have op
portunity will undermine their privileges. Every
generation must aflert its own liberties ; and for
this the collective body of the people must be in
formed. A general diffuiion of science, in every
class of people, is the true cause of that new
series of events which have taken place in the
United States. In every other country, a great
proportion of the people are unacquainted with
letters—ln several great and civilized kingdoms
of Europe, it is but a comparative few who can
read and write. The vast number of well mean
ing and ignorant people, become instruments of
superior policy, to oppose every effort of nation
al freedom ; but in America there is no order or
great number of people, who can be made sub
servient tofuch ungenerous purposes.—The late
war, was a war of the people—general informa
tion convinced them of its justice and that their
all was endangered ; hence sprang their unani
mity, exertion and patience; and a traitor could
in no part of the country find either asylum or
The formation of our present government, by
the deliberation of three million of citizens, is the
highest evidence of, and the greatest effe&we
have yet seen from general information.
The fame causes which have given you vidtory,
and a constitution, combining the rights of man
vrith the powers of government, will certainly
be fufficient to preserve national liberty, and make
your children as free as their fathers. A few en
lightened citizens may he dangerous—let all be
enlightened, and opprefliqn must cease, by the
influence of a ruling majority—for it can never
be their interest to indulge a system incompatible
with the rights of freemen. Those institutions
are the most effectual guards to public liberty,
which difFufe the rudiments of literature among
a people.
Let the raof perfect constitution finite wisdom
can devise, be adopted ; if succeeding generations
become ignorant—rifalarge part of the people
are destitute of letters, their precious patrimony
will be cheated from their hands—not perhaps,
by violence, but by a course of artful measures,
against which ignorant men have no defence.
A man declaiming for liberty, and fufFerjng his
children to grow up without education, a<fts most
absurdly, and prepares them to be licentious,but
not free.
The road to preferment is open to all, and the
common citizen may fee his children poflefs the
firll offices of State, if endowed with genius, ho
nesty, and science—having such incentives to fi
delity, the remiss parent is unpardonable. As
the best prefervativeof national liberty, the pub
lic ought to patronize institutions to inftrudl the
children of poor people—for, give them know
ledge, and they will never be the instruments of
injuringmankind. A few incautious expressions
in our Constitution, or a few salaries of office too
great for the contraifted feelings of those who
[Publi/hid in JVedr.cfday and Saturday ,'j
do not know the worth of merit and integrity,
can never injure the United States, while litera
ture is generally diffufed, and the plain citizen
and planter reads and judges for himfelf.
The American Legillature could not do an acft
more favorable to general humanity, liberty and
virtue, than to endow the Uiiiverlities, rising iu
aim oil every State, with such funds in the unlo
cated territory, as would enable them to furnifii
the bell means of inftrn&ion, and at an easy rate,
to the foils of those who have moderate wealth.
Difleminate science through all grades of people,
and it will forever vindicate your rights, which
are now well underltood, and firmly fixed. Sci
ence will do more than this—it will break the
chains, and unbolt the prison doors of despotism.
At tlieprefent moment, France is an instance of"
its influence : The wealthy fubjec r ts of that coun
try are become enlightened, and thus determined
to be free—O France 1 I love thee, and thy sons.
When my nightly fupplicauon forgets to ask a
blefiing on thy great exertions, and on thy coun
cils, I shall lose my claim of being a chriftian.—
August Empire ! Many of thy sons are among the
learned : How often have 1 drank improvement
and pleasure from their pens ; but I fear, I great
ly fear, that the vast mals of thy fubjecfls are not
fufficiently informed in the nature of freedom,
to receive from Heaven andpreferve so rich a gift.
L'ORIENT, OcT:. ij.
Extrafl of a letter front Mom. tie Ville le Roux, ti
his Conflituents at I'Orient, dated Paris, 00. 5.
I ARRIVED at Versailles, having pafled with
out hindrance through the body of women —
This day I found the Aflembly deliberating on the
King's an fwer refpetfting the Bill of Rights,and.
the Constitution decreed by 11s.
I lhall now only inform you, that when the Duke
de Liancourt saw it, and the debates that follow
ed, he afliired Mr. Kervegant, that he had seen
the King previous to his coming to the Aflernbly,
alid thathis Majelty had laid, That "the Nation
al Atfembly Jliall be fatisfied vjithhim that day. I have
accepted, purely and [imply, the articles of the Consti
tution, and the Bill of Rights. IV'e undirfland one
another. f They -diijh jor -what is right, and so do I.
And 1 now leave you to go to the chace."
From the immense numberof people thatap
peared, I apprehended, that the body of women
were on their way : In approaching the avenue,
I found the Life-Guards on horle-back,with sword
in hand.—l trembled for them, as they had ag
gravated the hunger of the people, by giving a
splendid repast some days before, where a profu
lion of every kind of food was seen.—l thought
force was not a proper remedy to oppose to a body
of women, that were to be calmed by more gentle
means : That the barrier, however strong, would
not shut them from the avenue of the throne—for
the event proved that it was ineffectual. They
entered into the King's apartments, where he re
ceived them with affability, and promised he
would issue new orders for a freih supply of pro
While all the preceding circumstances were
taking place, we held the feflion at the Aflembly.
The deputies of the Parisian women, having a
speaker at their head, demanded the entrance of
the hall—they were accordingly introduced ac
the bar, and told their complaints. The debates
then turned upon deviling a method for the bet
ter providing provisions for Paris—every one was
propofinghis ideas—when a multitude of women,
presented theinfelves at the door, and were dis
tributed by clafles into the different feats, and by
degrees introduced themselves into the galleries*
—The deliberations continued notwithstanding,
a great part of which were applauded.—When
the decrees pafled, a number of women spread
themselves over the Hall, and occupied the Cler
gymen's feats that they had left vacant.
We were upon the point of retiring, -When the
President announced to us that the King had pure
ly and simply accepted the Bill of Rights, and
the articles of the Constitution. We weie ;hen
once more informed that the King's conscience
had been surprised. 1 left the room—the women
and a number of deputies still remaining.
Several reports having circulated that the King
was preparing to depart for Paris, and the Na
tional Aflembly not having received any official
accounts thereof, they resolved, that the person
of the King and they were inseparable. A depu
tation of 36 were named to inform the King of it.
Two of us were dispatched to the King to know
whether his determination was to leave Versailles