Letter to imprisoned Gen Barton over politics & 1814 invasion
July 21, 1814
Member of Series
Gabriel Allen was 65 years old when this was written.
The recipient, William Barton, was 66 when it was received.
Gabriel Allen died 9 years, 8 months, 13 days after writing this.
It was written 207 years, 12 days ago.
It was a Thursday.
Providence 21 July 1814
Your very acceptable & friendly letter of the 10th Inst. was received yesterday, it gives me great pleasure to learn that your health is still preserved, under accumulated misfortunes, for which my dear friend let us jointly offer up our solemn thanksgiving to the Supreme Architect, where by his infinite power & Wisdom governs the universe on whose bounty we still live–that he will deign to smile on this our beloved country expand our understanding with wisdom & fill all hearts with love and gratitude to him, to our government & to one another–that we may be prepared to meet the gathering storm, with confidence inspired by the justice of our cause, that he will strengthen our arms & give us victory in the day of battle.
Were this the case, & that those leaders of the faction who have been a disgrace to our country & who, by their organized opposition, have emboldened our enemy to refuse justice–and drove us into war, which they present in the most vindictive manner. I say could the love of country be shed abroad in their hearts_& bring them into the great family of patriots like a band of brothers–We should have little to fear from the thousands now transporting across the Atlantic–Let me greet you my dear friend that we can deserve some symptoms of contrition in the Peace Party to who all our misfortunes may be traced as with a ray of light have they not in the most impudent manner rejoiced at the success of our common enemy & publicly condemned our own government, conflating it with France, or rather Bonaparte as tho we had no right to resent the contumely insults of England-because they were at war with France-when we have claims on both-
They say we declared war, true, but has not England made war for nearly 20 years previous, & refused us justice tice our patience was exhausted by these & a thousand artifices they encouraged the enemy, decried the people, who have unwaringly (sic) placed them in power, which has enabled to go on with an organized opposition tending to a dissolution of the union. Many of them it seems would now, rather than not govern, sell their country for a “Mess of Pottage” a little more time will show whether they will open their arms to the enemy or not. These vermin have lived on falsehoods & sofistry (sic) ever since the federal constitution was adopted–tho’ they were more covert & circumspect in their modes of carrying it on during the Life (of) Washington.
The case betwixt Bonaparte and Madison entirely dissimilar–he may in some respects be called a usurper (tho that never would have been called in question had he not been unfortunate in the war & the affront to Talleyrand) But Madison was elected by the only authority that could elect a president and by a handsome majority agreeably to the constitution which they pretend to venerate and the People the majority who made him President called for war to vindicate our insulted right & Country, the artifice is therefore as apparent as tho the sun at noon day–had they got one single vote for DeWitt Clinton over Madison it would have been quite sufficient authority for them to have overturned the Constitution–for Clinton said of them, that “they had rather rule in hell than serve in heaven”–yet these very religious & upright people voted for & tried every artifice to obtain his election just so they did with respect to A. Burr against Jefferson not that they could think either of their candidates better & more suitable men, but solely for the sake of opposition & thinking if the points could be carried, that their man would owe his elevation to them & of course would further their scheme of overturning the Constitution their darling object. But they well know the weight of Jefferson and Madison & when elected (not by a trick) but by the free suffrages of the people whose sole purpose was to maintain & hand down the Constitution unimpaired to posterity--& that it was no less the unattainable wish of these presidents to preserve it unimpaired, & experience has proved that the confidence of the people was not misplaced–enough of this subject.
For me to write you news would only be time mis spent, as you will of course get it by the papers in advance–there is more here–it is true we are fortifying Fields Point & it ought to be made so strong as to be tenable and other places about the town are of equal importance for the enemy can land below & march direct to the town, without looking at Fields Point.
I will endeavor to keep you advised of what may be done here, nothing is yet done on R. Island!!–Should the enemy locate themselves these, we can easily foresee the consequences–from thence they can fast form expeditions at pleasure to the Main–Your family and friends are a well. Your son J. B. has had me reading your letter---Pray excuse me for troubling you this long letter containing so little matter & believe me your assured friend & Humble Servant.
William Barton, Esq G. Allen