To Samuel Adams March 6, 1795
To Samuel Adams March 6, 1795
MY DEAR FRIEND:
Mr. Mozard, who is appointed Consul, will present you this letter. He is spoken of here as a good sort of man, and I can have no doubt that you will find him the same at Boston. When I came from America it was my intention to return the next year, and I have intended the same every year since. The case I believe is that, as I am embarked in the Revolution, I do not like to leave it till it is finished, notwithstanding the dangers I have run. I am now almost the only survivor of those who began this Revolution, and I know not how it is that I have escaped. I know, however, that I owe nothing to the government of America. The executive department has never directed either the former or the present Minister to enquire whether I was dead or alive, in prison or in liberty, what the cause of the imprisonment was, and whether there was any service or assistance it could render. Mr. Monroe acted voluntarily in the case, and reclaimed me as an American citizen; for the pretence for my imprisonment was that I was a foreigner, born in England.
The internal scene here from the 31st of May, 1793, to the fall of Robespierre has been terrible. I was shut up in the prison of the Luxembourg [almost] eleven months, and I find by the papers of Robespierre that have been published by the Convention since his death, that I was designed for a worse fate. The following memorandum is in his own handwriting: "Demander que Thomas Paine soit decrete d'accusation pour les interets de l'Amerique autant que de la France."
You will see by the public papers that the successes of the French arms have been and continue to be astonishing, more especially since the fall of Robespierre, and the suppression of the system of Terror. They have fairly beaten all the armies of Austria, Prussia, England, Spain, Sardinia and Holland. Holland is entirely conquered, and there is now a revolution in that country.
I know not how matters are going on your side the water, but I think everything is not as it ought to be. The appointment of G. Morris to be Minister here was the most unfortunate and the most injudicious appointment that could be made. I wrote this opinion to Mr. Jefferson at the time, and I said the same to Morris. Had he not been removed at the time he was I think the two countries would have been involved in a quarrel, for it is a fact, that he would either have been ordered away or put in arrestation; for he gave every reason to suspect that he was secretly a British Emissary.
What Mr. Jay is about in England I know not; but is it possible that any man who has contributed to the Independence of America, and to free her from the tyranny of the British Government, can read without shame and indignation the note of Jay to Grenville ? That the United States has no other resource than in the justice and magnanimity of his Majesty, is a satire upon the Declaration of Independence, and exhibits [such] a spirit of meanness on the part of America, that, were it true, I should be ashamed of her. Such a declaration may suit the spaniel character of Aristocracy, but it cannot agree with the manly character of a Republican.
Mr. Mozard is this moment come for this letter, and he sets off directly. God bless you, remember me among the circle of our friends, and tell them how much I wish to be once more among them.