THE HISTORICAL ACCURACY OF GERTRUDE ATHERTON1S. THE CONQUEROR A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of History University of Southern California In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts by Gunda Marie Hammer June 1940 UMI Number: EP59454 All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. Dissertation Publishing UMI EP59454 Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author. Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 4 8 1 0 6 - 1346 T h i s thesis, w r i t t e n by 5 .................................. f 7 2,2^ u n d e r the d i r e c t i o n o f h .^T . F a c u l t y C o m m i t t e e , a n d a p p r o v e u ^ b y a l l it s m e m b e r s , has been presented to and accepted by the C o u n c i l on G ra d u a t e S t u d y a n d Research in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f d r ith^ h ^ ^ d<e g r e e o f MASTER OF ARTS Dean Secretary Date JUHE, 1940 F a c u lty Com m ittee cut^ s -coJ C hairm an TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. PAGE INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The p r o b l e m .............................. Method of procedure 1 .......... 1 General plan of the t h e s i s ............. II. 1 4 A BRIEF STUDY OF THE.EFFUSIVE STYLE OF WRITING WHICH MRS. ATHERTON EMPLOYS IN SEVERAL OF HER DESCRIPTIONS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON IN THE CONQUEROR . ......................... 5 Alexander Hamilton and American affairs . . . . 5 The fame of Hamilton and some of his con temporaries according to Mrs. Atherton ... 6 Mrs. Atherton’s extravagant descriptions of H a m i l t o n ........... .. . .......... 10 Some additional examples of conclusive but questionable descriptions of Hamilton . . . . III. 15 The great admiration which Hamilton inspired . 17 Mrs. Atherton’s extravagant style of wri,ting . 18 SOME OF MRS. ATHERTON’S STATEMENTS WITH REFERENCE TO ALEXANDER HAMILTON’S LIFE AND .CAREER WHICH DO NOT CONFORM WITH IDEAS AD VANCED BY SOME OTHER WRITERS OFHISTORY . . . . Hamilton the first to suggest the resort to a r m s .................................. 21 21 J • • 111 CHAPTER PAGE Hamilton not interested in personal gain Hamilton not egotistical . . . . . . . 25 ........ 29 Hamilton the most prominent .figure at the Hew York bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hamilton and the Constitutional Convention 31 . 33 Hamilton the author of the dual principle .............. in government 40 Hamilton and the Federalist e s s a y s ........ 41 Hamilton and some of his 42 financial policies . Hamilton and Mrs* Croix . . . . . . . . . . . IV. 46 A STUDY OF THE SOMEWHAT SUBSERVIENT ROLS WHICH MRS. ATHERTON ASSIGNS TO GEORGE WASHINGTON DURING THE PERIOD OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND THE YEARS OF HIS PRESIDENCY . 52 Some extravagant statements which Mrs. Atherton attributes to General Washington . 53 The friendly relations between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton . . . . . 56 . General Washington establishes his fame abroad . . . . . ............... . . . . . 62 The leadership of General Washington during the period of the American Revolution . . . 66 The leadership of George Washington during his presidency ..................... 72 iv CHAPTER PAGE The Washington administration extends and formulates foreign p o l i c i e s ............ V. , 72 A BRIEF STUDY OF SEVERAL OF M R S . ATHERTON’S DEROGATORY STATEMENTS APPERTAINING TO THE LIFE AND CAREER OFTHOMASJEFFERSON 97 Political alignment in the United States .. 97 The generally derogatory treatment accorded Jefferson by Mrs. Atherton in The C o n q u e r o r .................................. 100 Jefferson’s rival resorts to subterfuge . .. 103 Jefferson: character and some achievements . 109 Jefferson and French ideas .................. 119 Jefferson’s approval of the Constitution of the United S t a t e s ................... VT. . . C O N C L U S I O N S ........ .. ......................... BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................. 124 128 129 CHAPTER I IN TRODUC TI ON In 1902, Mrs. Gertrude Atherton presented to the reading public her novel, The Conqueror. Beginning with a study of Alexander Hamilton’s immediate ancestry, and closing with a portrayal of the last period of his life, Mrs. Atherton employed highly prejudiced and exaggerated language in giving her version of the Hamilton period. The purpose of this thesis is to study in,a criti cal manner some of Mrs. Atherton’s ideas as they appear in The Conqueror, somewhat in their relation to historical background. An attempt will be made to evaluate several of Mrs. Atherton’s statements by comparing them with a few statements of similar nature held or substantiated by re cognized authorities in history. To determine what is the truthful presentation in any instance is not the purpose of this thesis; but, as has already been indicated, it is to study the book, The Conqueror, along comparative lines. It was, indeed, Mrs. Atherton’s privilege to present a study of the Hamilton period in her volume and to c olor the biography to suit her fancy, but since she included among her introductory remarks this statement, "At all events, I have depicted nothing which in any way interferes with the veracity of history,”'1' it may not he amiss to com.pare some of her statements purporting to be factual with, those made by other writers of historical material., particu larly, since her manner and style of writing appear to be in marked deviation with some of the demands of historical accuracy. It would, therefore, seem essential that Mrs. Atherton’s choice of words, her descriptions, her assump tions, and her conclusions be subjected to some degree of scrutiny. To uphold the veracity of history is a prodigious task, and most likely, an impossible one. Even a simple regard for what is hoped or thought to approach the truth is, frequently, beyond realization. This consideration for the truth generally implies that a writer, in order to be impartial and objective in viewpoint, would avoid exaggera tion, misrepresentation, and distortion; also, in the anal yses and the interpretations of persons'and problems, the conclusions' reached and the generalizations formulated should be those which evolve naturally, rather than those which emerge in bias. As to the problem of the relation between personal bias and historical accuracy, it is recognized that it is very difficult, even in the study of documentary material, 1 Gertrude Franklin Atherton, The Conqueror (New York The Macmillan Company, 1904), p. x. for a writer to be so coldly analytical and so absolutely bereft of prejudice as to preclude entirely the element of bias, particularly when movements dominated to a great de gree by the human element come under consideration. Some how, and in some fashion, the writer’s prejudice reveals itself for the reason that the selective process in the building up of an historical figure or a situation is within the writer’s control. -This selective process, however, does not allow the use of exaggeration, condexmation, assumptions, and sweeping generalizations of the types employed by Mrs. Atherton in her book, The Conqueror,— that is, if histori cal accuracy be one of the objectives of the writer. A writer may arrange his material in such a manner as to build up a prejudiced viewpoint, and yet the result may be within the bounds of historical accuracy, unless the arrangement be carried to an extreme, in which case, d i s - • tortion would be the result. Mrs. Atherton has in her study of the Hamilton period displayed extreme bias. A writer'of historical fiction, interested in creat ing a good story, need not be greatly concerned over the matter of authenticity,' and is privileged to create as Mrs. Atherton has, a story in which the hero, Alexander Hamilton, fairly shines forth in the halo of his virtue. The story, too, will undoubtedly, have greater popular appeal, if a scoundrel of the type Mrs. Atherton has created in Thomas Jefferson, skulks about to disturb the equilibrium. But again, Mrs. Atherton’s statement, "At all events., I have depicted nothing which in any way interferes with the veracity of history,” indicates that she, at the time of writing The Conqueror, was interested in the matter of authenticity. In this thesis, then, an.attempt will be made, through comparative study,-to demonstrate that some of Mrs. Ather ton’s statements in the book,do*not conform in meaning with those submitted by other writers of history. In view of the fact that Mrs. Atherton has presented a great number and variety of ideas in the above-mentioned book, no attempt will, be made to study all statements which appear questionable; only a few will be subjected to scru tiny . The sections of study in this thesis are arranged around the lives of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, particularly in their relation to M r s . Atherton’s presentation. Aside from noticing some of the language which Mrs. Atherton puts into the mouth of George Washington, no at tempt has been made in this thesis to establish through the process of inference, or by historical evidence, the authen ticity of the ideas enunciated by the characters in the num erous conversational scenes which appear throughout the book. CHAPTER II' A BRIER STUDY OF THE EFFUSIVE STYLE OF WRITING WHICH MRS. ATHERTON EMPLOYS IN SEVERAL OF HER DESCRIPTIONS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON IN THE BOOK, T E E CONQUEROR Alexander Hamilton, of Scotch and French-Huguenot extraction, was horn in 1757, "his birthplace being Nevis, a mountainous island of the *picturesque Antilles."^ The islands, Nevis, St. Christopher, and St. Croix, "are the centre of the greatest interest so far as the early history of Hamilton is concerned."2 Leaving these islands in 1772 and landing in the American city of Boston in the same year, Alexander Hamilton, within a short time, became conspicuous ly and incisively active in the affairs of the new country and continued to be until July 11, 1804, when his somewhat turbulent career was brought to an abrupt close by a mortal wound inflicted by Aaron Burr during a duel in which the two participated. These thirty years of Hamilton’s life in the new country witnessed not only the American struggle for independence from the mother country and the formation of the United States Constitution, but also the organization and the early development of the United States under the new 1 Allan McLane Hamilton, The Intimate Life of Alexan der Hamilton (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), p. 1. 2 Loc. cit. Constitution. While the patriotism of Hamilton’s somewhat short, but meteoric career is classed by many as being of high caliber, and his interpretation of the theory and science of government as penetrating, it is his perspicacity in the planning and the managing of the early fiscal policies of the United States which appears to receive the greatest amount of recognition. This stirring period in American 'history of which Alexander Hamilton was so actively a part,— one generously supplied with men of varied and outstanding talent, was nurtured, as is any great period, with the ideas of many minds. No one person alone shaped the early policies of the country. Mrs. Atherton, however, in her book, The Conqueror, ■ viewing Hamilton in the light of hero-worship, has allowed him to loom up somewhat in the form of■a directing power in determining the destiny of the nation, in most instances overshadowing and submerging the influence of such eminent contemporaries as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and ‘James Madison. I In writing of the years when Hamilton was active as Se.cr.etary o.f_the Treasury in Washington’s cabinet, Mrs. Atherton makes the following statement’: ”His fame obscured that of Washington, and abroad he was by far the most inter esting and significant figure in the young country. The Washington-Hamilton relations will be analyzed more in detail in a later chapter, but at this point, the -above statement may, perhaps, be looked upon as being of a dubious character. Washington, before being' unanimously chosen for the presidency of the new republic, had been in command of the rebel forces during the American Revolution; and, then, a few years after the war, he served as the president of the Constitutional Convention. Because of this conspicuous activity and outstanding leadership, it may be assumed that his fame equalled and far outshone that of his talented Secretary of the Treasury, not only in this country, but in Europe "as well. Neither Washington nor Hamilton had ever been in Europe. In spite of that fact, the name of George Washing ton was recognized abroad. Of the several outstanding .Americans who early represented the new American nation in European countries, a few, most likely, had managed to attain fame and recognition in foreign courts to a degree comparable, if not greater, than that which Alexander Hamilton was able to muster. 3 Franklin achieved recognition of a highly com Atherton, The Conqueror, p. 360. mendable type, and Jefferson succeeded admirably in establighing his identity abroad. Long before he ever went to France, Jefferson had acquired fame.through his writing of the Declaration of Independence. In France, ’’the prestige of the author of the Declaration of Independence was such that the committee in charge of a plan of constitution thought they could do no better than to call into consulta tion the Minister of the United States.”4 Among the most celebrated of the American travellers in Europe during these years was Gouverneur Morris; of the general impression he created abroad, Bemis writes: Gouverneur Morris was one of the most brilliant Americans then living. He was acknowledged by his countrymen, and by foreigners who knew him, 'as a man of great talents, if not genius. From 1789 to 1796 most of his time was passed in the great capitals of Europe, where during tumultuous years he acquired an exceptional reputation as a perspicacious political observer... . . Morris’s pleasing personality, from which flowed without interruption a sparkling and gal lant conversation, had launched him as a great favorite into the midst of French society. In spite of his leanings towards mild aristocratic government, a pen chant which did not coincide with the liberal cult •then fashionable among French philosophers, he soon became a social lion and achieved a reputation as an homme d ’esprit probably never- equalled by any other American in France, Franklin excepted.5 With all these fine qualities, Gouverneur Morris was most 4 Gilbert Chinard, Thomas Jefferson (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 19E6), p. £35. 5 Samuel Flagg Bemis, Jay’s Treaty (New York: The Macmillan Company, 19£3), p. 48. 9 likely not ’’trusted by all men,”6 as Mrs* Atherton indicates. In the words of Farrand, Morris appears thus: Sharp-witted, clever, startling in his audacity, and with a wonderful command of language, he was admired more than he was trusted, for he was inconsistent and he was suspected of being lax in morals .as well as lacking in principles.? Chinard describes Gouverneur Morris somewhat similarly: As witty and devoid of ordinary morals and honesty as Talleyrand himself, elegant, refined, and corrupt, Gouverneur Morris had been, since his arrival in Paris, the toast of French aristocrats.8 Furthermore, Chinard, in writing of the period, prior to the inauguration of the new United States government, and with particular reference to the year when Jefferson went to France as a foreign minister, does not single out Hamil ton as being the most famous American of the day. His rat ing of eminent Americans is as follows: "Next to Washington, who remained in America, and-to Doctor Franklin, a debonair patriarch, he [Jefferson] was the most famous national figure of A m e r i c a . T h o u g h Hamilton was conspicuously ac tive during the years of Jefferson’s absence, tp the extent Atherton, o jd . 7 cit., p. 233. Max Farrand, The Framing of the Constitution of the United States (New.-Haven: Yale University Press, 1913), p.21. • 8 Chinard, oj>. c i t ., p. 323. 9 I M d . , p. 154. 10 that he acquired lasting fame, yet it is likely that Jeffer son upon his return to America, was as famous as he had been at the time of his departure. The fame of Washington, too, had presumably not receded. II In spite of the superb achievements of numerous con temporary statesmen, both at home and abroad, Mrs. Atherton prefers, in most instances, to present Alexander Hamilton in her book, The Conqueror, as the pre-eminent one; she would have' him shine forth in full resplendence in practi cally all situations. Mrs. Atherton selects Hamilton’s characteristics as being of the type which "raise him high above history as the genius of the American race."-^ She proclaims ecstatically: "Never had there been such a con quering h e r o . " H She adheres to the belief that Hamilton "had manifestly been born to extricate them [the people of the Nation] from difficulties."-*-2 At times, Mrs. Atherton’s words of praise reach the point of deification, and accord ingly, she asserts that Hamilton through no fault of.his, had inspired his friends with the belief that he was something 10 Atherton, op>. cit., p. 207. 11 I M l - » P* 387 • 12 Ibid., p. 456. 11 higher than human. Heroic language of- the type exemplified above is suitable for mythicai tales, but not for material purport ing to meet the demands of historical accuracy; rather, this highly eulogistic treatment is in marked deviation from such demands. Besides eulogizing the character of Hamilton lav ishly, Mrs. Atherton extols the achievements of his career in language of the following nature. The energy-which is one of the distinguishing char acteristics of the American nation today was generated by Hamilton, might, indeed, be said to be the persis tence and diffusion of his ego. For the matter of that, all that is greatest in this American evolution of a century was typified in Hamilton.I"* Superlative attributes are bestowed by Mrs. Atherton upon Hamilton. During the period of the American Revolu tion, when he was a private secretary under General Washing ton, Mrs. Atherton describes the young man as possessing superhuman understanding, inasmuch as "he knew every want of the country;”-^ also, during the same period, "when he was on the platform, that ruthless test of inches," she writes "he dominated and controlled every brain in the audience."1^ ^ Ibid., p. 159. 14 Ibid., p. 207. 15 Doc, cit. 16 Ibid., p. 226. 12 A highly trained and experienced orator might not presume to have that much control over his audience, Mrs. Atherton, also, establishes very definitely an appraisal of Hamilton*s style of writing. With reference to "a remarkable letter written in September, 1780, to James Duane of New York, in which "Alexander Hamilton, then only twenty-'three, years old, set forth the defects of the confed eration, and attributed them ultimately to state sover eignty,"-^ Mrs. Atherton writes that "nothing more logical, farsighted, and comprehensive was ever written;"-1-8 and, referring to the language employed by Hamilton in the Federalist Essays» she indicates that Hamilton’s "own style for purity, distinction, and profundity combined with sim plicity has never been excelled."*1-® Admittedly, Hamilton’s style of writing is very outstanding in several qualities, but in consideration of all the literature which has been produced, expressions of the above kind made by Mrs. Ather ton, might, in the opinion of some, be .questionable. The same type of conclusive praise is employed by Mrs. Atherton in describing Hamilton’s oratory. "Hamilton was not only the most brilliant, resourceful, but unanswer- 1 rp Robert L. Schuyler, The Constitution of the United States (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923), p. 31. IQ Atherton, op. pit-, p. 208. 19 Ibid... p. 270. 13 able orator of bis time, but he was gifted with an almost diabolical power over the emotions of men. ..." 20 Upon one occasion^ when he presented his plan of government in the Constitutional Convention, Mrs. Atherton, with refer ence to the occasion asserts unauthoritatively that "he spoke for six hours without the interruption of a scraping 21 heel." With reference to the oratorical ability of Hamilton, James Truslow Adams indicates that "Hamilton was not an orator" and that "his style was diffuse.” 22 Bowers contributes the following.information: "There was little of fancy in his speeches, scarcely any appeal to the emotions. . . . The .stories of audiences moved to tears are scarcely in keeping with the absence of the slightest attempt at pathos or appeals to emotions. Of Hamilton’s fame in the legal field a few years be fore the meeting of the Constitutional Convention, Atherton states that he was endowed with Mrs. "a memory and a legal faculty which had so astounded the bar--largely com posed of exceptional men— that it' could talk of nothing else."2^ 20 Ibid., p . 285. 21 Ibid.. p. 266. 22 James T. Adams, The March of Democracy (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1932), p7 170. 23 Claude G-. Bowers, Jefferson and Hamilton (New York: Houghton, Mifflin Company, 1925), p . 26. 24 Atherton, o j d . cit . , p. 227. 14 Presumably, the members of the bar in Hamilton’s time had before them numerous problems sufficiently perplexing in nature to preclude their being occupied exclusively \with a discussion of the ability of Hamilton, even though it may have been of an astounding nature. There entered into the legal profession talent and ability of sufficient variety to promote within'the group rivalry, Jealousy, and strong feel ing to the extent that the members could not be totally ab sorbed with the discussion of the talent of any one individual. Hamilton was at that time, Mrs. Atherton writes, twenty-five years old. Perhaps, despite his exceptional brilliance, he did not possess the maturity of such indivi duals as lames Wilson and lames Madison. Even a few years later, in 1787, Hamilton is not singled out by critics as the leading attorney in attendance upon the Constitutional Con vention. Among the fine representation of legal talent at tending the Constitutional Convention, Beck selects lames Wilson, delegate from the state of Pennsylvania, as one par ticularly outstanding for his legal background; it is his opinion that "while the Convention numbered many lawyers, it is probable that lames Wilson was the most learned Jurist of 25 them all." Eiske, al&o, refers to lames Wilson as "one 25 lames M. Beck, The Constitution of the United States (New York: Ceorge H. Doran Company, 1924), p. 67. 15 of the most learned jurists this country has ever seen."20 Conspicuously active at the same time, James Madison, too, acquired lasting fame because of his skill in applying his fine fund of legal knowledge. Referring to Madison, Bowers writes: Here, too, was a man with a background second to none in the infant Republic. . . . At the time he rose to propose an amendment to Hamilton*s plan [for funding the debt]' there was not a man in.America who was his peer in the knowledge of constitutional law or history. Nor was there a man, either, whose support Hamilton more eagerly coveted.27 This last-mentioned idea is somewhat in divergence with Mrs. Atherton*s assertion to the effect that Madison was "willing to be led by Hamilton."28 Ill Spme additional examples of conclusive, but obviously, questionable statements pertaining to Hamilton and his career and appearing in The Conqueror are the following: The wedding of:Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler was the most notable private event of the Revolution.2$ Hamilton was in "an alliance by marriage with the greatest family in America."30 ppi John Fiske, The Critical Period of American History (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1888T7 P« 2£6. 27 Bowers, op> cit., p. 51. ^ pQ Atherton, op. cit., p. 253. Ibid., p. 211. 30 Ibid., p. 227. 16. Hamilton "was the theme of every drawing-room, of , every coffee-house group and conclave Hamilton’s hand "was perhaps the most beautiful hand in America, and almost as famous as its owner,"32 From end to end of the Union his [Hamilton’s] name was on every lip. . . .33 No man in the United States was— nor has been since— so loved and so hated,9 both in' public and in Mprivate Y?A life.34 Moreover, no American had made such sacrifices as he.33 In a dramatized biography of purely fictional type, statements of the above kind would, perhaps, not be read literally; but, Mrs. Atherton has very definitely stated: "At all events, I have depicted nothing which in any way interferes with the veracity of history."33 Consequently, in writing with the degree of finality and employing such all-inclusive terms with reference to ideas, obviously ques tionable, as are exemplified above, Mrs. Atherton has de viated from historical accuracy. 31 Ibid., p. 250. 53 Ibid.. p. 327. 33 Ibid., p. 360. 34 Ibid., p . 387. 35 Ibid.. p. 451. 36 Ibid., p . x. Exaggerated and prejudiced 17 ideas such as the above may be held as personal opinions, but should' not be set forth as facts of -history. IV Mrs. Atherton’s descriptions' of the great love which Hamilton inspired in the hearts of individuals and groups of people descends to a ridiculously sentimental level. Presumably, Hamilton as a young man inspired great admira tion in the minds of many, but not to the degree Mrs. Atherton indicates. The following statements are typical of those which Mrs. Atherton uses so frequently: Although Hamilton was by no means indifferent to the affection he inspired in nine-tenths of the people he met. . . .37 . . . Lafayette loved no one better in his long and various career.38 So noticeable was Madison’s devotion to the most distinguished young man of the day. . . .39 Gouverneur Morris ’’loved and admired Hamilton above all men.f,40 Even his enemies loved Hamilton in their 37 Ibid., P* 164 38 Lo c . cit* 39 Ibid., P* 232 40 Ibid.% ‘P* 233 41 Ibid., P* 360 way.^l 18 This profuse eulogy,.at times saccharine in tone, forced upon Hamilton, becomes irritatingly effusive. Of -Hamilton’s explanation of the Constitution in the New York convention, Mrs. Atherton writes: Nothing ever was drier than the subjects,he eluci dated day after day for three weeks: for he took the Constitution to pieces bit by bit, and compelled them to listen to an analysis which, if propounded by another, would have bored them to distraction, vitally interested as they were. But he not only so illumin ated the cold pages of the Constitution that while they listened they were willing to swear it was more beautiful than the Bible. . . V All this extravagance in which Mrs. Atherton indulges in the book, The Conqueror, appears to be partially, due to a marked disregard for the meaning of words in their relation to the thought of her sentences. In brief, there are numer ous statements which are. too inclusive, too conclusive, and too effusive to conform.to even a very slight degree of historical accuracy; There are statements so definite and final in scope as to be beyond verification. There is a very conspicuous'use of such words as all, every, always, never, only, most, first, and greatest; and, these words are of the type, which establish a final, definite tone. As a result of this disregard for the use of words, Mrs. Atherton 19 allows herself to employ assumptions and assertions, many of which she presumes to be factual merely through her state^ments, rather than being substantiated by the use of author itative evidence; she, also indulges in the use of sweeping generalizations, which for the most part, are either ob viously questionable, or characterized by a fallacious rea soning process. So many of the ideas and circumstances associated with the development of historical thought are of such a nature that they cannot be brushed aside lightly by the use of final words, hasty assumptions, bold assertions, and sweeping generalizations of the type so frequently used by M r s . Atherton. Unfortunately, for Hamilton, Mrs. Atherton by meting out her extravagant praise so lavishly has created an un favorable and antagonistic situation for him. It would seem that, in place of building up her "hero,” she has robbed him of his human qualities. Whether it be a descrip tion of Hamilton and his ability, or an evaluation of any activity with which he is associated, the acme of perfec tion is the keynote in practically every instance. If, by chance, there appears to be some slight discrepancy in his make-up, there are usually extenuating circumstances ar ranged to account for the deviations. It becomes rather an uncomfortable spectacle for Hamilton to find himself immersed £0 in this great amount of perfection, with so many of his ideas, characteristics, and accomplishments hailed as con summate achievements. Being dealt with so favorably, he has almost been deprived of human essence and become an artificial being electrified into action through the words of Mrs. Atherton. If she had not been concerned with the idea of adhering to historical veracity, .but merely, in creating a good story, then it would have been her privi lege to present Hamilton in glowing words of her own choos ing. This marked tendency of Mrs. Atherton’s of associat ing so much perfection vdth the life and the career of Alexander Hamilton has distorted the composite picture of the era under study. era. Hamilton would seem greater than the CHAPTER III SOME OF MRS. ATHERTON’S STATEMENTS' WITH REFERENCE TO ALEXANDER HAMILTON’S LIFE AND CAREER WHICH DO NOT CONFORM WITH IDEAS ADVANCED BY SOME OTHER WRITERS OF HISTORY That Mrs. Atherton accords Alexander Hamilton pre eminent distinction and leadership in several instances has already been indicated. In this 'chapter, some of her statements with reference to ideas and activities associated wi;th Hamilton- will be compared with those of some other writers of history. I Just as, in most cases, it is not possible to deter mine who is the most outstanding person of a particular period for the reason that varying types of ability are not easily compared, likewise, it is frequently very difficult to select with accuracy the very first person to be asso ciated with the inception of some far-reaching movement, or even designate the individual who actually instigates the movement to the point of activity. Too many personalities voicing their opinions are involved, and besides, there are usually remote situations as well as immediate ones. In discussing some of the early movements leading up to the American Revolution, Mrs. Atherton maintains that "it was generally conceded” that young Alexander Hamilton through his writing "had done more to hasten matters to a climax, by preparing and whetting the public mind, than-any one else in America; and, furthermore, she insists that he, "a boy of seventeen, had been the first to suggest the re sort to arms, and incessant in his endeavours until the great result was accomplished.”2 That the above lines cor rectly describe the early revolutionary activities of Hamil ton seems highly problematical. That there were other dar ing individuals who early advocated fighting for the rights of Englishmen in America is not out of question. Among the early and somewhat rebellious souls of the pre-revolutionary period was Samuel Adams, who, in 1764, speaking for the town of Boston, outlined instructions to Boston representatives with reference to British infringe ments on American rights, and those instructions, Hosmer maintains . . . contain the first suggestion ever made in America for a meeting of the colonies looking toward a resist ance to British encroachments. From that paper came the fStamp Act Congress1 . . . . From this time forward, in Massachusetts, the substantial authorship of almost Gertrude Atherton, The Conqueror (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1904), p. 139. 2 Ibid., p. 207. 23 every state paper of importance can be traced to him; so, too, the initiation of almost every great measure. Some authorities indicate that Samuel Adams was in terested in actual independence as early as 1768. Van Tyne writes: Though mainly social and economic forces brought the revolution to the stage of open warfare, a Massachu setts politician had so used these forces that both his friends and enemies thought the blame or the honor to be his. Samuel Adams began to desire independence as early as 1768. From that time it was his unweary ing effort to keep alive the opposition to the British Ministry. For years he sought to instil in the minds of rising youths the notion of independence.4 Choosing the same year, Hosmer declares: "From-1768 perhaps from an earlier period, he [Samuel Adams] saw no satisfactory issue from the dispute but in the independence of America, and began to labor for it with all his energy.”5 Becker, however, indicates that Samuel Adams had been pondering over the right of Americans to resist the mother country some time before 1743, the year in which he received the degree of Master of:Arts from Harvard College, having "argued the thesis, ’whether it be lawful to resist 5 James K. Hosmer, Samuel Adams (New York: Houghton, Miflin Company, 1913), p. 333. 4 Claude H. Van Tyne, The American Revolution. 17761785 (New York: Harper and Brothers, 19 05), p. 25. 5 Hosmer,-op. cit.» p. 334. 24 the Supreme Magistrate if the Commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved. *1,6 In the following years which led up to the activities associated with the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams appears to have attained marked fame as a revolution ist. John C. Miller maintains: By the time of the Declaration of Independence, Sam Adams had attained celebrity as the foremost revolution ist in America. . . . Adams was now recognized as the • prime mover of the Revolution— the man who, for many years, had worked indefatigably to make America inde pendent of the mother country. Tories sometimes spoke of the Revolution as ’A d a m ’s conspiracy’; and Lord North, with the Boston Massacre and Tea Party still fresh in his mind, nicknamed the American patriots, ’Samuel Adams’s crew’ . . . . Many years before Adams’s friends had begun to call him the ’Father of America,’ and by 1775 he seemed to have proved beyond doubt his right to the name.”? Thus, it. would seem, that even before Alexander Ham ilton ever set foot on American soil, the "canvassing, cauo cusing, haranguing” Samuel Adams had done much, both to arouse public opinion against Great Britain and to incite actual rebellion against the mother country. Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts in a conversation with the King of England on July 1, 1774, said that Samuel Adams "was the ® Carl Becker, The Declaration of Independence (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922T, p. 98. ? John C. Miller, Samuel Adams (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1936), p. 343. 8 Van Tyne, ojd. cit., p. 26. £5 first that publicly asserted the independency of the colon ies upon the kingdom."9 Freneau, poet and newspaper man of the period, whose "pen dripped the vitriol of satire" as an ardent revolutionist. 10 is, also, described Bowers insists that the idea of actual independence for the colonies was not only harbored early, but enunciated daringly by the young poet. Long before Washington, dreaming of a republic and was his [Freneau*s] dream. to arouse a burning hatred love of liberty.H He writes: Adams, or Franklin were absolute independence, this . . . He wrote deliberately of tryanny and a militant In "preparing and whetting the.public mind" for the American Revolution, Thomas Paine, in setting forth his ideas in Common Sense is looked upon by many as the indivi dual who did as much as any one to bring matters to a climax. Perhaps, it may be appropriately added that instead of Hamilton being the first to suggest the resort to arms, it is said that at first he was inclined to take the British side of the quarrel. II In her study of Hamilton and his public career, Mrs. Atherton repeatedly emphasizes that he was above being inter 9 Hosmer, ojd . cit., p. 335. Claude G. Bowers, Jefferson an_d Hamilton (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1925), p. 157. 11 L o c . cit. ested in personal gain, and that public duty was a primary consideration with, him, and accordingly, she exalts his patriotism. She writes, "Small and purely personal ambi tions were unknown to Hamilton, his gifts were given for 1p the elevation of the human race.WJ-^ She -also asserts that "no man ever gave more generously or with less thought of reward";^*® and furthermore, she implies that his patriotism was of such a nature that "in great'crises he unhesitat ingly sacrificed his personal desires or hatreds to the public good."*^- In the opinion of Mrs. Atherton, Hamilton could make all these personal sacrifices because his mind was "trained to the subordination of private interests to public duty."15 Some critics point out that Hamilton was greatly interested in personal gain and that he displayed this ten dency unbecomingly throughout his entire career. He is described by Woodward as possessing in a marked degree na notable faculty for getting a seat in the leading carriage. 12 ^ Atherton, ojd. cit., p. 372. Ibid., p. 452. Ibid., p. 391. 15 Ibid.. p. 274. na W. E. Woodward, George Washington, The Image and the Man (New York: Boni and Liveright Company, 19267, p. 372. £7 Contrasting young Hamilton and Jefferson, Adams writes, ’’Unlike the young Hamilton, Jefferson did not possess ambi tion in the sense of looking forward to making a ’career’ .for himself which would bring him power, prestige, or for tune.”^ Contrasting Hamilton and Tilghman as young aides un der General Washington, Hughes writes, "Tilghman’s failure to push himself forward was in further contrast with Hamil ton’s insatiate ambition,5,18 As an example illustrating Hamilton’s eagerness to obtain more recognition than that which was first meted out to him, Mrs, Whitley writes: Hamilton, took up law and politics, but not without one more effort to obtain just a little more than others. He was decidedly put out that Congress had not given him even a kind word for his spirited attaek on the redoubt at Yorktown. The French had handsomely distinguished the officer who had led on their side, but Congress, somewhat chary of honors to military heroes, had taken no notice of Hamilton’s exploit. However, Colonel Hamilton was.willing to give that, body a chance to make up for this neglect. Although retir ing, he wanted to retain his rank. This was against regulations, but might not an exception be made in his favor? General Washington would have liked to obtain the discrimination for Hamilton, but finding it impos sible, he did the best he could for his ex-Aide and sent him a brevet which raised him before retirement to the rank of a full Colonel. So there was that which gained. 17 James T. Adams, The Living Jefferson (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1936}, p . 68. ^ Rupert Hughes, George Washington (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1930}', ill, " O h . 19 Emily Stone Whitely, Washington and his Aides-deCamp (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1906), p. l7£. 28 Even Hammond, ambassador from Great Britain, in his early dealings, with the Secretary of the Treasury, is said to have fathomed that Hamilton’s preferment depended, at the time, entirely on the maintenance of friendly relations be tween the United States and Great Britain. In other words, it was not only a matter of Hamilton’s working for the establishment of-friendly relations between the United States and Great Britain; the reputation and the advancement of Hamilton were at stake. With reference to this situation Bemis writes: The Englishman [Hammond] divined with considerable accuracy Hamilton’s motive for not wishing to upset. •good relations with Great Britain. ’Of this gentle'man’s sincerity,* he wrote, ’I have the surest pledge in the knowledge that any event which might endanger the external tranquility of the country would be as fatal to the systems he has formed for the benefit of his country as to his present personal reputation and to his future projects of ambition.* That Hamilton would act, at least in one circum stance, more for the sake of propriety, rather than through sheer patriotism, is pointed out by Warren, who refers to a particular letter which Hamilton wrote to Rufus King from Hew York on August 20, 1787. Hamilton, a delegate to the Constitutional convention, had been absent much of the time. A portion of Hamilton’s letter is the following: Since my arrival here, I have written to my col leagues, informing them if either of them would come ^ S. E. Bemis, lay’s Treaty (Hew York: The Macmillan Company, 1923), p. 104. 29 down, I would accompany him to Philadelphia; so much for the sake of propriety and public opinion. . . The above letter and another written a few days later, "are notable, for they show how slight an interest Hamilton was taking and how little part he was playing in the Convention, after June 29." 22 This opinion would conflict some what with the following one which Mrs. Atherton advances: ". . . nor could he hesitate to neglect his lucrative prac tice whenever the crying needs of the country demanded i t .«23 III A man of such heroic mould as that which Mrs. Ather ton ascribes to Alexander Hamilton would be, she believes, utterly devoid of human frailty of the type manifesting it self in the excessive display of egoism. That .she allows this idea to be a recurrent one in her book, The Conqueror, is evidenced in the following statements: Without conceit or vanity no man,was ever more con scious of his. great p o w e r s . ^ ■ Pi Charles Warren, The Making of the- Constitution (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1929)", p . '493. 22 T _ _* cit* .. Loc Atherton, p£. cit., p. 253. 24 I M d . , p. 451. 50 That he was utterly without commonplace conceit is indisputable. . . .25 . . . . Except .in the instances where he incurred jealous hate, he won- everybody he met by his charming manner and an entire absence of conceit. That some critics appear to attack Hamilton quite vigorously with reference to his rather pronounced tendency to display conceit is evident in the following statements: There was much of egotism and some vanity behind this dictatorial disposition.27 Even at the age of twenty-three while serving in a secretarial capacity to one of the foremost figures of all time, he was placing himself on an equality at least with Washington and writing glibly of ’what we owed to each other. Hamilton had a moderate amount of enthusiasm for General Washington, but by no means so much as would _ interfere with his enthusiasm for Alexander Hamilton.29 Ambition and egoism, both of which he possessed in full measure, had to be, under the conditions, his very shield and buckler if he was to rise above an obscure and humble position in the new land to which he had come. 25 Ibid., p. 163. 26 Ibid., p. 138. 27 Bowers, ojd. cit., p. 35. 28 Ibid., p. 36. 29 Whitely, ojd. cit.. p. 48. Adams, 0 £. cit.. p. 69. 31 His [Hamilton’s] manners are tinctured with stiff ness, and sometimes with a degree of vanity that is highly disagreeable,31 As a party leader he was singularly lacking in tact, offensively opinionated i impatient and often insulting to we U n m eaning mediocrity, and .dictatorial. He did not consult— he directed. He did not conciliate--he commanded.3^ IV Mrs. Atherton in describing some of the legal acti vities in the state of New York, which were within a few years of the meeting of the Constitutional Convention, writes that Hamilton was "by far the most prominent figure at the New York bar,Tt^3 and that "in the blaze of Hamiltonfs rzA genius” Burr "seemed to shrivel.” ^ In comparing the two men, Wandell and Minnegerode would seem to indicate that Aaron Burr, showed no signs of shrivelling when confronted with the genius of Alexander Hamilton. Their comparison is as follows: Of the two, Hamilton was perhaps the more profound, the.more erudite, the more long-winded; Burr the more superficial, the more concise and the more successful. When they met, as they often did, on opposite sides of a case, it was Hamilton who had need to look to his laurels, to fortify himself'against defeat. It was 31 Gaillard Hunt and lames Brown Scott, editors, Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 (New York; Oxford University Press, 1920), p. lxxxviii. 32 33 Bowers, op>. c it., p. 35. Atherton, op.. cit., p. 250. 34 rbia., p. 227. 32 Burr who could say as much in half an hour as it took Hamilton two hours to establish. And it was Hamilton who was sometimes.obliged to ask favors of his rival, because his own procedure had ’rendered me culpably negligent.’33 A similar comparison is drawn by Bowers: There were probably no other two men in the America of their day who were so much alike. . . . A t the New York Bar both had risen to eminence, and some hesitated to give the superiority to either.3° Both had been admitted to the New York bar in 1782; and Burr, in recognition of- his legal ability, became attorney-generai in 1789 in the state of New York. Admitting the ability of both, Mowat. also states that Burr "became, with Alexander Hamilton, the leader of the New York Bar."37 Wandell and Minnegerode also quote the English traveler, John Davis, as having been impressed with the legal abilities of Aaron Burr, as he said of Burr, His distinguished abilities attracted so decided a leaning in his favour, a deference to his opinions, so strongly marked, as to excite in no small degree the jealousy of the bar. So strong was this impres sion made by the general respect for his opinions, that exclamations of despair were'frequently heard to escape the lips of counsel whose fortune ij was to be opposed by the eloquence of Burr. . . . ° 35 Samuel H. Wandell and Meade Minnegerode, Aaron Burr (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1925), I, 133. 36 Bowers, ojq. cit. , p. 449. R. B. Mowat, The Diplomatic Relations of Great Britain and the United States (London: Edward Arnold and Company, 1925), p. 41. rz. p Wandell and Minnegerode, oj>. cit., I, 132. 33 Apparently, then, conceding Alexander Hamilton pre eminent legal prominence and leadership in the state of Mew York in the 1780*s, as Mrs. Atherton does, is an idea not in . conformance with the findings of some other individuals. V. Referring to the Constitutional Convention, Mrs. Atherton writes with a tone of finality that n to the sturzq dents of history there is nothing new to tell.”^ In her study of this famous meeting, she assigned a major role to Hamilton. Mrs. Atherton refers to the ”sixty-one delegates”40 of the Constitutional Convention, while it is a fact known to all historical scholars that fifty-five delegates attended the meeting at sometime.44 It would seem.that, in general, writers accord Alex ander Hamilton .much recognition for his activity in promoting the Constitutional Convention, and for his vigorous and acute leadership in securing the ratification of the Constitution in New York, but not so much consideration for his actual work in the Constitutional Convention. 39 Atherton, o£. c i t .. p. 265. 40 Ibid*, p. 266. See Madison's Debates and Jackson's Journal in Farrand’s Records of the Constitutional Convention. I. 34 Hamilton had presented on June 18, 1787, a plan of government which provided "amongst other things, for a Sen ate and an Executive, both elected to serve during good be havior, and for the appointment of State Governors by the Ap General Government." Believing that Hamilton in the above plan had exhausted existing knowledge, in so far as the science of government was concerned, Mrs. Atherton adds: "what the Convention did not know about the science of gov ernment before he finished with them, they never would 4_rz learn -elsewhere-."^0 Mrs. Atherton grants recognition to various indivi duals for their work in the Convention, but it was, <sb.e insists, "Hamilton who breathed his strong soul into itw ; ^ and, after all, she adds, "it- was built of his stones, chipped and pared though they might b e " ; ^ and furthermore, she maintains that Hamilton was "practically the author of the dual government. Hamilton is said to have -taken scarcely any part in the debates of the Convention, and after presenting his 40 4S Warren, o p . cit., p. 228. Atherton, ojd. 44 Ibid., p. 267. 45 Ibid., p. 268. 46 Ibid.. p. 263. cit. , p. 266. 35 particular plan, he was absent from the Convention most of the time. Ivlrs. Atherton would have his record of attendance more irregular than it actually was; she writes that "he left for New York, at the end of May."4^ not leave until J u n e twenty-ninth. In fact, he did 40 Hamilton’s plan is described as one which did not provoke discussion. application,and Only "little of it was of immediate "not a single speech was made in Hamil ton’s support."50 Before the sessions were one-third over, "finding himself of little service he [Hamilton] went to New York and only returned to Philadelphia once or twice for a few days and to sign the completed document in September. "From our present point of view," writes McLaughlin, . . . We see that these propositions had few merits,' and that Hamilton either failed to grasp the idea or was out 47 Atherton, o£. cit., p. 267. 4:8 See Madison’s Debates in Hunt and Scott, p. 186. 49 Gaillard Hunt, The Life of lames Madison (New York: Doubleday, Page and Company, 190277 P* 129. 50 Ibid., p. 130. 5-*- Max Farrand, The Framing of the Constitution of the United States (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1913), p. 197. 36 of sympathy •with the cardinal thought of the new Con stitution, which, under the^influence of Randolph, Wilson-, Madison, and King was gradually unfolding. ^ Because of the character of Hamilton’s plan, Warren maintains that "it is not 'singular that this Hamilton sketch was neither refered to any Committee, nor taken up by the Convention for action in any way."53 Washington, and several of the other members in attend ance, might as aptly,as Hamilton be spoken of as breathing their strong souls into the Constitution. Referring to Wash ington , McLaughlin writes:' He did not take an active part in the debates of the Convention; there is no evidence of his having spoken more than once; but by sheer weight of character he did what much volubility and streams of sonorous language could not have accomplished.^ The importance of 'Washington’s interest in the whole movement is repeatedly emphasized. .Warren analyzes briefly his influence as being extremely vital. Of all the delegates, there was one whose presence in the Convention was absolutely essential to, its suc cess, and without whose approval, the work of the con vention would have failed of acceptance by the American people. In estimating the services of Ceorge Washing ton to his country, the part he played in this connection should rank next to his military service. Of his famili arity with the defects of the existing form of Govern ment and of his long insistence upon the necessity of a 52 Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin, The Confederation and the Constitution (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1905), p . 219. 53 Warren, o j d . cit. , p. 228. 54 - McLaughlin, o£. cit., p. 185. 37 change, his correspondence affords ample proof. It is no exaggeration to say that without the support which he gave to the calling of the Convention and without the confidence inspired in the country by his partici pation in the Convention and by his earnest advocacy of its final wprk, the Constitution never would have been adopted. Reiterating the idea that Washington had long mani fested interest in remedying the defects of the national government, McLaughlin w r i t e s : As early as 1781 he declared that a mere nominal head would no longer do, and that a real controlling power and the right to regulate all matters of general concern should be given to Congress. He saw with his accustomed simplicity and directness that the states could not be relied on to do what Congress asked, and he pointed out that the Articles provided no means of compelling, states to furnish men and money,.and that for want of such coercive power the war would neces sarily be prolonged. . . . Thus, even before the war was over., Washington had stated what was the most evi•dent fact and the most trying problem of the anxious days of political reorganization.56 Though lames Madison is frequently called "the Father of the Constitution ,n Mrs. Atherton in studying the period which produced the document, employs descriptive language which imputes to James Madison a vacillating weakness and a queer, dependent quality when he found himself confronted with the problems of the day. Some of Mrs. Atherton’s state ments with reference to Madison are: But he lacked individuality. He was too patriotic, too sincere to act against his principles, but his 55 56 Warren, ojd. McLaughlin, c i t ., p. 61. ojd. cit., p. 169. 38 principles could be changed by a more powerful and mag netic brain than his own, and the inherent weakness in him demanded a stronger nature to cling to.^” He was "willing to be led by Hamilton. . . .4,58 He was'deeply anxious to have Hamilton’s views and plans.for his guidance, even if modification were n ecessary.^ Madison, without a doubt, was interested in ideas and plans which Hamilton suggested •for the better organiza tion of the American government; but, to state that a stu-. dent of Madison’s type needed Hamilton’s plans for his guidance would seem'to' be far from correct. Madison is referred to as one of the few delegates who made special preparation for his attendance at the Convention. He is said to have studied plans of union, old and new, to have analyzed the governmental weakness of the confederated col onies, and to have worked upon plans for a more successful nationalization. All this interest accounts somewhat for his conspicuous activity at the convention. .> To associate a wavering and a dependent nature of the above types set forth by Mrs. Atherton as being characteris tic of James Madison during the days of the Constitutional Convention would seem to produce an erroneous impression. 57 Atherton, o p . cit., p. 232. 58 Ibid., p. 253. 59 Ibid.. p. 258. Sounding an absolutely different tone, Adams writes: Many bad contributed tbeir ideas to it and worked for final harmony, but unquestionably the master spirit had been lames Madison, who combined great con stitutional knowledge with a firm grasp upon the actu alities of the. situation.60 While attending the Convention, Madison is described as demonstrating tenacity of purpose, and also, as being "very hard to move from a path which.after long reflection, he had decided to be the right one."6-1- He was conspicuously and constructively active during the entire meeting, being one of the three most frequent speakers. "The most frequent speakers during the debates were Gouverneur Morris with 173 speeches; Wilson, 168; Madison, 161; Sherman, 138; Mason, 36 Gerry, 119.1,62 Farrand, with reference to Madison's work, uses such .terms as "unquestionably the leading spirit,"^3 and "the 64 master builder."0 - Farrand also points o u t ’that Madison's . . . remedies for‘the' unsatisfactory state of affairs under the confederation* were not founded on theoretical speculations, they were practical. They were in accord with the historical development of our country and in keeping with the genius of our institutions. The evi dence is also strong that Madison not only took an im- . portant part in the debates, but that he was actually 6G lames T. Adams, The March of Democracy (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932), p . 160. 6’1 John Fiske, Critical Period of American History (New York: Houghton, Mifflin Company, 1888), p. £27. fiQ Warren, o p . .cit., p. 196. 63 Farrand, op_. cit., p. 196. 64 Loc. cit. 40 looked up to by both friends and opponents as the leader of those in the convention who were in favor of a strong national' government .^ It would seem, then, that the actual contribution of Alexander Hamilton to the spirit and the wording of the •United States Constitution was not of an overwhelming nature. Mrs. Atherton asserts that Hamilton J,was practically, the author of the dual government.”66 In so far as the idea developed in America, there may have been other persons enunciating their views as early, or earlier, than did Hamilton. In the Convention, several of the delegates con tributed to the establishment of the dual principle in the United States government; the group numbered such individuals as James Madison and James Wilson, but they are not desig nated as authors, of the idea. Madison 1sfconception of a dual government'was "not original with him. Six-years before a Philadelphia merchant, one Peletiah Webster, had published a bro chure proposing a scheme of dual sovereignty, under . which the' citizens would owe a double allegiance— one to the constituent States within the sphere of their reserved powers, and one to a federated government within the sphere of its delegated powers. . . . From whatever source derived,-however, it is certain that before the Convention met Pennsylvania and Virginia,’ two of the most powerful States, were committed to 65 66 Farrand, op_. cit. , p. 196. Atherton, ojd. c i t . , p. 265 41 this novel s c h e m e . ^ Of lames Wilson it is said that he "clearly grasped the principle of that dualism of government which is the essence of American federalism."^® It would seem, then, that the idea of the dual principle in government developed over a period of time and that other individuals, besides Hamilton, were associated with its origin. VII ' In comparison with the findings of some other writers of history,- Mrs. Atherton grants Hamilton the authorship of a greater number of the Federalist essays. Her apportion ment of the numbers to Hamilton and his collaborators, Madison and lay, is as follows: But, as- it came to pass, Madison wrote but fourteen separate papers of the eighty-five, although he .collab orated with Hamilton on three others, and lay.wrote five only. The remaining sixty-three, therefore, of ' the essays, collected during and after their publica tion under the title of The Federalist . . . were the work of Hamilton. McLaughlin states, "Jay undoubtedly wrote, but five of the essays; Madison seems to have been the author of - city lames Montgomery Beck, The Constitution of the United States .(New York: Ceorge H. Doran Company, 1924}, p. 79. Robert L. Schuyler, The Constitution of the United States (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923), p. 95. 69 Atherton, op_. cit., p. 269. 42 twenty-nine, and Hamilton of fifty-one.” 70 Fiske submits figures which are identical with those held by McLaughlin: "Jay wrote five, Madison twenty-nine, and Hamilton fifty-one.”^1 VIII In general, it seems, that most writers do not ques tion the financial genius of Alexander Hamilton. With . reference to this problem, however, James Truslow Adams voices an opinion of contradictory nature; he believes that Hamilton’s ability and originality in the field of finance have been over-emphasized. He says: The originality and ability of Hamilton in elaborat ing his various financial measures have often been much over-rated by his admirers. He never concealed the fact that he wished to make the American system in all res- ; pects— political, economic, and social— as much like the British as possible. His funding plan was not original but mainly followed lines already laid down by William Pitt, and in estimating.the .peculiarly American condi tions, Hamilton made several b a d ‘errors, as to interest rates, rapidity of extinction, and so on.'2 Adams would have Hamilton’s activity, in lining up the state of New York for the adoption of the United States Constitution as his greatest contribution. 70 McLaughlin, o p . cit.» p. 507. 71 Fiske, 0 £. cit., p. 341. ^2 Adams, The Living Jefferson, p . 228. 43 Indeed it was chiefly owing to Hamilton’s zeal and ability that it [the United States Constitution] was finally adopted by the state of New York, a personal success which was probably his greatest contribution to his adopted country. 3 Bowers is of the opinion that when Hamilton ,fsubordinated his personal preferences to the public good, and sat down to the writing of the first number of The Federalist, 74 he reached the very acme of his greatness.’’ Believing that Washington as president of the United States displayed more interest in the proposed financial policies for'the United States than is usually accorded him, Fitzpatrick submits the following information: Hamilton’s work in creating and developing the public credit has centered attention upon him and it is usually forgotten that the President naturally had a certain amount of authority in the matter, even though the Secretary of the Treasury addressed his report on the public credit to Congress direct. In the Washington Manuscripts is an undated paper in Washington’s writing, headed ’Plan of American Finance,’ which divides the problem into three parts: (1) A foreign loan (2)-A direct tax (3) An indirect tax. It is the barest kind5 of outline, but,it displays thought and grasp of national finance of which even Alexander Hamilton need not have felt ashamed.'5 Commenting briefly on the above plan, Fitzpatrick ■* ' ' *i ' remarks: It might not have produced revenues to the amount expected, but it shows that George Y/ashington capably 73 74 75 'I M d ., p. 208. Bowers, ojd. cit., p. 33. John C. Fitzpatrick, George Washington Himself (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1933), p. 470. 44 grasped the fundamentals of the nation’s financial problems and raises the interesting speculation of the extent of the verbal discussion upon the subject between the President and his Secretary of the Treasury.7S Mrs. Atherton, however, virtually reaches a state of ebulliency when confronted with Hamilton’s Report on the Public Credit. Merely reading the report, Mrs. Atherton is prompted to write of a twelve-story building as "a symbol of the industry and progress for which he [Hamilton] more than any man who has ever dedicated his talents to the United States is responsible. . . ,»*77 Also, she is prompted to hail Hamilton as a statesman who "came into be ing with the seed of an unimagined nation in his brain."78 Describing Hamilton, at the time the report was presented, Mrs. Atherton w r i t e s : The confidence in Hamilton was very widespread, for not only were his great abilities fully recognized, but his general opinions on the subject had long been known, and approved by all but the politicians on the wrong side.7^ In opposition to' the above-cited opinion, Bowers writes that Hamilton’s plan for establishing the faith and ■the credit of the new country did provoke violent and justi fiable opposition; and, the following, he asserts, is a 76 Ibid.. p. 481. 77 Atherton, ojd . cit. , p. 334. 78 Loc. cit. 79 I 5 M - » p * 332 • 45 typical description of the wild orgy of speculation that overtook the moneyed class shortly after Hamilton’s Report on the Credit had been presented to the House of Congress. So thoroughly did this money-madness take possession of the minds of men that even the puritanic John'Quincy Adams was to write his father, without a homily, that by September, of 1790, Christopher Gore, the richest lawyer in Massachusetts, and one.of the strongest Bay State members of Hamilton’s machine, had ’made an inde pendent fortune in speculation in the public.funds’; and that other leaders of the bar had ’successfully en gaged in speculation’ by playing at ’that hazardous game with moneys deposited in their hands’ by clients at a distance. Lynch, in summarizing some of the material pertaining to the establishment of the early financial’plans and the location of the national capital, indicates that other in fluences besides the plan and the leadership of Hamilton contributed to that which was ultimately established. The truth is that the success of the capital, as sumption and funding policies depended, on many con tingencies and on many men. The essential facts are that Hamilton could not have managed -the Pennsylvanian's .without the leverage provided by his bargain with Jef■ferson and that, without the aid of Morris and his • friends, the financial system of the first Secretary of the Treasury could not have been established.®! Despite the fact that Mrs. Atherton selects Hamilton as the foremost symbol of industrial progress, it should be indicated that the industrial development of the United 80 Bowers, ojd. cit., p. 47. 81 William 0. Lynch, Fifty Years of Party Warfare (1789-1857) (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1931), p. 17. 46 States has been dependent on many men and many influences. No individual can be singled out as the one most responsible for anything which is termed progress in that field. Mrs. Atherton also believes that the general govern mental fiscal policy which Hamilton supported has well with stood the test of time, in so far as the welfare of the United States is concerned. Hamilton made no secret of His design so closely to attach the wealthy men of the country to the central Government that they must stand or fall with it, coming to its rescue in every crisis; and time has vindicated his far-sighted policy.82 That our country by adhering somewhat to the above, policy has not flourished to the extent it might have is a contradictory view held by James T, Adams. He writes: Much of the depravity and greed of our economic and political life is Hamilton’s legacy to the nation. We are very far from believing today that over-industriali zation, a huge population drawn from all countries, vast cities with their proletariats, tariffs, and a government based on wealth*and in alliance with .it, make up a sound nation, as many^were a generation ago.88 IX That there was a Betsy Bowen, or a Mrs. Croix, or a Mrs. Jumel, is said to be a recognized fact, and that Hamil ton gave her some attention is said to be a recognized tale. Op Atherton, ojd. cit. , p. 361. QfZ Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. £38. 47 Allan MeLane Hamilton asserted that . . . a great deal of nonsense has been wri t t e n 'about Hamilton’s gallantry, and his name has been' quite un justifiably connected with that of Madame Lumel. . . . . Although her home at the upper part of Manhattan.Island • . was a rendezvous for the gay young men of the day, it does not' appear that either Washington or Hamilton, as has been alleged, knew her-particularly well. Certainly it is absurd to say that Hamilton had an amour with her, as has been suggested, and this gossip may, with other contemporary scandal, be disregarded.^ A somewhat different allusion to Madame Croix is the following: Betsy Bowen, or Eliza Brown, had been well known as a beauty to all New York; her.affair with Jumel had been the talk of the town; her name had frequently been mentioned in the same whisper with those of many of the most prominent gentlemen of the day, including Alexander Hamilton. . . .55 ■ That Alexander Hamilton should display amorous ten dencies toward too many women, Mrs. Atherton extenuates on the grounds that such philanderings were characteristic of the period; and so she writes that "Hamilton’s morals were . the-morals of his day,-— a day when aristocrats were liber tines, receiving as little censure from society as from their own consciences.f,8S Also, he was a genius. f,To ex pect a man of Hamilton’sorder of genius to keep faith with one woman for a lifetime would be as reasonable as to look 84 Allan McLane Hamilton, Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), p. 55. Wandell and Minnegerode, Atherton, 0 £. ojd c it., p. 291. . ci t ., II, 325. 48 for such genius without the transcendent passions which are its furnace.”8 ^ Mrs. Atherton devotes much attention to, and displays a great deal of enthusiasm for Mrs. Croix; her language virtually glows in description of the lady’s beauty, talent, and brilliance. She was, writes Mrs. Atherton, an "angelic vision**;88 also, "she was a very clever woman; and she was not, unlike'Hamilton in a quite phenomenal precocity” ;89 and furthermore, that she was "the most brilliant and fascinat ing woman in America, as well as the most beautiful, were facts as publicly established.”9.0 Mrs. Atherton proceeds to describe in detail the brilliant social successes of Madame Croix. Her "social talents were so remarkable that she managed women.as deftly as she did men, and was a welcome guest in many of the most exclusive houses in New York.”9-*- Even Mrs. Washington reqp ceiyed her in time.” . Also, Mrs. Croix ."held weekly recep tions, which were attended by two thirds of the leading men 87 Ibid. 88 T, .A Ibid. p. 290. 89 Ibid. TVs-* 90 Ibid. 91 Ibid. p. 292. p. 290. 92 Ibid. p. 356. -j-, . p . ’304. p. 291. 49 in town.-"95 'In the opinion of Mrs. Atherton, Mrs. Croix was ahle to shine forth so brilliantly, since "nature had fondly and diabolically equipped her to conquer the world, to be one of its successes; and so she was to. the last of her ninetysix years."94 Of her later years, Mrs. Atherton writes: "Her subsequent career was as brilliant in Europe as it had been, and was to be again, in America."95 Betsy Bowen Croix is said to have been beautiful, but that she possessed the brilliance and the culture and the social graces accorded her by Mrs. Atherton is questionable. Mrs. Croix, described by other individuals, would seem to possess characteristics, the very antithesis of some pro claimed by Mrs. Atherton. Among the descriptions which de tract from her charm are: . . . Miss Eliza Brown . . . seems in reality to have been a person of no education or.breeding, sprung from the lowest origins, and considerably more restricted in 'her circle of fine acquaintances' than obituary litera ture would lead one to believe.9^ All legends to thecontrary,she-had been born at ■ Providence, in 1775,the daughter ofPhebe Kelley, and the sailor, lohn Bowen, and christened Eliza, or 93 Ibid., p. 304. 94 Ibid., p. 315. 93 Hoc » cit. 95 .Meade Minnegerode, Lives and Times (New York: G-. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1925), p. 32. Betsy, Bowen, She was a person of no education, sprung .‘from the lowest origins, who for nineteen years led a vagrant- and altogether disreputable existence. . . .97 Minnegerode indicates that "such culture and refine ment as she may have acquired during this period remain highly problematical and nebulous."0® Some writers, also, are of the opinion that' the doors of society were closed to Mrs. Croix and that she was not accorded the recognition Mrs. Atherton would have poured upon her. Her marriage to Stephen Jumel, "one of the wealthiest merchants in the port of Hew Y o r k , " a n importer of "choice f l u i d s , " w a s to-be her passport into that for eign land of New York society the borders of which, all legends to the contrary, had been so rigorously closed to her.”100 The Jumels waited ten years "and still hardly a friendly visiting footstep crossed their threshold, ... no neighborly mansion opened its doors in welcome to her. lurnel . . . might come and go through the streets and be received with polite toleration, but for his lady there was no melting of society's icy disregard."101 Q7 no Wandell and Minnegerode, otd. Minnegerode, op.. cit., p. 33. Ibid., p . 3. 100 Ibid., p. 37. Loc. cit. Jumel "was an cit. , II, 323. 51 educated, cultured gentleman of tlie world; she was, through no fault of her own, a vulgar, ignorant, mannerless nohen- ity. In the above descriptions of Mrs. Croix, it' is not her brilliance, her precocity, her social graces that are emphasized, but rather her lack of background and culture. With it all, she i s ’said to have "babbled giddily, and none too grammatically, of utterly platitudinous matters.” "After a vain attempt to force his wife upon New York society, he [lumel] sailed with her to France in 102 Ibid., p. 38. 103 cit. Dictionary of American Biography, X, 247 CHAPTER IV A STUDY OF THE SOMEWHAT SUBSERVIENT ROLE WHICH MRS. ATHERTON ASSIGNS TO GEORGE WASHINGTON DURING THE PERIOD OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND THE.YEARS OF HIS PRESIDENCY Beginning during the period of the American Revolution and continuing until 1799,' George Washington and Alexander Hamilton had numerous associations with each other, tTAt Haarlem Heights, Washington is said to have talked to Hamil ton for the first time.”'1’ Though Hamilton is then described as being very eager to achieve military distinction, he is said, a little later, to have agreed somewhat reluctantly to ■become an aide-de-camp to General Washington. r,He seems to have regarded the step with some misgiving, and to have felt that he had made a considerable sacrifice.”2 He served in this capacity from 1777 until February, 1781, and is generally described as working diligently and serving with distinction in. spite of his resentment. rtFrom the- start, Lieutenant Hamilton, who became a lieutenant-colonel as Washington1s aide, lost no time-in' demonstrating his great intellect, his high literary skill, and his domineering disposition.1,3 ^ Rupert Hughes, George Washington, the Savior of the States (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1930), III, 111. Henry Cabot Lodge, Alexander Hamilton (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1910), p. 14. 3 Hughes, o]D. c i t . , III, 113. 53 I, In early conversational scenes involving George ¥/ashington and Alexander Hamilton, Mrs. Atherton, in her book, The Conqueror, would have General Washington, in his admira tion for young Hamilton, emit glowing utterances of the following kind: nI believe you are something more than human. . . . there is scarcely a man I can get to write my letters who can do more than punctuate properly or turn a sentence neatly. . . . Were you my secretary, you would also be my brain: a word would be sufficient. I could trust you so implicitly that if matters pressed I could confidently sign my name to whatever you wrote without reading it over. There is no one else living of whom I can say that. You are the most, useful young man in America. . . .5 "You are as much in my secret thoughts as I am myself."6 ”1 believe I am not lacking in courage, but I always have most when you are close by.”^ Effusive utterances of the above kind attributed to George Washington do not appear to be in harmony with a temperament quite consistently described by critics as one of reserve. ”His manners never encouraged familiarity in 5 Gertrude Atherton, The Conqueror (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1904), p. 153. 6 Ibid.. p. 161. 7 Ibid., p. 167. 54 any one,”0 In a dramatized biography, a writer is privileged to fabricate language of an imaginary sort for the various characters; but, since Mrs. Atherton, in the particular book under study, has, as she maintains, not depicted material "which in any way interferes with the veracity of history,"9 it would seem that her conversational scenes should also conform somewhat more reasonably with historical background. Washington, in his own words, in a letter to Joseph Reed, dated November 28, 1775, calls.attention to the fact that readiness with the pen is a desirable characteristic for an aide to possess, but he d o e s ‘n o t , in this particular instance, so much as intimate that it is impossible to get an aide well grounded in the fundamentals of grammar and rhetoric. "I find," he writes, "it is absolutely necessary that the aids to the Commander-in-chief should be ready at their pen . . . to give that ready.assistance, that is ex pected of them."*^9 In a communication to Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Hansen Harrison', dated January 9, 1777, General Washington again points out, in more detail, some of the characteristics 8 Henry Jones Ford, Alexander Hamilton (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1920), p. 569. 9 Atherton, ojd . cit'. , p. x. 19 John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington (Washington, D. C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1932), IV, 26. 55 which he considers desirable for a military secretary to possess. He makes no reference to the idea of finding an aide who will act as his brain.. I have heard that Majr. Johnston is a man of Educa tion. I believe him to be a Man of Sense, these are two very necessary qualifications; but how is his tem per? As to Military knowledge, I do not expect to find Gentlemen much skilled in it. If they can write a good Letter, write quick, are methodical, and diligent, it is all I expect to find in My A i d s . H The above letter is not a communication to young Hamilton; nevertheless, there is no suggestion of willing ness, on the part of Washington, to sign anything and every thing written by an aide. Mrs. Atherton accords to General Vfashington a grumb ling complaint as to the shortcomings of his aides; yet Washington, in one of his own letters, indicates that as early as 1775, he had under him an aide, Miflin, who was worthy of promotion. . . . the merits of this young Gentleman added to your recommendation, and my own knowledge of his character induced-me to take him into my Family as an aide-de- ' camp in the room of Mr. Miflin, whom I have appointed Quarter Master Genel. from a thorough persuasion of his integrity. . . .12 , General Washington’s notification sent to young Ham ilton on October 30, 1777, with instructions to communicate . verbally with General Gates is not characterized by any such Fitzpatrick, op_. cit.-, 71, 487. 12 Ibid., III, 450. 56 pusillanimous outpouring as nI believe I am not lacking incourage but I always have most when you are close by,’*-^— words, which Mrs, Atherton attributes to G-eneral Washington in his conversation with Hamilton immediately preceding the young aide’s leaving on the above-mentioned mission. Wash ington’s letter with its instructions is a*s follows: It having been judged expedient by the members of a Council of War held Yesterday, that one of the Gentle men of my family should be sent to Genl. Gates, in order to lay before him the State of this Army and the Situation of the Enemy, and to point out to him the many happy consequences that will accrue from an im mediate reinforcement being sent from the Northern Army; I have thought proper to appoint you to the duty and desire that you will immediately set out for Albany, at which place, or in the neighborhood, I imagine, you will find General Gates. You are so fully acquainted with the two principal points on which you are sent, namely, the ’State of our Army and the Situation of the Enemy’ that I shall not enlarge on those heads. What you are chiefly to attend to, is to point out, in the clearest and fullest manner, to Genl. Gates, the absolute necessity that there is for his detaching a very considerable part of the Army at present under his command to the reinforcement of this.14: II Besides portraying George Washington in some of his conversations with Hamilton as employing highly adulatory language of the type that has been quoted in this chapter, Mrs. Atherton, in her own comments, reiterates from time to 15 ^ Atherton, o]q. cit. , p. 168. Fitzpatrick, op. cit., IX, 466. 57 time that Washington, in particular, loved Hamilton, Of their first meeting she writes that "as for Washington, he loved Hamilton then and there, and it is doubtful if'he ever loved anyone else so well"; and with reference to Hamilton’s regard for Washington, she writes that "he loved him save at intervals, always.,,J-^ Some critics in the study of the friendly relations between the two men, question the idea of a fine friendship and a feeling of real understanding existing between them— certainly, to the point where the question of any love would be concerned. Bowers writes quite tersely: "It is a myth of history that he [Hamilton] was tenderly considerate of the wishes of his chief: the facts to sustain it do not appear."16 Ford indicates "that on Hamilton’s side the usual re lation was one of formal respect rather than sincere affec tion,"17 Ford adds that , . , there is evidence of imperfect sympathies which long stood in the way of full understanding. There is much to support Jefferson’s claim that originally Washington was more disposed to confide in him and in Madison than in Hamilton. . , , Washington was more and more drawn to Hamilton. 15 Atherton, op.. cit. , p. 149. 16 Claude G. Bowers, Jefferson and Hamilton (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1925), p . 65. 17 Ford, pp. cit., p. 368. Ibid., p . 569. 58 Ford also sets forth the idea that it was not until 1795 when Hamilton resigned from his position in the cabinet that "WashingtonTs feelings broke through his habitual formality of phrase. He wrote to Hamilton in terms of fervent affec tion and esteem, and. Hamilton’s reply was equally cordial."19 Investigating the early relations of the two men, Mrs. Whitely maintains that the friendly interest of Washington was divided among several of the young aides and not showered upon Hamilton alone. As far as the records show, the expressions of affec tion contained in the G-eneralfs letters to Tench Tilghman are the strongest that he made to any of his Aides. Undoubtedly he loved John Laurens, and there was a time when he loved and wished to lean upon' Joseph Reed. Through all the dramatic incidents of Hamilton’s career in the Official.Family, the Commander had appreciated his brilliant qualities and had felt a real sympathy for the ambitious youth . . . Without drawing invidious comparisons, it is evident that General Washington had a warm friendship for all of his Aides, and for some a deep affection.29 Showing that General Washington singled out Tench Tilghman for recognition, Hughes calls attention to the let ter in which Washington "interceded with Congress to grant a belated lieutenant-coloneley"21 to the young aide. 19 50 Ibid.. p. 370. Emily Stone Whitely, Washington and His Aides-DeCamp (Hew York: The Macmillan Company, 1936), p. 189. 51 Hughes, o j d . cit.. Ill, 605. 59 . . . He has been a zealous servant and slave to the public, and a faithful assistant to me for near five years, a great part of which time he refused to receive pay. Honor and gratitude interest me in his favor, and make me solicitous to obtain his Commission. . . That Hamilton conducted himself in rather an un gracious manner, not only i n .connection with the little episode which preceded his leaving General Washington’s military family, but, also, during the time he was an aide under General Washington, is not exactly indicative of the fine feeling existing between the two men during those years. Hamilton had always disliked the office of an Aid-decamp, as having in it a kind of personal dependence. In spite of three years of close association during thrilling and dangerous times, no intimacy had grown up between the Aide and his General. 3 Hughes, supporting the same idea, writes that Hamilton "was impatient of the drudgery of the secretarial service and humiliated Washington by his resentment.”^* To substantiate this idea Hughes quotes an excerpt from a letter written by young Hamilton to General Schuyler of which a small portion is as follows: I always disliked the office of an aid-de-camp as having in it a kind of personal dependence. . . . For Hughes, loc. cit. 25 24 Whitely, o p . c i t ., p. 158. Hughes, 0 £. cit., II, 556. 60 tiir.ee years past I have felt no friendship for him [Washington] and have professed none. . . .25 With reference to the particular scene in which Wash ington reproved Hamilton for keeping him waiting, Mrs. Atherton states, unequivocably, that "the breach was Wash ington’s; he himself [Hamilton] had answered with dignity, and could leave with a clear conscience. He had not kept Washington waiting above four minutes, and he did not feel that an apology was necessary.”26 Hughes calls attention to "Washington’s swiftness in recapturing self-control and. his willingness to apologize even to a subordinate who had kept him standing on a stairway for ten long minutes while he chatted,” and also to the ruthless manner in which Hamilton "rejected his chief’s proffer of reconciliation and subP7 jected him to a further and final humiliation.,,c" In denunciation of Hamilton’s actions at that time, Adams writes: The egoistic and impetuous boy had then promptly resigned in a fit of temper, and his resignation had . been accepted. His refusal to accept friendly advances toward reconciliation from Washington and the slurs which the lad, whose career was being fostered by the greatest man in the country, cast upon his benefactor in private letters and conversation could be taken less 25 Ibid., III, 112. 26 P7 Atherton, o p . c i t ., p. 215. Hughes, o]D. cit.» III, 601. 61 seriously if they were not premonitory of similar episodes in his later and more mature life.^8 The above reference to similar episodes in Hamilton’s later life would seem to conflict with Mrs. Atherton’s state ment which upholds the idea that nthe bond between the two men grew closer every day, and only the end of all things severed it#”29 That Washington himself was displeased with the man ner in which Hamilton made public the description of the above-mentioned waiting scene is intimated in a communica tion to Lafayette, dated April 22, 1781. The event, which you seem to speak of with regret, my friendship for you would most assuredly have induced me to impart to you in the moment it happened had it not been for the request of H who desired that no mention should be made of it; why this injunction on me, while he was communicating it himself, is a little extra ordinary! but I complied, and religiously fulfilled it -L O # • • + 30 Hughes, in a comparison of the two men, points out that Hamilton '’was a brilliant man who never forgot the rights of Alexander Hamilton” ; while, on the other hand, "Washington was a greater man. who generally overlooked the rights of George Washington. oo James Truslow Adams, The Living Jefferson (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1936"]"," p . 139. ^ Atherton, ojd. c i t ., p. 377. Fitzpatrick, o p . c i t ., XXI, 491. 31 Hughes, opt. cit., III, 606. 62 Whatever the friendly relations between G-eorge Wash ington and Alexander Hamilton were, it is likely that they were not characterized by the exuberance and the persistence which Mrs. Atherton has accorded them. With Muzzey maintain ing that Hamilton "enjoyed the friendship and confidence of rz q Washington to a degree not shared by any other man," ^ and Hughes setting forth the idea, "it is questionable that Hamilton ever liked Washington, or did more than merely en dure him for the sake of patriotism and ambition,"33 the conclusion advanced by Adams may, perhaps, be appropriately added: "Washington was personally fond of him [Hamilton] and properly rated his abilities high."3^ Ill Statements advanced by Mrs. Atherton, which imply a dependence on the part of Washington to the point of sub serviency to Hamilton, are generously interspersed through out The Conqueror. Mrs. Atherton'describes Washington as a man whose "thoughts moved in a constant procession to one tune," 33 32 and, as one who during the period of the American David S. Muzzey, Thomas Jefferson (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918), p. 157. 33 Hughes, o p .cit., III, 112. 34 Adams, op. cit., p. 139. 35 Atherton, pp. cit., p. 152. 63 Revolution, demanded Hamilton "constantly for consultation upon the best possible method of putting animation into the Congress and extracting money for the wretched troops" and, also, as a general who wrote letters to Hamilton "asking advice." 37 Furthermore, in writing of Hamilton during the period of the American Revolution, Mrs. Atherton maintains that he [Hamilton] "incurred widespread jealousy on account of his influence over V/ashington, and for the important part he was playing in national affairs,"38 and that Hamilton, who, through being one of General Washington’s secretaries, pro duced "that mass of correspondence, signed ’George Washing ton, ’ which raised the commander of the American forces so high in the estimation of Europe, adding to his military renown the splendour of a profound and luminous intellect."^9 Attributing this much importance to the work of the young secretary obviously minimizes to a considerable degree the influence of Washington and the work of other indivi duals. With reference to this particular situation, Mrs. Whitely writes: 36 Ibid., p. 195. 3^ Ibid.. p. 219. 38 Ibid., p. 169. 39 I b i d ., p. 162. . 64 General Washington’s usual custom in handling his official correspondence was to give notes, either verbal or written, of the matters to be treated, and then to leave to his Aides the actual composition of the dis patch, subject to corrections.40 Elaborating the idea along further lines, Mrs. Whitely adds: It is an accepted idea that Hamilton was Washington’s chief dependence and indispensable to him as Secretary, and, indeed, a contemporary writes of him as being ’the pen of our army’; but a scrutiny of the Washington manu scripts does not produce warrant for this title. It was Harrison and Tilghman who bore the main burden of the Commander’s correspondence. Year after year Harrison’s long reports went to Congress, sometimes daily, and Tilghman carried on with the Board of War and with the General Officers * also taking over the dispatches for Congress when occasion required. Laurens being profi cient in French, drafted most of Washington’s communica tions to the officers of that nation. When Hamilton entered the Official Family, he was, like all newcomers, put to work at copying and at drawing up the less im portant dispatches, but by the latter part of 1778 he be gan to assume a leading part in the Headquarter’s\* corres pondence. Reports on technical military subjects were frequently assigned to him, and there are many long manu scripts in his close perfect handwriting dealing with reorganization plans for the army, -proposing innovations or describing actual conditions. But his most valued secretarial service was in the drafting of papers that required the presentation of an argument or the critical analysis of a policy, such as the system of short enlist ments, so dear to the heart of Congress. No one could be more severe in any controversial matter than Hamilton, and his sharp, clear characters march across his pages like serried lines of pointed spears. Washington, no doubt, appreciated Hamilton’s intellectual gifts as well as his executives qualities, though perhaps not exactly at the owner’s valuation; but neither as Secretary nor Aide was there any premier-ship in the Official Family.41 Lodge, too, states quite definitely that the princL-. pal ideas in Washington’s communications were his, but that 40 Emily Stone Whitely, 4:1 ibid*, p. 139. ojd. c i t ., p . 62. 65 Hamilton aided greatly in arranging them. We may be sure that nothing passed through Hamilton’s hands without being put in the strongest and the most condensed form, and at the same time amplified and adorned; but we may be equally sure that, however much the general profited by the suggestion of his able sec retary, the central ideas and guiding principles, whether conveyed in a word or dictated at length, were the intellectual property of the man who signed those letters and reports with the name of George Washington.4^ It appears that General Washington very definitely adhered to the policy of scrutinizing his letters and me s sages before they were sent, and also, that this scrutiny frequently resulted in alterations. Hughes quotes Fitz patrick’s findings relative to this problem: The greater number of these drafts are in the hand writing of the various aides, but the alterations, sup pression, and additions in Washington’s handwriting are numerous, and in every instance the change strengthens . and improves the a ide’s composition.4^ General Washington, in the early stages of the Ameri can Revolution, is said to have demonstrated ability in the organization and expression of his ideas, even in written form. "At times, Washington, almost rivalling Julius Caesar, was able to keep five men busy writing: letters at his dicta tion, or suggestion, or for his approval1*;44 and, ’’before he ever added Hamilton to his staff, Washington had already 42 Lodge, o£. cit., p. 16. 43 Hughes, ojdj. cit., Ill, 113. 44 Ikld.,p. 110. 66 reached such peaks of glory that he was being widely re garded as almost a divinity, and had written some of his loftiest utterances.”45 Hughes points out that in one instance, Congress ig nored General Washington’s plan for an exchange of prisoners, and he compares the treatment of this aggravating situation in the communications of Washington and Hamilton: It is interesting to compare Hamilton’s fury in this private letter with Washington’s handling of the same subject in his letter to Congress, where every charge is made but couched in the most courteous and appealing terms. The spirit is the same he revealed, long before Ham ilton joined him, and the finest tact was never more gracefully employed in a matter where the temptation to wrath and scorn was more nearly irresistible. Indubitably, the ideas of George Washington were vigorous and judicious to the degree that Washington was able, on his own merits, to establish his fame abroad, rather than being greatly dependent on Alexander Hamilton. IV If George Washington meant so much to the successful rebellion, and if he has been regarded as the very ’’soul of the American cause,” 47 dealing with what now seem almost ° Ibid., p. 113. 46 Jbia., p. 313. Albert J. Beveridge, John Marshall (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916), I, 121. 67 insurmountable difficulties, his leadership, perhaps, did not draw its potency from the mind of Alexander Hamilton. The times were challenging and the problems perplexing. "If the Americans of that time had been what' their posterity imagines, or anything like it, they would have driven the British into the sea in a few weeks, and set up a government of ideal beauty immediately."^8 In the first year of the war, in so far as the people living in America were concerned, . . . the great majority of men could be regarded as indifferent, ready to stampede and rush along with the successful party.} yet, even among the masses, this traditional love of kingship had to be reckoned with and combated. Loyalty was the normal condition, the state that had existed, and did exist. . . Jameson, too, refers to the indifference with which General Washington had to contend, inasmuch as "so great a proportion" of the population was "provincial-minded, dubi ous in opinion, reluctant to make any sacrifices, halfhearted m the glorious cause. 60 In a study of the American Revolution, Beveridge asks the question, "What held the patriot forces together at this time?" He gives the following answer: 4:8 Hughes, ojd . cit. , III, 69S. 4:9 Claude Halstead Van T y n e , The Loyalists in the Ameri can Revolution (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1902)7 P- 2. J. Franklin Jameson, The American Revolution Con sidered as a Social Movement (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 19S6J, p. 5. 68 George Washington, and he alone. Had he died, or had he been seriously disabled, the Revolution would have ended. Had typhoid fever seized Washington for a month, had any of those diseases, with which the army was plagued, confined him, the patriot standard would have fallen forever. Washington was the .soul of the American cause. Washington was the Government. Washington was the Revolution. 1 Critics maintain over and over again that in these trying years the leadership of Washington was practically of immeasurable significance. ”Every important phase of the Revolution shows Washington, the pivotal character around whom events revolved and on whom they depended. Describ ing more in detail the character of George Washington’s ser vice, Fitzpatrick writes: There was no man in America during the Revolution, who felt, thought and acted for the United States as.a nation, as did George Washington. He was the only man who never allowed any local pride, prejudice or per sonal ambition to interfere with this national idea, and Washington’s ambition was for the development of a nation in which George Washington’s position was un thought of beyond the point of living a free and inde pendent citizen of Mount Yernon.5^ Yan Tyne, in studying the American Revolution, is likewise impressed with the leadership of General Washing ton: As men looked back over the years of strife, they saw clearly that the chief reason why the American Beveridge, ojd. cit. , I, 120. John C. Fitzpatrick, George Washington Himself (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1933)7 P* 358. 53 Ibid., p. 381. 69 cause was not lost before France came to its aid was the personal leadership, of Washington. . . . It was the strength of character which day by day won the love of his soldiers and perfect confidence of his countrymen. The absence of a mean ambition, the one desire of serv ing well his country and his fellow-men, the faithfulness that could not be driven from its task through jealousy or resentment, these were the traits that gave him a unique and solitary place among the w o r l d ’s h e r o e s . ^ . That G-eorge Washington as General in command of the American forces raised himself high in the eyes of Europe, rather than that Alexander Hamilton, who, by signing George Washington’s name "raised the commander of the American forces so high in the estimation of Europe, adding to his military renoun the splendour of a profound and luminous in t e l l e ct,"^ would seem to be the conclusion reached by Fitzpatrick. At any rate, he does not indicate that .the eyes of Europe were upon Alexander Hamilton; they were, he insists, on Washington. The success of the American Commissioners in France at the time was based, Fitzpatrick writes, largely on the unwavering leadership of George Washington and not on the writing and the leadership of Alexander Hamilton. No matter from what view-point the Revolutionary war is studied, it is impossible to ignore Washington. He was the central point around which everything revolved; the army, the Continental Congress and, what has been unnoticed, or ignored, the diplomatic relations which ^ Claude Halstead Van Tyne, The American Revolution (New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1905), p. 327. Atherton, op. cit., p. 162. 70 resulted in the French alliance. The work of Deane, Franklin and Adams in France could never have produced the results it did, had not General George Washington been at the head of the army in America, and had he not been exactly the kind of man he was. Any investigation of the diplomatic negotiations, makes it plainer as document’ after document is examined and compared, that behind every success of Franklin and the others, France' was watching and depending on the solid unalterable pur pose of George Washington.. Had he faltered-once, had he shown doubt or indecision, even for a moment, as to that slippery, cowardly idea of ’an accommodation with Great Britain,* not the whole corps of the American .Commis sioners to Europe with the Continental. Congress combined, could have accomplished a single one of the many and important things that were accomplished in France, for the liberty and independence of the United States.56 Fitzpatrick maintains that Yergennes, the French Foreign minister, "was interested in one thing only and that was the determination of America to persevere in its struggle for independence.” As long as Yergennes was satisfied that Washington and the army ?,could be depended on to fight to the bitter end, there was not the remotest chance of France coming openly to America’s aid.n^° Congress fThad sent young John Laurens .to France, toward the end of 1780, to plead anew with the French court the urgent need of the states for immediate aid.”59 Laurens had been instructed "to consult with the Commander-in-Chief Fitzpatrick, ojd. 57 Ibid., p. 357. 58 Ibid., p. 358. 59 Ibid., p. 388. cit. , p . 212. 71 before sailing," at which time "Washington drew up a series of instructions in eleven plain spoken paragraphs which later formed the basis and principal part of the mem61 orial Laurens presented to Yergennes.” With reference to these instructions outlined by Washington and to subsequent events and results in Europe, Fitzpatrick elucidates as fol lows : This was a complete and accurate presentation of the national situation, which few men could have given so tactfully, and three months later (April ninth) Wash ington wrote to Laurens, then in Paris, that if France delays a timely and powerful aid in this critical pos ture of our affairs, it will avail us nothing should she attempt it hereafter. This was Washington’s honest opinion and, fortunately for America, Yergennes valued Washington’s opinion as the one trustworthy source of information. . . . Conrad G-erard, French Minister to the United States, was well convinced of the unreliability of Congress and of many of the men who composed it; but he became completely convinced of the absolute relia bility of George Washington. His dispatches to Comte Yergennes repeated again and again that General Washing ton was the one dependable force of the Revolution. In the many interviews he sought with the American general, the keen French diplomat searched and probed the mind and soul of George Washington until he was sure that here was the man France could tie to; that such a thing as an accommodation with Great Britain would never be sanctioned by this man and that as George Washington went, so went the army. It was this belief in Washing ton which Gerard succeeded in transferring to Yergennes which, more than anything else, overcame the doubts of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs as to America’s stability. In contrast with his experience with members of Congress and other officials of the government, Gerard found Washington frank, open and truthful.^2 60 61 Fitzpatrick, loc. cit. T • + L oc. ci t. I M d . , p . 389 . 72 Fitzpatrick summarizes the above situation by em phasizing that Gerard*s recognition of Washington’s character "was the deciding factor." ^ Congress "was shifting, with factions raging at one another for petty local advant age to the wreck of national affairs. Washington was stable, solid, immovable from the path of National independence."6^ He further concludes that . . . it is not going too far to state that had George Washington been other than he was, had he been indeci sive or temporizing, the French alliance would not have developed. It is not to be wondered at that the loan of six million livres, a part of which LieutenantGolonel John Laurens succeeded in hastening to America,’ was put at the disposal of George Washington by the French.65 V In the study of Washington’s presidency,. Mrs. Atherton quite emphatically maintains that Alexander Hamil ton was the guiding influence. She prefers to look upon him aa as "the very head and front of the Administration," even 67 as "the Administration," and "the Secretary to whom, practically, had been given the reins of government. 6^ Fitzpatrick, l o c . cit. 6^. L o c . cit. ^ IbicL*, p . 390. 66 Atherton, o j d . cit., p. 359. 67 Ibid., p. 374. 68 Ibid., p. 364. The 73 above statements all refer to the period of Washington’s presidency when Alexander Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury and Jefferson was Secretary.of State. Mrs. Ather ton also writes that Hamilton’s fame abroad was still at a high stage of resplendency, of sufficient brightness and power to.outshine- that of Washington. "His [Hamilton’s] fame obscured that of Washington, and abroad he was by far the most interesting and significant figure in the young country."69 As in her study of the earlier associations of Wash ington and Hamilton, Mrs. Atherton, in discussing meetings of the president’s cabinet, chooses words of an enfeebling nature to-be uttered by Washington. In the first days of getting the cabinet organized, she would have Washington speak in this manner: It is you only that I fear, as it is you only uponwhom I thoroughly rely, and not for advice in your own department alone, but in all. I think it would perhaps be better not to hold collective meetings of the Cabinet, but to receive each of you alone. It is as well the others do not know that your knowledge and judgment are my chief reliance. . . .^° It is said that Washington’s first choice for Secre tary of the Treasury was Robert Morris, and that Hamilton received the appointment only after Morris had refused it, 69 S i d -. P- 360 • 70 Ibid., p. 326. 74 and recommended the former* If Washington had had such superlative opinion of Hamilton as Mrs. Atherton indicates, he would have been his first choice for the office. It has also been said that Washington would not have-appointed Ham ilton, if Morris had not made the recommendation. Even though 'Washington, upon entering the presidency, is said to have spoken of himself as "in the evening of life," his leadership, been earlier. evidently, was as vital as it had Apparently, the same sturdy qualities.which enabled him to cope with problems of the American Revolu tion also came to his assistance during the period of his presidency. It does not seem probable that he found him self suddenly bereft of understanding and judgment to the extent that it was necessary to surrender "the reins of the government." His inscrutable wisdom and his discerning judgment were as useful then as before. It is true that successful military heroes, when confronted with the intri cacies of statescraft, are not always eminently successful in the administration of the affairs of the nation. But again, as during the American Revolution, WashingtonTs leadership was a recognized factor. Never was a rich personal character worth more to a nation than Washington’s now proved to be. His name gave strength to the Union at home and abroad. In Europe, even in England, he was highly esteemed for honor, sagacity, and mental balance. In America he was trusted, as the one force who could command the respect of both parties which had violently disputed about the 75 adoption of tlie Constitution. mous. 71 His election was unani Most critics appear to be of the opinion that Washington as president of the United States relied not only on his own judgment, but, that he in accordance with the plan of astute executives, made use of the ideas individually and collec tively of the talent surrounding him, in planning and carry ing out the major policies of the nation, foreign as well as domestic. -The fine array of talent and ability which character ized the period was of such a nature, that even if the presi dent had been helpless to the extent of surrendering the reins of the government, the influence of various groups would have precluded the idea of any one individual being nthe Administration.” The feeling of the times was definite ly opposed to the idea of one subordinate dominating the ad ministration. The spirit of 1776 and what it meant to liberty-loving people was.still in the air. Then, too, des- . pite the dissension of the times, the same harmonizing in fluences, whatever they were, which in some fashion, had brought together under a new constitution, thirteen states with widely divergent interests, major problems.' facilitated the solution of Individuals and factions found themselves yielding as well as demanding. ^ John Spencer Bassett, The Federalist System, 17891801 (New York: Harper Brothers, 1 9 0 6 7 , p. 5. 76 It was during the presidency of George Washington that the very definite cleavage ..which resulted in the estab lishment of two powerful political factions, one following ideas upheld by Thomas Jefferson, and the other, following ideas upheld by Alexander Hamilton, openly revealed itself. This development itself meant, that even though there was vigorous support for the ideas of Hamilton, yet there was sufficient opposition to be crystallized into an organized party. Both parties, when they emerged, were of such a nature that neither would have tolerated the idea of one man being the administration,— not even George Washington, had he been s'o inclined. Both factions were powerful to the degree that they aroused the opposing factions into conspicu ous and aggressive activity. In writing of the appearance of political parties in the new republic, Mrs. Atherton states that Hamilton "had bound up his personal ambitions with the principles of the Federalist party— so called since the publication in book form of the Publius essays." 7? As the two following state ments indicate, the essays were published in book form in the year 1788. Over the signature of "Publius eighty-five essays were, published from October, 1787, until March, 1788, when they were collected in book form under the title of The 7? Atherton, o p . cit., p. 274. 77 73 Federalist*1: and, "The essays of The Federalist were first printed in the newspapers, and? were then, republished without subs tantial textual change in the McLean editions of 1788." 74- Mrs* Atherton would have the real-Federalist party appearing in 1788 and continuing to function for several years; but, in the history of party development in the United States, most writers distinguish definitely between the party cleavage which evidenced itself over the fight to establish the Con stitution and the division which appeared during the adminis tration of Washington. With regard to this situation Lynch writes: The first real parties in the United States arose while Washington was president, and the members became known as Federalists and Republicans* They did not emerge in a day or a year but evolved slowly from 1791 to 1795* Neither the earlier Federalists nor the Anti federalists constituted a political party. These ele ments engaged in a struggle over the ratification of the new Constitution from 1787 to 1790. Whether it should be adopted or rejected was a temporary question of great moment* The contest was waged to decide the fate of a proposed government. The friends of ratifi cation won and the issue disappeared.75 Lynch adds further that "Washington neither expected nor desired party government. When Hamilton and Jefferson Cyclopedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and United States History, John H. Lalor, editor (New York: Maynard, Merrill and Company, 1904), II, 165. ^ Henry C. Lodge, editor, »The Federalist (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1888), p. xlii. 75 William C. Lynch, Fifty Years of Party Warfare (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1931), p* 11. 78 assumed their ministerial duties, there were no parties for them to lead."76 Calling attention to a situation which not only pro moted the emergence of political factions in the new repub lic, but also hastened the crystallization of the new fac tions, Bemis writes;' The first Congress in its first session adopted the most successful shipping policy the United States has ever had, a policy which followed the principle of the British Navigation Laws by giving to American vessels certain advantages over those of other nations. The debates provoked by the introduction of these laws reveal the first alignment under the new government of the representatives of the' trading and shipping commun ities, which had feared to disburb Anglo-.American com merce, versus, the agrarian and frontier constituencies which had least to lose in any commercial disturbance or in the collapse of a strong central government based on commercial prosperity and the full protection of pri vate property. Curiously enough, it was ’ J ames Madison, Alexander Hamilton’s collaborator in the writing of the Federalist, who introduced the bills, so worded as to place a heavy discrimination on British commerce. Thereby he aroused the fears of merchants and ship owners and made nervous the men, like Hamilton, who were looking to tariff revenue as a means of maintain ing the credit of the* G-overnment. These people con sidered the principal purpose of tariff and tonnage legislation to be first the production of revenue and second the production of infant manufactures, and they did not want laws which might provoke such commercial hostility with our biggest foreign customer as to defeat these primary purposes. Madison’s support of the bills in their discriminating character marks the political parting of the ways between him and Hamilton. The ■ cleavage of opinion in this debate indicates the birth of American political parties under our present form of government and shows how closely our political and economic life and our new-born nationality were connected 76 Ibid., p. 12'. 79 with Anglo-American relations . 7 7 Agitation in favor of the above-mentioned discrimin atory plan was revived in December, 1793, when "Jefferson submitted to the House of Representatives his long-delayed report on the restrictions and discriminations by foreign nations against the commerce of the United States . - " 7 8 "With Madison as the spokesman of Jefferson and Smith as the representative of Hamilton, the debate in the House was one between the systems for which these two remarkable men stood. It may be said to mark the definite crystallization of party politics in congressional history . " 70 Washington, during the later years of his presidency inclined toward the support of the Federalist principles, but this preference for the political ideals of Alexander Hamil ton does not imply a subservience to the degree of handing over the reins of government. Mrs. Atherton writes of Wash ington's "entire absence of party spirit, despite his secret sympathy with every measure of Hamilton's . " 80 If Washington did not, in so many words, evince any trace of party feeling during the first few years of the existence of these parties, 7 7 Samuel Flagg Bemis, J a y Ts Treaty (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923), p. 36.. 78 Ibid., p. 186. 79 Ibid., p . 191. 80 Atherton, o£. cit. , p. 424. 80 lie did, Muzzley maintains, after Jefferson retired from the cabinet* His [Jefferson’s] retirement from the cabinet left a free field in the administration to Hamilton, under whose influence Washington became an out and out Feder alist* ’I shall not,* the President wrote to Pickering in September, 1795, ’while I have the honor to adminis ter the government, bring a man into any office whose political tenets are adverse to the measures which the general government.are pursuing, for this, in my opinion, would be a sort of political suicide.8! But, in spite of the fierce antagonism which devel oped between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, George Washington as President of the new United States, used the ideas of both men in furthering the policies of the United States* He "considered that both secretaries were useful o p where they were,” and "continued to take the advice of orz each, favoring each, as a rule, in his own department," In reiteration of the above idea, and also emphasiz ing the fact that George Washington as president of the United States, had not relinquished the reins of the govern ment, Bemis writes: When all factors' are weighed, in the history of those significant years, it was the stable wisdom, the imper turbable sagacity, the unmistakeable judgment of George Washington, holding the beam between the two rival patriots in his Cabinet, between the two opposite states men of American political life, that took what was best 81 Muzzey, ojd. cit * , p. 173. o p Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 243. 83 IbicL., p. 244. 81 from each active mind, evaded the errors, of both, and utilized the talents of these two extraordinary men for the great good of the United States.84 vr Y Foreign problems were of an absorbing character dur ing the Washington administration. Again, Mrs. Atherton singles out Alexander Hamilton as the one individual whose ideas were of paramount importance in creating, establish ing, and enunciating principles which became fundamental in the foreign policy of the United States. Mrs. Atherton main tains that Hamilton was the one, who "stone by stone built up the great policy of neutrality which prevailed until the year 1898; impressed into the Government.the d o c t r i n e ’— he had formulated it in ’The Federalist1--which was to im mortalize the name of a man who created nothing . " 85 He was the one, Mrs. Atherton insists, who made the United States "wealthy and respected 1 Reference has already been made in this chapter to Mrs. Atherton’s statement to the effect that Hamilton’s "fame obscured that of Washington, and abroad he was by far the most interesting and significant figure in 87 the young country." (Mrs. Atherton writes of Hamilton’s Samuel F. Bemis, The American Secretaries of State and Their Diplomacy, II, 93. 84 85 Atherton, 86 Ibid ., p. 451. 87 Ibid., p. 360. ojd. c i t ., p. 419. 8£ fame being at this high peak in Europe immediately after he submitted his "Report on the Public Credit,") In formulating major principles in foreign diplomacy, Washington, as president of the United States, is frequently described as calling upon various individuals and groups for suggestions and opinions, and then, subsequently, taking from the great amount of conflicting material, the ideas most helpful in the solution of the immediate problem. He, in the.opinion of most critics, made the final decisions. Writers seem to voice again and again, that the firm, saga cious, and inscrutable influence of Washington overshadowed all the major policies which were established; they also indicate that it was Washington’s good fortune to be sur rounded by'varied and opposing talent,- particularly of the type which was exemplified in Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Furthermore, in spite of the interference of Hamilton in the affairs of the State Department, Jefferson through it all, was conspicuously and successfully active. With sentiment in America divided over being drawn into the struggle precipitated' by the French Revolution, Fish remarks: To the danger that would inevitably come to the United States of being drawn into the vortex of any war between France and G-reat Britain was added the peril of being divided with itself over the issue. It was probably fortunate at this crisis both opinions were represented in the cabinet, and it was incalculably advantageous that the government was presided over by 85 Washington1s force, prestige, and balance. OQ In somewhat the same language, Fish also writes: Foreign affairs were, however, of such critical moment throughout the Federalist period that many ques tions of policy were discussed by the whole Cabinet, together with Jay and the vice-president, John Adams. As a matter of fact, Jefferson’s opinion was seldom followed; his influence was modifying rather than direct ing. The responsibility and the credit belong primarily to the president, Washington, and, later, Adams. In the above discussion Hamilton is not designated as being the most significant figure in establishing principles associated with foreign affairs. The "modifying influence" accorded Jefferson appears to be a tendency that is also attributed to him by other writers; but, somehow, it seems to have been a "modifying" influence which produced results. Lynch calls attention to the above-mentioned charac teristic as being a part of Jefferson: He dropped suggestions into the minds of others so adroitly that often, when .they strove to bring about what he desired, they believed themselves to be working on their own initiative. This he permitted them to think, satisfied if results came.9^ Bowers analyzes Jefferson’s influence in much the same manner: In his leadership we find more of leading than of driving. He had a genius for gently and imperceptibly insinuating his own-views into the minds of others and 8 8 Carl Russel Fish, American Diplomacy (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1925), p." 95. 89 Ibid., p. 81. 99 Lynch, 0 £. cit., p. 13. 84 leaving them with the impression that they had conceived the ideas and convinced Jefferson. Whatever the tactics Jefferson employed, Bemis ac cords him a hngh place in diplomatic, history: The years 1790 to 1793, during which Jefferson guided our foreign policy, under Washington’s judicious leadership, are among the most .vital in our diplomatic history, and if Jefferson’s long life had not been full of other important-.labour, his services-as- Secretary of State alone would still deserve well of his country and give him a high place in its history . ^ 2 Woolery, also, grants Jefferson a high place in diplomatic history: Not thoroughly respected at home, it was impossible to be so abroad. In the years after 1783 the new state had to determine the basis for its commercial relations, protect its trade by treaties, relieve its citizens from the menace of Barbary pirates, adjust claims and debts,— in general to achieve a satisfactory position among the nations. - And this achievement was a serious, proposition to a government which was poorly adapted to overcome even the ordinary difficulties of domestic concerns. For the solution Thomas Jefferson was largely responsible. As minister to France .and as Secretary of State,'he attacked every problem of American diplomacy and the system and principles he followed were, in . practically every case, ultimately followed by the United States . 9 3 Establishing a manner of dealing commendable to the degree which has been cited above, indicates that Jefferson contributed much toward making the United States respected 91 Bowers, o£. c i t ., p. 108. 92 * Bemis, American Secretaries and Their Diplomacy, II, 4. 93 Woolery, ojd. cit., p. viii. 85 in its early days, in spite of what has been termed the "outrageous” interference by Hamilton in affairs of the State Department, In a famous eulogy delivered in the year 1826, Daniel Webster pointed out "that no court in Europe, had, at that time, in Paris, a representative com manding or enjoying higher regard, for political knowledge or for general attainment, than the minister of this then infant republic. Jefferson is said to have established models in diplomacy which later secretaries were glad to study and emulate. With particular reference to Jefferson’s long note to Hammond, dated May 29, 1792, in which "Jefferson reviewed the whole course of the dispute between Great Britain and the United States since the peace," Muzzey writes: The note- had no immediate effect on England’s be havior, but it remains one of the ablest diplomatic documents in our archives. It set a standard for fair ness of spirit, thoroughness of information, and co gency of reasoning that subsequent secretaries of state have felt it an honorable task to emulate . 9 5 With reference to the Pinckney treaty, negotiated with Spain in 1795, Woolery points out that although the treaty'was not terminated during the period of Jefferson’s 94 Selim H. Peabody, American Patriotism (New York: International Book Company, 1881), pi 171. 95 Muzzey, ojd . cit., p. 144. 86 secretaryship, yet ’’Jefferson’s plan was incorporated into a treaty within twenty-two months after his retirement, and the Pinckney Treaty bears his stamp in practically every article. "It is often said that the President usually took the advice of Hamilton, but actually, in foreign affairs, he rather more usually took that of Jefferson•" 07 The proposed retaliatory shipping policy referred to above, which alarmed England to the degree that she ultimate' ly established diplomatic relations with the new republic may be cited as an example of Jefferson1s .modifying influ ence which produced results. As a leader in this discrim inatory movement, a movement which was of such a nature as to result in Great Britain changing her policy to the ex tent of agreeing to send an accredited foreign minister to the United States, Jefferson and Madison may be looked upon as persons of influence in determining foreign policy, des pite Mrs. Atherton’s insisting that abroad Hamilton was "by far the most significant figure in the young country," and that Hamilton "made the United States respected." Madison’s interest in this entire movement would seem to indicate that he was not absolutely bereft of the acumen that is usually characteristic of the successful business 96 Woolery, op., cit., p. 84. Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 244. man. Mrs. Atherton insists, however, that "there was nothQ O ing of the business man in his-composition . " ^ As to the 0 reaction produced in England over this so- called Madison’s bill providing "for a higher tariff on im portations from countries having no treaties of commerce with the United States than from those* having such treaties and for heavier tonnage duties on the ships of such nations entering American p o r t s , " " Bemis writes: No sooner was it in prospect of enactment than the letters of British consuls in America began to teem with apprehension as to its effect on the carrying trade of England. Lord Grenville, P i t t ’s Secretary of State for Home Affairs . . . read the dispatches from America with quickened interest . . . and forth with he summoned the one Englishman in London who was thoroughly familiar with current political conditions in the United States, an army officer by the name of Beckwith who had just returned from a confidential visit to the seat of the new American Government.^-00 It was "the danger to British commerce at the hands of Congress that had quickened the attention of the Ministry and had led to the sending of Beckwith late in 1789. This all shows that the faction opposing Hamilton and led by Jefferson and Madison was powerful enough to influence some of the policies that were being formulated in England. " Atherton, ojq. cit. , p. 343. " Bemis, Jay’s Treaty, p. 39. 100 Ibid.. p. 41. 101 Ibid., p. 62. 88 Beckwith., lacking "the proper credentials,” could not "establish any official contact with the Secretary of S t a t e . T h i s situation led to the arrival of'George Haimnond in October, 1791. Again, the strength of the group opposing the Hamilton faction is evidenced: P i t t ’s Government had to choose between the begin ning of diplomatic relations with a country in whosegovernment an influential party 'with an amenable leader favored more cordial relations with England or the prolonging of a situation which could only play into the hands of the anti-British and anti-Federalist party . n o w crystallizing under the leadership of Thomas Jef ferson, the friend of France. The nature of the instructions of the British Govern ment to Hammond makes ,fit obvious that the primary purpose of Hammond’s mission was to prevent, by the presence of a British Minister and a procrastinated negotiation, a revival • of the discrimination movement. He was not empowered to conclude any definite settlement either as to the frontier or as to commerce.”-*-^ Thus, then, with the arrival of Hammond as British Minister to the. United States, and with the appointment of Thomas Pinckney, as the United States to England, "was Jef ferson’s determination requited— that another American Min ister should never be sent to England until a duly authorized 102 Ibid., p. 75. 103 I b i d ., p. 8 8 . Ibid., p. 94. 89 representative of Great Britain had arrived in the United "I Q K States.. Apparently, then, the leadership and influence, of individuals, other than Hamilton, developed and furthered the foreign policy of the United States during the adminis tration of Washington. Bemis accounts for the marked success of the United States in the diplomatic field during the Washington admin istration somewhat in terms of European distress, a situa tion which was, obviously, beyond the control of Alexander Hamilton: Washington gave the required leadership, and he was to achieve marked success in the field of foreign af fairs without the prime requisite of military strength. This was because, happily for him and his countrymen,, the great powers of the world presently became involved against each other in the long conflicts which followed the outbreak of the French Revolution. Occupied in ardent and deadly struggle in Europe, they had ho force to use in America. Europe's distress became America's advantage. Such was the secret of President Washington's success in foreign affairs. Jefferson, too, viewed European quarrels as being of advantage to America: Jefferson formed while in Europe a settled .convic tion that sooner or later Europe's quarrels would be sure to be America's advantage, that as long as the European powers were not embarrassed at home, and had energy for aggressive.policies in North America, they would never be tender of American independence unless Ibid., p. 95. Samuel F. Bemis, A Diplomatic History of the United States (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1936), p. 8 6 . 90 it suited their interests to be so, as it did that of France; but that if the \mcertain state of European international relations should involve either Great Britain or Spain, the aggressive colonial back-door neighbours of this c'ountry, in' war between themselves or in serious diplomatic difficulties they would pay well to secure the friendship of the United States, in order to insure the safety of their adjacent territory in America. An implicit trust in this, rather than in military preparedness . . . was to becharacteristic of his long career in handling the foreign relations of the United States . 1 0 7 The formulation of the early policy of neutrality for the United States, a policy which originated somewhat in the recognition of the importance of America’s isolation in re lation to the rest of the world, involved too many persons, problems and of situations to be brushed aside in assertions . the Atherton nition type which have already beencited. Recog for the creation of this far-reaching policy cannot be granted Hamilton in accordance with Mrs. Atherton’s be lief that Hamilton was the one "who stone by stone built up the great policy of neutrality which prevailed until the year 1898; impressed into the Government the ’Doctrine’— he had formulated it in ’The Federalist’--which-was to im mortalize the name of a man who created nothing.”10^ A person recognized as early voicing the importance of America’s isolated position is Thomas Pownall, who, 107 Samuel F. Bemis, The American Secretaries o f -State and Their Diplomacy, II, 1 1 . 10® Atherton, op.. cit., p. 419. 91 f o r m e r l y a colonial governor and always a clear-sighted friend to America, in his Memorial to the Sovereigns of America, in 1781, spoke of the Empire of the United St ates, and laid down as a fundamental principle of American poli tics that there should he no connection with European politics."109 33j_s statement with reference to this particu lar problem is: As nature hath separated her from Europe, and hath established her. alone (as a Sovereign) on a great Con tinent, far removed from the old world and all its em broiled interests, it is'contrary to the nature of her existence, and consequently to her interest, that she should have any connexions of Politics with Europe other than merely commercial.H O The same idea was recorded by John Adams, November 18, 1782, in a conversation with the British Peace Commissioner at Paris, where he insisted that the United States must not be a make-weight.HI Some of Ada m s ’ words in this conversation are: It is obvious that all the powers of Europe will be continually manoeuvring with us, to work us into their real or imaginary balances of power. They will all wish to make of us a make-weight candle, when they are weighing out their pounds. Indeed, it is not surpris ing; for we shall very often, if not always, be able to turn the scale. But I think it ought to be our rule not to meddle; and that of all the powers of Europe, not to desire us or, perhaps even to permit us, to interfere, if they can help it . 1 1 2 109 Albert B. Hart, The Monroe Doc trine An Interpreta tion (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 19167, p. 9. 1 ° ° » cit’. Loc. cit. Loc. cit. 92 During discussions over the new United States Con stitution, this idea of isolation is said to have appeared in many forms, and to have been discussed by many states men. Washington, in 1788, wrote to Sir Edward Newenham as being against disturbance on the part of European powers: I hope the United States of America will be able to keep disengaged from the labyrinth.of European policies and wars; and that before long they will, by the adop tion of a good national government, have become re spectable in the eyes of the world, so that none of the maritime powers, especially none of those who hold possessions in the New World or the West Indies, shall presume to treat them with insult or contempt. It should be the policy of the United States to administer to their wants without being engaged in their quarrels.H53 Washington also expresses his views similarly in a letter dated August 11, 179 0, to Lafayette: It seems to be our policy to keep in the situation in which nature has placed us, to observe a strict neutrality, and to furnish others with those good things of subsistence which they may want, and which our fer tile land abundantly produces, if circumstances will permit us to do so.l^A Further statements of the above kind made by various individuals from time to time, as well as references to situ ations involving problems of diplomacy, might' be added to illustrate the complex background from which the policy of neutrality evolved.' The final policy was not the entire cre ation of Alexander Hamilton. 113 Ibid., p. 10. William Kirk -Woolery, The Relation of Thomas Jefferson to American Foreign P o l i c y , 1795-1795 (Baltimore: The Lohns Hopkins Press, 1927), p. 81. 93 When the actual wording and the formulation of the ideas of the Proclamation of Neutrality, issued in 1793, came up for consideration, some writers do not ascribe much credit to Hamilton. Woolery presents the problem as follows: The proclamation was drafted by Randolph. Had Hamil ton been successful in impressing his opinions on the President, he would have presented a form drawn up by Jay, about two weeks earlier. This copy is in the Ham ilton Manuscripts, with a letter from Jay, saying: fYour Letters of the 9th inst. were this Day delivered to me, as I was preparing to go out of town— The sub ject of them is important--I have not Time to judge decidedly on some of the points--the enclosed will show what my present Ideas of a proclamation are— it is hastily drawn— it says nothing of Treaties: — it speaks of neutrality, but avoids, the Expression because in this country often associated with others . 1 But the ideas were those of Jefferson and the two other Virginians in the administration, Washington and Randolph. The document was issued on April 2 2 . Two days before, Jefferson notified Pinckney of the course to pursue, in words very similar to the proclamation itself. fYou may on every occasion give assurances which cannot go beyond the real desires of this country to preserve a fair neutrality in the present war, on con dition that the rights of neutral nations are respected in us, as they have been settled in modern times . 1 After the cabinet discussion "the final decision lay with Washington [not with Hamilton], and his first step was to issue, on April 22, a proclamation of neutrality. Again, with reference to the ideas and the actual wording of the Farewell Address, several writers do not up hold the idea that Hamilton "stone by stone built up the 11 s 116 Woolery, ojd. cit. , p. 107. Fish, ojd. cit. , p. 100. 94 great policy of neutrality” ; they do indicate that he merely assisted. Washington "began to prepare it, with the help of Madison, in 1792, when he thought of retiring,” after which it was finished "with the large co-operation of Hamilton, and given to the public through- the newspaper on September 19, 1796.”1117 The interpretation set forth by Fitzpatrick is as follows: The address.was one of the many natural and sincere acts of his [Washington’s] life. It followed the gen eral plan outlined in his letter to Madison, four years previously. . . . When Washington decided to serve a second term in the Presidency, he laid his letter and Madison’s answer thereto aside until 1796 when he de cided to withdraw permanently from public life. In July he sent a draft of 'his ideas," together with Madi sons’s, to Alexander. Hamilton with a request to dress them up in form. Hamilton complied and built up an address from Washington’s and Madison’s ideas with some of his own, and returned the result to Washington, who again sent it back with suggestions. Hamilton then consulted John Jay and the t w o dressed up what appar ently was a redraft form by Hamilton, who preferred to do this rather than alter Washington’s composition. This, when examined by the President, did not please him as well as Hamilton’s first draft, which was then returned to him with the request to give, it a final polishing. M e n Wfashington got this back he revised it carefully and expunged many things therefrom, faircopied it and handed it to printer Claypoole for publi cation. Through Glaypoole’s newspaper ’The American Daily Advertiser,’ Philadelphia, the Address was first given to the people of the United S t a t e s . H 8 Hunt grants recognition to Madison for several of the ideas which became a part of the Farewell Address, but not 117 Bassett, 033 . c it. , p. 146. "I T O Fitzpatrick, George Washington Himself, p. 498. 95 those which are ’’its striking features.”1-1-9 A portion of H u n t ’s analysis is as follows: After three years of service Washington weighed the question of announcing his determination not to accept a re-election. In his official family he took Jeffer son, Hamilton, Knox and Randolph into his confidence and they advised him not to retire. The only other person he consulted was Madison, who, of course, advised him as the others had done; but Washington wanted his opin ions on another point. If he should conclude to retire, how should he announce his intention? Madison replied that a direct address to the people would be the most fitting way, and at-Washington’s request he handed him on June £1, 1792, a draft of a farewell address. Wash ington put it with his papers, and, concluding to accept a second term, had no occasion to use it, until five years later when he made it the basis of a part of his first draft of the immortal Farewell Address. He sent his draft to Hamilton, and Hamilton sent him another draft which he used finally as the framework of the address. The first paragraph, announcing his purpose to retire, was substantially as Madison had written it; so was the second in which he promised continued zeal for the welfare of the country. The fifth, regretting his shortcomings, and the sixth, expressing gratitude for the honours bestowed upon him, and hope for the perpetuity of the Constitution were similar to the Madison draft. The draft also containe*d expressions in favor of the Union and the Government which appeared in the address in a different form. Everything, there fore, said in Madison’s draft was incorporated in the address, but his draft contained only nine paragraphs and the address has fifty; nor can it be claimed that its striking features are the portion which Madison suggested. The reason why Washington did not consult him in pre paring the final address was that, at the time he was drawing it up, Madison no longer enjoyed his confidence or favor.12(^ 11^ Gaillard Hunt, Life of Madison (New York: Double day, Page and Company, .1902), p. £20. 120 Loc. cit. 96 Ford, also, refers to the Madison draft, to confer ences which Washington held with lay, and to the preparation of the draft hy Hamilton, hut, nevertheless, he states that "Washington's own ideas controlled the substance; the liter1 pi ary form was supplied by Hamilton." In direct opposition to Mrs. Atherton's contention that Hamilton built up the policy of neutrality, Hart in sists that the document was fundamentally one representing the thought and feeling of George Washington on the subject, as'well as that of other statesmen. He, accordingly, dis credits the idea of Hamilton being chiefly involved. Descendants'of Alexander Hamilton to this day insist that it was their ancestor who drew up Washington's famous Farewell Address of 1796. The facts are that Washington invited various of his closest friends and counsellors to make suggestions on that address. It appears that Hamilton, who had great gifts of literary style, was asked to make a fair copy of the result, so that a manuscript exists today written in his hand. But we know also, that for the printed version of the ad dress which appears in the. Federal Gazette, the presi dent himself read the proofs and made some changes in the final drafts. The Farewell Address sounds like Washington: it was the work of Washington; it is Wash ington. Ford, ojd. cit., p. 308. A. B. Hart, Reading with a Purpose (Chicago: Ameri can Library Association, 1927), p. 18. CHAPTER V A BRIEF STUDY OF SEVERAL OF MRS, ATHERTON'S DEROGATORY STATEMENTS APPEARING TO THE LIFE AND CAREER OF THOMAS JEFFERSON Somehow, in the history of the United States, it would seem that two major factions following the principles upheld by Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson have in fluenced simultaneously the political philosophy, as well as the social and economic development of the country. Lesser groups have emerged from period to period, flourished, launched their ideas, and, in time=, managed to secure more than a measure of approval for some of their principles even from the major factions. Despite this modifying in fluence of lesser groups, the major parties have largely determined the basic policies of the nation's development. With reference to the rather natural grouping into which people fall, an alignment said to be somewhat typical of all countries where political units function, Muzzey writes: As long as men live together in political societies there will be those who fear anarchy more than tyranny and those who set freedom.above efficiency* We incline toward the one or the other of these opinions according to our nature and nurture, and-the bias is seldom re moved by education or experience. There are ’tastes' 98 in polities as in food, and they are impossible to ac count for.1 Besides this rather natural tendency to which Muzzey refers., there are, perhaps, other influences which may ac count for the ailignment. Whatever they are, the fact re mains that the partisanship of the Washington period was extreme, and .Americans of pronounced political feeling, when faced with the powerful contradictory philosophies of Hamilton and Jefferson, were almost compelled to- choose one or the other, in the same manner as people of today tend to classify themselves. Just as Mrs. Atherton in her study of Alexander Hamilton in the book, The Conqueror, has been, in several instances, almost offensively laudatory, so in her treat ment of Thomas Jefferson, she has been unnecessarily condem natory. In her study of this early period in American history, Mrs. Atherton has written glowingly and effusively of the character and achievements of Hamilton and minimized the constructive influence of several of his contemporaries, notably Jefferson, thereby lessening the reciprocal influ ence resulting from the interplay of opposing factions. This procedure of associating numerous constructive forces with Hamilton and basically destructive forces with Jeffer-'. son has distorted the viewpoint of the era under study. 1 David S. Muzzey, Thomas Jefferson (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918), p. 176. 99 A writer wlio has as his main object the interpreta tion of an individual statesman usually notes and even recognizes the influence of contemporary statesmen, even though their policies may have been in direct opposition to those promulgated by the particular person under study. Any period in its finality draws its congealing forces from the influence of many minds, some of which may be diametri cally opposed to each other. Individuals and factions do not only contribute to their own strength and activity, but, indirectly, to the strength and activity of opposing in dividuals and factions, sometimes in proportion to the num ber and the intensity of the conflicting ideas and the rival ries which are instigated, promoted, and supported. Or, in other words, the greatness of individuals and groups is sometimes measured in comparison with the ability and achieve ment of the adversaries. Thus, it would seem, that a study and a presentation of an historical epoch ought include the analysis of influences and counter-influences of the ideas and achievements of the several individuals upon each other. Again, it may be pointed out, that in the composite picture which Mrs. Atherton has created in her volume, The Conqueror, ideas and movements emerge abruptly through her final statements and hasty assumptions, rather than evolve gradually as natural growths and developments. 100 I The height of Mrs, Atherton1s prejudice in The Conquoror is shown*in her treatment of Thomas Jefferson when paralleled with her treatment of Alexander Hamilton, Against an array of descriptions which extol, at times,-to the point of deification, the character of Hamilton and his achievements, Mrs, Atherton, with reference to Jeffer son, thrusts denunciatory remarks of the following nature: "History shows us few men so contemptible in character, so low in tone. . , -."2 (Mrs, Atherton does add in a jumbled array of words that a certain quality places Jefferson as a man of genius.) Her words are: "But those who despise him most, who oppose the most determined fron to the ultimates of his work, must acknowledge that formational quality in his often dubious intellect which ranks him a man of genius."3 This rather queer description of Jefferson*s ancestry also appears in The Conqueror: Had Jefferson come of stout yeoman stock, like John , Adams, or of a long line of patrician ancestors, like Hamilton, and, to a lesser degree, like Washington, he might, judging from certain of his tastes, and his love of power, have become, or been, as aristocratic in habit and importance in the young country. But the two extremes met in his blood. The plebianism of his father o Gertrude Franklin Atherton, The Conqueror (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1904), p. 460, 3 Ibid.* > P* 461. 101 showed itself in the ungainly shell, the indifference to personal cleanliness, and in the mongrel spirit which drove him to acts of physical cowardice for which his apologists blush. ' But his mother had belonged to the aristrocracy of Virginia, and' this knowledge induced a sullen, resentment that he should be so unlike her in kind, so different in appearance from the courtly men of his State.4 Mrs. Atherton maintains on one hand that "all that is greatest in this American evolution of a century was typified in Hamilton,1,5 and on the other hand that "the re verse side of the national character we owe to the greatest of his rivals [Jefferson]".6 Mrs. Atherton, presumably, must have emulated the style of some earlier writers of Hamiltonian biography, who it is said, were somewhat in the habit of heaping invective upon the character and the achievement of Thomas Jefferson. With reference to this situation, James Truslow Adams main tains that "both in his lifetime and since, Jefferson suf fered in this respect (being slandered) in a much higher degree than Hamilton"; and, "whereas a considerable number of the lives of Jefferson are fair to the claims of Hamilton, it seems difficult for almost any biographer of Hamilton to refrain from trying to prove that Jefferson was either a 4 Jkid., p . 418. 5 Ibid.. p. £07. ^ Loc. cit• ,.••• ■ ' ■ * -t ■ fool or a knave or both.” 7 Apparently, following this older trend of maligning Jefferson, Mrs. Atherton maintains, on one hand, that "the most exhaustive research among records of friends and enemies has failed to bring to light any evidence of mean and contemptible traits in Hamilton. . . . Even his de tractors— those who count in letters— have admitted that his nature and his methods were too high-handed for grovel ling and deceit. . . On the other hand, Mrs. Atherton creates such despicable pictures as the following: "Jeffer son and Madison had the spirit of the mongrel in comparison Q [with Hamilton]; and our forefathers "were not debased by political corruption until Jefferson took them in hand, and sowed the bountiful crop which has fattened so vast and so curious a variation upon the original A m e r i c a n . J e f f e r s o n ^ system, Mrs. Atherton insists, was plebian to the ex tent that it was entirely inconsistent with anything that approached dignity and splendor. She writes: Nor did it occur to anyone, even the most ardent Republican, that dignity and splendour were inconsis tent with a frea and enlightened Republic, until James T. Adams. The Living Jefferson (New York: Charles Scribners, 1936), p. 8. Q Atherton, ££. cit., p. 391. ^ Loc. cit. 10 Ibid., p. 307. 103 Jefferson began his steady and successful system of plebianizing the country.J-1 Mrs. Atherton, evidently finds it not difficult to picture the opponents of Hamilton,— Jefferson, in particu lar, in most unbecoming aspects. Language of the oppro brious type which Mrs. Atherton hurls against Jefferson, would seem to carry with it the implication that the statesmanship of Jefferson was not only insignificant, but of a subversive nature. Mrs. Atherton, accordingly, rele gates Jefferson to an inferior position and regards his public life and career as harmful influences in the history of the United States and deterrent factors in the public career of Alexander Hamilton. II Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that Mrs. Ather ton maintains that Hamilton was above resorting to deceit, some writers do call attention to activities on the part of Hamilton which did not exactly .emanate from the kindliness and the integrity of his soul, but rather from an unbecom ing and overwhelming desire to achieve his particular ob jectives. An act on his part, which calls forth unquestionable 11 ibid., p. 329 104 condemnation, is one associated with his interference in the affairs of the State Department during the early days of the Washington administration. The matter arose over deal ings of the new republic with G-reat Britain. The first accredited British minister to the United States, Hammond, arrived in October, 1791, and forthwith presented to the State Department the grievances of the British government which revolved around such problems as those developing from boundary disputes and the British evacuation of the Northwest forts. With reference to Jefferson’s reply to the complaints of the British minister, and its resultant treatment in the hands of Hamilton, James Truslow Adams writes: I It is a document of nearly seventy pages, and has been called one of the most memorable which ever came from Jefferson’s pen. He took a firm stand on all the questions involved, and, not knowing that Hamilton had been leading the British envoy to expect a much weaker reply, Jefferson asked Hamilton to read it over before sending. Hamilton returned it with various sugges tions, among others that Jefferson should ’extenuate’ instead of ’vindicating’ the American position as to dejbts. The document then went to Washington, who ••reversed. Hamilton and upheld Jefferson. It next went to Mr. Hammond, who having been led into wholly false expectations by Hamilton was stunned by what he called the ’extraordinary performance’ of Jefferson, and im mediately ran to Hamilton for explanations. The real ’extraordinary performance’ then became that of the Secretary of the Treasury, who, as a member of the Cabinet, lamented to a British Minister the ’intem perate violence’ of the American Secretary of State, adding that Jefferson’s letter was far from represent ing the real opinion of the country. Hamilton falsely added that Washington had not seen it, and had relied upon Jefferson’s sending a document which would meet the views of other members of the Cabinet. 105 The bewildered Minister regarded this utterly inde fensible action of Hamilton as a ’mark of confidence1, and then bethought himself of having another talk with the Secretary of State. Jefferson, however, insisted upon the text of the letter as agreed upon by himself and Washington, and left the British diplomat more be wildered than ever. Ho great harm was done, as the' British government was too busy with the dangerous re lations with France even to consider the documents in the American case when they arrived in London. Hamil t o n ’s belief that he was to be a sort of Prime Minister made him a nuisance in poking into other departments, but even a Prime Minister does not discredit and throw over his Foreign Secretary when talking with the Minister of another power. Except as an example.of_ Hamilton’s egoism, his frequent lack of judgment, and his intense hatred of Jefferson, the incident is almost incredible.12 Another instance which may be cited to show that Hamilton deliberately resorted to misrepresenting condi tions is one arising over the possibility of the United States joining an Armed Neutrality in 1794, in the event of which, John Jay might have secured more favorable provisions in the treaty bearing his name. Hamilton "carelessly des troyed one of Jay’s strongest weapons,— the possibility of the United States joining Sweden and Denmark in an Armed Neutrality,— by.telling Hammond that such a move would be against our policy."13 In describing t h e .above-mentioned situation, Bowers writes: Sweden and Denmark had ratified an Armed Neutrality Convention on March 27, 1794, agreeing to join their 12 Adams, o jd . cit . » p . 245. ^ John Truslow Adams, The March of Democracy (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1932), P* 182. 106 fleets for the protection of their peoples. Pinckneyhad been approached by the Swedish Minister in London with an invitation to the American Government to join. He had received the invitation with frank enthusiasm, and thought his country would agree. This was all known to Grenville, who was painfully impressed with the possibilities. He had put his spies to the task of opening diplomatic mail and keeping him informed of devel opments. Instructions had been sent to Hammond, the Minis'ter at Philadelphia, to exert all his ingenuity to prevent the United States from joining the Scandina vian combination. Ten days before lay submitted his draft, Grenville was in possession of a curious report from Hammond. The latter had been informed by Hamilton, ’with every demonstration of sincerity,’ that under no circumstances would America join the Armed Neutrality. This, Hammond understood, was secret information on Cabinet action. Thus, through the amazing indiscretion of Hamilton, Jay was deprived of his high card at-the critical moment of the negotiations. Hamilton was standing behind Jay, to be sure, but he was holding a mirror, however unconscious ly, which reflected the American negotiator’s cards to the enlightenment of the suave and smiling Grenville. Prom that moment Grenville stiffened.his opposition to J a y ’s demands, and thenceforth the latter was in a con tinuous retreat. It would seem, then, that there were evidences of. mean and contemptible traits in Hamilton, even though Mrs. Atherton contends that his methods were above deceit. The Hamilton-Burr relations, if analyzed in a few of their numerous intricacies, would, perhaps, reveal sufficient evidence to the effect that both of these men, Alexander Hamilton as well as Aaron Burr, in their frequent dealings ^ Claude G, Bowers, Jefferson and Hamilton (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1925), p . 269. 107 with, each other, were not always actuated by the highest quality of patriotism, but rather that both would stoop to employ tactics of unbecoming nature. T h e ■bitterness of their rivalry was of long standing, becoming in the opinion of some very pronounced with the elevation of Burr to the senatorship of the state of New York.. and the Livingstons had united When the Clintons to oppose the re-election of Schuyler, Hamilton’s father-in-law, and supported Burr, Hamilton became enraged. After this election, according to Wandell and Minnegerode, Hamilton resorted to underhanded defamation of Burr. They write: . . . On January 19, 1791, Aaron Burr found himself, at the age of thirty-four years and eleven months, United States Senator from New York. . . . The senatorial election, and the unexpected defeat of his father-in-law, infuriated Mr. Hamilton. . . . Actually, his secret hatred, his underhanded obstruc tion,. his stealthy defamation of Colonel Burr began on that January day in 1791.15 There are assertions to the effect that Hamilton, in order to meet the onslaughts of Freneau’s "Gazette," re sorted to anonymous letter-writing; and there are writers who indicate that he did not receive approbation for his efforts. "We search in vain," writes Bowers, "through the correspondence of his friends for evidence of approval. 15 Samuel H. Wandell and Meade Minnegerode, Aaron Burr (New York: Putnam and Sons, 1927), I, 149. *i Bowers, ojq. cit., p. 168. 108 In further description of Hamilton’s descent to anonymous letter-writing, Bowers adds: "Thus ended the first year of actual party struggle— Hamilton a hit soiled by his descent to anonymous letter-writing, Jefferson strengthened by his silence under assault."1 ^ Adams writes similarly: When an opposition newspaper was started, Hamilton lost control of himself, and in the course of some months he wrote— under various pseudonyms--a series of outrageous attacks upon his colleague in the Cabinet, claiming among other things that Jefferson had opposed the adoption of the Constitutionj that he had wished to repudiate the public debt; and that he had set up a paper to slander the government. Whatever, names Ham ilton signed, the authorship of the articles was well known, and the public was treated to the spectacle of the Secretary of the Treasury bitterly slandering the Secretary of State in public print.18 As has been previously pointed out, Mrs. Atherton maintains that Hamilton’s ’’nature and methods were too high1 Q handed for grovelling and deceit.” In spite of this state ment, it might be indicated, that the above references to incidents in the public career of Hamilton, in which in stances he did display tendencies which call forth condemna tion, are more in conformance with the opinion expressed by Adams that ’’with all his dazzling qualities, he [Hamilton] had a taste for low intrigue, and he had for long been, 17 I b i d ., p. 183. 18 Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 241. 19 Atherton, ojd. cit., p. 391. 109 attacking Jefferson in the public press in articles vfoich he signed with assumed names or initials.” 20 Ill To bewail Jefferson’s lack of sturdy* and patrician ancestry; to intimate that he failed to become aristocratic in habit and spirit because of his extremely plebian charac teristics; to maintain that he was contemptible in character and low in tone; to assert that he was first responsible for debasing our forefathers by political corruption; and to proclaim that the national character of the United States owes its reverse character to Thomas Jefferson— all of this, it would seem grossly,misrepresents Thomas Jefferson. It almost verges upon the ridiculous to defend Jefferson against some of the above charges. Thomas Jefferson was of sturdy, frontier stock on his father’s side and of patrician lineage on his mother’s side. It was an ancestry, perhaps of as much prominence, as produced any of the outstanding statesmen of the day. Thomas Jeffer son’s father, Peter Jefferson, a surveyor, belonged to' ’’one of the oldest, although not socially great, families in Virginia. ... He was chiefly self-taught, but he had a powerful mind, formed, as Lincoln’s was to be by constant 20 Adams, The March of Democracy, p. 181. 110 reading of tlie Bible and of Shakespeare, though other books, such as Swift and the Spectator, also bore some share. influence in the frontier community was great. His • • .21 . Of Jefferson’s m ather’s family Muzzey writes: . . . a certain William Randolph, gentleman, from War wickshire, who had sacrificed most of his patrimony in the defense of Charles’s martyred father, came to the royal colony of Virginia and started his fortunes anew at Turkey Island, on the broad banks of the lower James. Randolph traced his descent through a long line of nobles, warriors, and statesmen to the royal Earl of Murray, half-brother of the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots . . . a daughter of the house of Randolph . . . became the mother of Thomas Jefferson.22 In writing of Thomas Jefferson’s family background and what it meant to him, Adams writes: With money, position, well-known throughout the county and socially well-connected throughout the colony, the boy could look forward to living the life of a country gentleman of that day or striving for almost any career he might choose. The boy was to develop into a genuine aristocrat of the highest type. . . .2S Bowers advances a similar opinion: When he entered college at Williamsburg, he found himself ;,in the headquarters of -the. aristocracy. . . . Into this society Jefferson-was thrown, and he moved therein as to the manor born. . . .24 Presumably Jefferson was not forced to harbor resent- Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 22. 22 23 24 Muzzey, o jd . c i t . , p. 2 . Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 24. Bowers, g>£. ci t., p. 95. ment over the idea that he was so unlike his mother’s kind as Mrs. Atherton maintains. Bowers aptly remarks: wThere is a manifest absurdity in the idea that the man who moved familiarly in the most cultured circles of the most polished capital in Europe could have been either impossible in dress 25 or boorish in manner.*1 For Mrs. Atherton to assert that such items as the type of clothing Jefferson wore, or the color of his hair, furnish a basis for certain groups of people of his time or any time to regard him as *’a greater man than Washington or Hamilton**^ is foolishly erroneous. Employing this description, nwith his shaggy, sandy hair, his great red face, covered with freckles, his long loose figure, clad in red French breeches a size too small, a threadbare brown coat, soiled linen and hose, and enormous hands and feet, he must have astounded the courtly city of New York, and it is certain that he set Washington’s teeth on e d g e - M r s . Atherton concludes that ”it is no wonder that when this vision rises upon the democratic horizon of to-day, he is hailed as a greater man than Washington or Hamilton. 25 Ibid., p. 93. Atherton, ojd. cit., p. 345. 27 T Loc. cit. 118 Regardless of the time or the place that a descrip tion and a conclusion of the above-kinds be uttered, or by whom they be uttered, one may safely maintain that the great ness or the insignificance of.any person, cannot be based on or measured by such items as Mrs. Atherton sets forth in the above quoted description of Thomas Jefferson. The following conclusion drawn by Bowers would seem more fittingly used with reference to Jefferson. His enemies then, and ever since, have made too much of his loose carpet slippers and worn clothes, and the only thing, they prove is that he m a y have had the Lincolnian indifference to style.29 A man so fundamentally associated with the spirit of American democracy and liberalism as is Thomas Jefferson cannot be described correctly as one contemptible in charac ter and low in tone. What gave Jefferson his profound importance in his own day, as it does now, was his view of human life. He was, and still is, the greatest and most influential American exponent of both Liberalism and Americanism.50 This spirit of liberalism was an integral part of his being.. • "Jefferson was never to wayer. Liberalism and love of liberty were not phases of his youth. very fibre of his b e i n g . " ^ 29 30 They were of the . . N o other man in all our Bowers, o£. c i t ., p. 92. Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 4.. 31 Ibid., p. 107. 113 history has so contributed to the forming of the American spirit as Jefferson did by his life-long devotion to the principles of freedom, equality of opportunity, and of ~ Liberalism, The following comparison of Hamilton and Jefferson, which Adams makes, is somewhat in divergence with the com parisons made by Mrs. Atherton, which are cited above. Hamilton saw more clearly than Jefferson the springs, which move men and the motives by which they are led and act. He took a much lower view of human nature than Jefferson and in that he was right. On the other hand, Jefferson saw more clearly than Hamilton the ideals which the American cherished though they might not live up to them in practice. Hamilton was cynical; Jefferson optimistic. Hamilton believed in heredity; Jefferson in environment. Hamilton believed human nature could never change; Jefferson that under the right conditions it could improve. Hamilton believed America could never be governed except by the age-long European methods of corruption and personal gain; Jefferson, who had seen those methods of corruption at close range, believed that America had a unique chance in the history of the world to develop a better method.3** Described as an individual particularly interested in tTethical speculation,"34 and as one whatever he did, nhe did from nature and from deep conviction,1,33 Jefferson wDuld seem removed' from that which is termed either contemptible or low. A man so versatile and so genuinely interested in . 32 Ibid.. P. 33 Ibid.. P* 34 Ibid.* P35 Ibid.. P- 127 211 38. 107 114 the variety of ideas and activities to the extent that Thomas Jefferson demonstrated was not ordinary in habit, spirit, and character. "No American of his time had such versatility or such diversified i n t e r e s t s . H e was "an aristocrat by nature, a democrat in theory and by generous impulse. . . . Philosopher, architect, musician, farmer, statesman, he touched life at many points in his years abroad and at home.Furthermore, in comparison with Hamilton, it may be indicated that "it is this wide range of Jefferson's mind and the variety of his interests, which adds so much to our interest in the man. Hamilton's mind, powerful as it was in the fields of government and finance, is singularly lacking in interest once we abandon those two fields."^® In considering the background of both Jefferson and Hamilton, Muzzey concludes that "by all the canons of proba bility, Jefferson should have been the aristocratic Federal ist and Hamilton the Democratic-Republican♦"30 By what devious method of reasoning Mrs. Atherton determined that our forefathers "were not debased by politi cal corruption until Jefferson took them in hand"40 would be 36 37 Bowers, o£. cit., p. 112. Adams, The March of Democracy, p. 286. rzo Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 120. 39 4-0 Muzzey, o£. c i t ., p. 176. Atherton, ojd. c i t ., p. 307. 115 difficult to establish. Jefferson is, Mrs. Atherton asserts, the one who "sowed the bountiful crop[of political corrup tion] which has- fattened so vast and so curious a variation 41 upon the original American." That Jefferson should be singled out as the individual who introduced into American life a trait which has entered so unedifyingly into the political organization of this country seems strange; but, that the people of Jefferson’s day were in a state of ignorance as to the existence of political corruption be fore he promulgated his ideas seems more strange. In the United States, as it does in any country,, political corruption dates back to the very initial stage, when a mere semblance of government was in the process of appearing. The introduction of corruption into any ^country or into any political faction, cannot be associated with any single individual, or with any single event. Corruption in its national aspect is most frequently a veiled force, which develops in a malignant fashion from an origin nourished by many ideas, situations, and men. Had Jefferson been only associated with the reverse side of our national character, as Mrs. Atherton maintains, undoubtedly his services would not have been so much in de mand "through nearly forty years by the people of his own county and state, by the Virginia Assembly, by President 41 Atherton, lac. c i t . 116 Washington, by Congress, and by the nation at large. Such a record is n o t .that of one who is considered, by those best able to judge, either a shirker or a slack and inefficient public servant.”^ Through all this period of public service, he must have adhered largely to his own belief that "the man who is dishonest as a statesman would be a dishonest man in any station. Merely referring to one of Jefferson’s major achieve ments, his appropriate and sagacious wording of the Declara tion of Independence, dispels any idea of Jefferson’s having associated with the "reverse in our national character." Jefferson "perfectly succeeded in making it [the Declaration of Independence] as he said ’it was intended to be, an ex pression of the American m i n d . ’ That is the important thing about it, and also that the ’American m i n d ’ has developed along the lines of thought and emotion laid down by Hooker in Connecticut and not by Winthrop in Massachusetts, by Jeffer son of Virginia and not by Hamilton of New Y o r k . " ^ In word ing the Declaration of Independence,"Jefferson communicated an undefinable yet distinctive quality to the Declaration which makes it h i s . " ^ A d a m s , 'The Living Jefferson, p. 99. , ^ Paul Leicester Ford, The Writings of Thomas Jeffer son (New York: C. P. Putnam’s Sons, Ib9L-±8W), X, 68. 4-4Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 95. 4-t=i Carl Becker, The Declaration of Independence (New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1912277 P • 196• 117 In contrast to this idea, that Jefferson is so funda mentally associated with what is termed the American spirit, is a doubt expressed by some as to whether Hamilton ever appreciated its significance• Mrs. Atherton, however, in sists that Hamilton had a psychological understanding of the American people. , In describing a letter in which Hamil ton gave his reasons for establishing a national bank, Mrs. Atherton indicates that the one thing about the letter (but not the most remarkable thing,) was the psychological knowl edge it betrayed of the American people. In contrast to this idea- is the information advanced by Adams: . . . Although Hamilton’s patriotic loyalty is so far above question as to make its mention unnecessary, and he spent much of his life in the service of America, it may be questioned if he rea l l y .understood it. He knew practically nothing of the molding influences of the frontier, which was largely making America. His maturer years were spent almost wholly in the gay little cities of New York and Philadelphia among the rich and governing classes.46 An idea somewhat in conformance with the above is ad vanced by Bowers that Hamilton’s "unpopularity with the rank and file was to come from his lack of sympathy for, and his understanding of, the America spirit.”£*7 Jefferson had much confidence in the good sense of the people. 46 47 "I am persuaded myself,** he writes, "that the , Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 6. Bowers, ojd. c i t .. p. 37. 118 good sense of the people will always be found to be the best array. They may be led astray for a moment, but will soon correct themselves." He continues, "The basis of our govern ments being the opinion of the people, -the very first object should be to keep that right.' . . * .*48 Jefferson reiterates this same opinion in a communi cation to President Washington; "I consider the people who constitute a society or nation as.the source of all author ity in that nation. . . .f,^9 Mrs. Atherton singles out Alexander Hamilton as being in the year, 1794, "the most accomplished and versatile man in America, the most brilliant of conversationists, the most genial of companions, and hospitable of hosts."^0 These words would, most likely, not.be descriptive of any person, at any time, in any country; but, in so far as this early period in the United States is concerned, the words would seem to be more appropriately used with reference to Thomas Jefferson than they are with reference to Alexander Hamilton. 4:8 Hord, Writings. IV, 559. 49 I b i d -• VI, 220. Atherton., on. cit.. p. .444. 119 IV Appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to "negotiate treaties of commerce with foreign nations in conjunction 51 with Mr* John Adams and Dr. Franklin,” x Jefferson arrived in Paris in August, 1784, and he remained in France until the fall of 1789. Commenting.on Jefferson’s experiences in France, Mrs. Atherton writes: Democracy rampant on all sides of him, during his so journ in France, found in him not only an ardent sympa thizer, but a passionate advocate. He quite overlooked the fact that he failed to persuade the country of his enthusiasm to accord the United States fair commercial treatment: it embodied and demonstrated his ideal of liberty, equality, fraternity, and he was its most de voted friend, unresting until he had insinuated his own admiration into the minds of his followers in America, and made Jacobinism a party issue.52 With reference to the commercial negotiations, it ap pears that- Jefferson was not dealt with ignominiously. Mr. Bemis writes that with France, Jefferson's negotiations were concerned chiefly with efforts ”to secure preferential treat ment for American commerce, for which he did win a few con53 cessions.” Those few concessions may have been termed fair 51 Gilbert Chinard, Thomas Jefferson, The Apostle of Americanism (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1929), p. 152. 50 53 Atherton, o£. c i t .; p. 418. S. F. Bemis, editor, American Secretaries and Their Diplomacy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf Company, 1929), II, 8. 120 in the eyes of some, and not a failure as is maintained by Mrs. Atherton. "He [Jefferson] succeeded in securing impor tant modifications of the French tariff in the interest of * R4* American commerce." John Marshall is said to have admitted that Jefferson in France "quitted himself much to the public satisfaction,”55 while Daniel Webster declared that "Mr. Jefferson’s discharge of his diplomatic duties was marked by great ability, diligence, and patriotism." Mrs. Atherton maintains that the France which Jeffer son witnessed and studied during his sojourn as Minister to the country, during the years 1784 to 1789, demonstrated his ideal of democracy to the extent that he wished to advocate and impress it upon the minds of Americans; she, also, im plies that Jefferson was willing to support the principles of Jacobinism in the United States. Students of the period appear to be of the opinion that Jefferson, before he ever went to France, had a politi cal philosophy recognized to the degree that the French were willing to accept it in part. As to the origin of Jefferson’s political philosophy, it is said: 54 Andrew A. Lipscomb, editor, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Associa tion of the United States,. 1905), VI, xvii. 55 Muzzey, oq. cit.. p. 118. 5 6 .Loo. oit. 121 It does not appear that there was anything particu larly English or particularly French, although the remote source of some ideas may be traced to English and French political thinkers. His principles, as a matter of fact, belonged to the common fund of political thought drawn upon by- all the liberal thinkers of the eighteenth century, and Jefferson, calling no man his master, simply reflected the general trend of his time. . But whatever may have been the primary origin of some of his ideas, he was fully convinced that they corresponded to conditions existing in America and nowhere else on earth, that in America alone, were they susceptible of immediate application and extensive development.^” Chinard maintains that the political philosophy of Jefferson was not changed as a result of his association with the French and their ideas. He writes: But when all is said, the most careful scrutiny of the letters he wrote during that period fails to reveal any enthusiasm or even any endorsement of the many and sometimes contradictory political doctrines which were preached in France, at that time. I do not even see that his prolonged sojourn in France modified to any extent the conclusions he had already reached independently in the ’Notes on Virginia ’ In consideration of Jefferson’s prominence in American public life for fifteen years before he went to France, .Chi nard maintains: Such a man was not a student coming to Paris to sit at the feet of French masters; he was considered by the French themselves, not only as a master but as the apostle of the religion of liberty. They looked up to him for advice and help, for he had over them the great superiority of having been more than a simple theorizer; he had contributed to a great movement of liberation; he was the promoter of the Bill for Religious Freedom; he 57 Chinard, ojd. cit •, p. 204. 58 Ibid., p. 215. 132 had proposed a complete plan of public education and he had proclaimed in a national document the inviolable rights of man* They had much to learn from Jefferson and he was not reluctant to teach them, but he never felt that his French friends could repay him in kind. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that he was very happy to find enunciated in a very clear and logical way some of his favorite ideas; it is equally certain that France was to him a living demonstration and a sort of horrible example of all the evils caused by aristocratic, monarchical, and ecclesiastical repressions. His sojourn in France had at least the effect of making him more in tensely, more proudly American than he was before sail ing, and more convinced than ever of the unsurpassed superiority of the civilization which had already devel oped on the northern continent of the New World.^9 Pointing o u t 'that Jefferson preferred the ideals and surroundings of his own country, Chinard refers to one of Jefferson’s letters written to James Monroe in which Jeffer son asks him to come to France in order to see the actual conditions. "It will,” Jefferson wrote, "make you adore your own country, its soil, its climate, its equality, liberty, laws, people & manners. My God! how little do my country men know what precious blessings they are in possesrsion of, and which no other people on earth enjoy. . . .” Jefferson’s attitude toward France, such as it is indicated in the portion of the letter quoted above., would seem to be in direct opposition with the idea proclaimed by Mrs. Atherton,— that France demonstrated Jefferson’s ideal. Chinard also believes that even after Jefferson PsQ Ibid., p. 216. 60 I bid., p. 217. 123 "came back to America, he carefully refrained from giving any encouragement to those of his French friends who held radical views,ft6^ and that "whatever influence he exerted was exerted .in order to maintain rather than overthrow the existing order of things.”62 Adams and Muzzey, American biographers of Jefferson, practically reiterate the ideas expressed by the French biographer, Chinard, in their study of the French influence on Jefferson. Adams writes: . . . Always intensely American, his European experi ences made him even more so. Later . . . .he was accused of having been greatly in fluenced by French revolutionary ideas and of being a Jacobin. Such accusations may have been good politics but they were certainly far from being the truth. The fact is that it would scarcely be an exaggeration to say that he came back without a single major idea which he had not taken with him when he sailed from Boston. This does not mean that he did not acquire a vast amount of information and also of experience. It means that when in his forty-second year he arrived in France he had already rounded out a complete political philosophy which was thereafter to be modified only in details and not fundamentals. So far as new ideas were concerned, in stead of receiving them, he rather gave them to the leaders of the new movement in Paris which was for the most part in the hands of the moderates during his stay. What France did do for him in the realm of political thought was to deepen and intensify the conclusions he already reached. . . .63 Muzzey also writes that the political philosophy of Chinard, ojd. cit., p. 221. 62 oit. Adams, The Living Jefferson, p. 173. 124 Thomas Jefferson was definitely formulated before he went to France. Neither did Jefferson learn his radicalism in France. , . . There were no ’Jacobins* in evidence in France when Jefferson was there. . . . Jefferson’s radicalism was far more advanced than that of his Parisian friends, and if there was any ’infection’ it was rather they who got it from him. * . . Jefferson’s ’democracy’ was based less on the reading of Rousseau than on the charac ter of George I I I . 6 4 Bowers also denies that Jefferson admired and accepted French political ideas to the extent that he wished to establish them in America. asserts, ’’Locke, not Rousseau,” Bowers ’’was the well from which'he [Jefferson] drew” ; he adds, ’’and there is no sillier assertion in history than that his [Jefferson’s] democracy was born of association with the men of the French Revolution.”65 V Through correspondence, Jefferson, the American Minis ter in France, kept himself partially informed as to the activities associated with the forming and the ratification of the United States Constitution; and his letters to various individuals seem to indicate that he was very much more in sympathy with the whole movement rather than that he was opposed to it. Muzzey, ojd. cit., p. 132. Bowers, o p . c i t ., p. 97. 125 Mrs. Atherton advances the following information: . . . and it was well understood among leaders that Jefferson, who was then American minister to France, gave the Constitution but a grudging and inconsistent approval, and would prefer that it failed, were not amendments tacked on which practically would nullify its energies.66 Several years before the Constitution was drawn up, Jefferson "realized the necessity for a central control over our commerce and foreign relations. On the very eve of his departure for France he wrote from Boston to James Madison: fI find the conviction growing strongly that noth ing can preserve our confederacy unless the bonds of union be strengthened. . » a»»67 Jefferson, a few years after the adoption of the Constitution, in defending himself against Hamilton1s charges that he had written letters from Europe to hisfriends to oppose the Constitution, wrote to the president on September 9, 1792, that the tTcharge is most false.11 He also added, MNo man in the U. S. I suppose, approved of every title in the Constitution: no one, I believe, approved of more of it than I did, and more of it was certainly dis proved by my accuser than by me, and of its parts most £•O vitally republican." ° Atherton, pp. c i t ., p. 276. Muzzey, op. c i t .. p. 127. CO Paul Leicester Ford, editor, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, VI, 104. 126 Even though Mrs. Atherton states that Jefferson gave the Constitution only a grudging and inconsistent approval, yet Jefferson’s own letters evince quite consistently a noticeable amount of enthusiasm. On February 2, 1788, in a letter to William Rutledge, Jefferson expressed his approval in these words: . . . I am glad to hear that our new Constitution is pretty sure of being accepted by States enough to se cure the good it contains, & to meet with such opposi tion in some others as to give us hopes it will be ac commodated to them by the amendment of its most glaring faults, particularly the want of a declaration of rights.6^ On May 17, 1788, to the Count De Moustier, Jefferson wrote, "I see.in this instrument the Constitution a great deal of good. . . .n 70 To Colonel Carrington on May 27, 1788, Jefferson wrote, "I. learn with great pleasure the progress of the new Constitution. Indeed I have presumed it would gain on the public mind, as I confess it has on my own. At first, tho’ I saw that the great mass & groundword was good, I disliked many appendages. cussion have cleared off most of these. Reflection and dis. . ." 71 To Mr. Francis Hopkinson on March 13, 1789, Jefferson wrote: I approved, from the first moment, of the great mass of what is in the new Constitution, the consolidation 69 Ibid.. V, 4. 70 Ibid., V, 11. 71 I b i d ., V, 19. 127 of the government, and organization into Executive, legislative, & judiciary, and the subdivision of the legislative; the happy compromise of interests between the great & little States, . . . the.qualified negative on laws given to the Executive which however I should have liked better if associated with the judiciary also as in New York and the power of taxation. . . To Colonel Humphreys on March 18, 1789, Jefferson declared that wthe Constitution, too, which was the result of our deliberations, is unquestionably the wisest ever yet presented to men. . . In several of the communications referred to above Jefferson also pointed out some features of which he did not approve; but this, it seems, would not be termed rtgrudg ing and inconsistent approval," in view of the fact, that he so frequently expressed his approval of numerous features which appealed to him. Perhaps, then, as he indicated, no man approved of all of the Constitution, and, possibly, he approved of as much as any one did. 72 Ibid., V, 76. 73 Ibid., V, 89. CHAPTER VI CONCLUSIONS Mrs. Atherton, apparently, in her study of Alexander Hamilton, in the book, The Conqueror, has departed widely from the "veracity of history.” In the first place, her highly exaggerated and ex tremely prejudiced style of writing does not conform with the demands of historical accuracy. In the second place, many of her statements are characterized by a fallacious reasoning process, the use of which has not only produced hasty assumptions and bold assertions which are of question able type, but also sweeping and conclusive generalizations which are obviously 'erroneous. In the third place, Mrs. Atherton, employing the general style of writing referred to above, has not analyzed Alexander Hamilton, any more than she has analyzed George Washington, lames Madison, and Thomas Jefferson; neither have the ideas and the motives which guided his life and their lives been impartially inter' preted, nor his influence and their influence fairly meas ured. BIBLIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY I. PRIMARY SOURCES A. BOOKS Atherton, Gertrude Franklin, The Conqueror. Macmillan Company, 1904. New York: The Farrand, Max, Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Fitzpatrick, John C., editor, The Writings of George Washing ton. Washington, D. C.: United States Government Print ing Office, 1931- [In progress. Published to date vol umes 1-26, 1745-June 1783. 1931-1938]. Ford, Paul Leicester, editor, The Writings of Thomas Jeffer son . 10 volumes. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 18921899 • Hunt, Gaillard, and James Brown Scott, editors, Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787. N e w York: Oxford University P r e s s , 1920. Lipscomb, Andrew A., editor, The Writings of Thomas Jeffer s o n. 10 volumes. Washington, D. C.: The Thomas Jeffer son Memorial Association of the United States, 1905. Lodge, Henry Cabot, editor, The Federalist. P u tnam1s Sons, 1888. Peabody, Selim H . , American Patriotism. tional Book Company, 1881. II. New York: G. P. New York: Interna SECONDARY SOURCES A. BOOKS Adams, James Truslow, The Living Jefferson. Scribner’s Sons, 1936. The March of Democracy. n e r ’s Sons, 1933. New York: Charles New York: Charles Scrib 131 Bassett, John Spenoer, The Federalist System, 1777-1801. New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1906. Beard, Charles, and Mary Beard, The Rise of American Civi lization. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1928. Beck, James Montgomery, The Constitution of the United States. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1924. Becker, Carl Lotus, The Declaration of Independence. York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922. New Bemis, Samuel Flagg, American Secretaries of State and Their Diplomacy» Vol. II* New York: Alfred Knopf, 1927. ________, A Diplomatic History of the United States. York: Henry Holt Company, 1936. , Jay1s Treaty. 1923. New New York: The Macmillan Company, Beveridge, Albert J . , John Marshall, Vol. I. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916. Bowers, Claude G . , Jefferson and Hamilton. ton Mifflin Company, 1925. Chinard, Gilbert, Thomas'Jefferson. Hopkins Press, 1926. New York: New York: Hough Baltimore: The Johns Farrand, Max, The Framing of the Constitution of the United States. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1925. Fish, Carl Russell, American Diplomacy. Holt and Company, 1923. New York: Henry Fiske, John, The Critical Period of American History. York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1888. Fitzpatrick, John C., George Washington Himself. olis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1933. Ford, Henry Jones, Alexander Hamilton. Scribner’s Sons, 1920. New Indianap New York: Charles Hamilton, Allan McLane, The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910. 132 Hart, Albert Bushnell, The Monroe Doctrine: An Interpreta tion. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1916. ______, Reading with a Purpose. Association, 1927. Hosmer, James K . , Samuel Adams. and Company, 1900. Chicago: American Library New York: Houghton Mifflin Hughes, Rupert, George Washington, vols. II, III. Morrow Company, 1927-1930. Hunt, Gaillard, Life of James Madison. Page and Company, 1902. New York: New York: Doubleday Jameson, J, Franklin, The American Revolution Considered as Social Movement. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1926. Lodge, Henry Cabot, Alexander Hamilton. Mi ff1 in Comp a n y , 1910. New York: Houghton Lynch, William Orlando, Fifty Years of Party Warfare. Indianapolis: Bobbs, Merrill Company, 1931. McLaughlin, Andrew Cunningham, The Confederation and the Constitution. 1873-1789. New York.and London: Harper and Brothers, 1906. Miller, John C*, Samuel Adams. Company, 1936. Boston: Little, Brown and Minnegerode, Meade, Lives and Times. Putnam’s Sons, 1925. New York: G. P. Mowat, R. B . , The Diplomatic Relations of Great Britain and the United States. London: Edward Arnold and Company, 1925. Muzzey, David S., Thomas Jefferson. Scribner’s Sons, 1918. New York: Charles Schuyler, Robert L . , 'The Constitution of the United States. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923. Van Tyne, JXLaude H . , The American Revolution. 1776-1785. New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1906. _______ , The Loyalists in the American Revolution. York: The Macmillan Company, 1902. New 133 Wandell, Samuel H . , and Meade Minnegerode, Aaron Burr. York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1927. Warren, Charles, The Making of the Constitution. Little, Brown, and Company, 1929. New Boston: Whitely, Emily Stone, M r s . , Washington and B[is Aides-deCamp. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936. Woodward, W, 1., George Washington, The Image and the M a n . New York; Boni and Liveright, 1926. Wooley, William Kirk, The Relation of Thomas Iefferson to American Foreign Policy, 1785-1793. Baltimore; The Johns Hopkins Press, 1927. B. ENCYCLOPEDIA MATERIAL Albion, Robert Greenhalgh, "Stephen Jumel," Dictionary of American Biography, X, 246. Johnston, Alexander, "The Federalist," Cyclopedia Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political His tory of the Ignited States, II, 165.