To Elisha Babcock 1803-10-10
From Richard Gimbel’s pamphlet New Political Writings by Thomas Paine
Stonington, Connecticut Oct 10 1803 Dear Sir During my absence from Bordenton your friendly letter arrived there which I received on my return and as I then intended coming on to the eastward I had hopes of making my thanks to you personally, but the fever at N. York obliged me to go by long Island which threw me out of my intended course. I left Joel Barlow in good health at Paris. Mrs. B was but indifferent. He is always talking of coming home, but he waits to sell a house which he bought about four years ago and for which he expects 8 or 9 thousand pounds sterling - was lucky in passing the Atlantic between the storms of last War and this, but America is not the same agreeable Country as when I left it. This federal faction has debased its politics and corrupted its Morality.
I have seen Uriah Tracy’s publication and also some other pieces in Green’s paper in answer to the republican Address. They all deny the charge of plotting to overthrow the Constitution and establishing a Monarchy, and I do not sup pose the charge is true against them as a whole party, for though one in a thou sand might be advanced by such a System, hundreds of thousands of them must be sunk by it, and become hewers of wood and drawers of water to support the pomposity of the few, and they must be fools indeed not to see this. But the charge is true against their leaders, or at least against some of them, and this is the only way in which the charge has been made. It is true, I believe, against your leading Man in Connecticut, Oliver Elsworth,6 Star Chester of Groton, a Justice of the Peace and a very respectable Man, told me a few days ago that he was in company with Elsworth and about twelve other persons, about a year ago, and that Elsworth there declared himself to be a Monarchist. Major Smith of New London was with Mr. Chester when he related this declaration of Elsworth. As a fact that can be established is sometimes of more effect than a great deal of argument I put you in the way of satisfying yourself with respect to Mr. Elsworth’s anti-republican principles. Perhaps you[r] correspondent David7can find a stone in his scrip for this Philistine.
I shall stay at this place about three weeks and as your paper is preferable to any in this part of the Country I will be obliged to you to favour me with it. Direct to me at Stonington point, Connecticut. Present my respects to your correspondent David. Yours in friendship THOMAS PAINE