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Jefferson and his Colleagues, A Chronicle of the Virginia Dynasty
Bibliographical Note
by Johnson, Allen


Five well-known historians have written comprehensive works on the period covered by the administrations of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe: John B. McMaster has stressed the social and economic aspects in "A History of the People of the United States;" James Schouler has dwelt upon the political and constitutional problems in his "History of the United States of America under the Constitution;" Woodrow Wilson has written a "History of the American People" which indeed is less a history than a brilliant essay on history; Hermann von Holst has construed the "Constitutional and Political History of the United States "in terms of the slavery controversy; and Edward Channing has brought forward his painstaking "History of the United States," touching many phases of national life, to the close of the second war with England. To these general histories should be added "The American Nation," edited by Albert Bushnell Hart, three volumes of which span the administrations of the three Virginians: E. Channing's "The Jeffersonian System" (1906); K. C. Babcock's "The Rise of American Nationality" (1906); F. J. Turner's "Rise of the New West" (1906).


No historian can approach this epoch without doing homage to Henry Adams, whose "History of the United States," 9 vols. (1889-1891), is at once a literary performance of extraordinary merit and a treasure-house of information. Skillfully woven into the text is documentary material from foreign archives which Adams, at great expense, had transcribed and translated. Intimate accounts of Washington and its society may be found in the following books: G. Gibbs, "Memoirs of the Administrations of Washington and John Adams", 2 vols. (1846); Mrs. Margaret Bayard Smith, "The First Forty Years of Washington Society" (1906); Anne H. Wharton, "Social Life in the Early Republic" (1902). "The Life of Thomas Jefferson," 3 vols. (1858), by Henry S. Randall is rich in authentic information about the life of the great Virginia statesman but it is marred by excessive hero-worship. Interesting side-lights on Jefferson and his entourage are shed by his granddaughter, Sarah N. Randolph, in a volume called "Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson" (1871).


The problems of patronage that beset President Jefferson are set forth by Gaillard Hunt in "Office-seeking during Jefferson's Administration," in the "American Historical Review," vol. III, p. 271, and by Carl R. Fish in "The Civil Service and the Patronage" (1905). There is no better way to enter sympathetically into Jefferson's mental world than to read his correspondence. The best edition of his writings is that by Paul Leicester Ford. Henry Adams has collected the "Writings of Albert Gallatin," 3 vols. (1879), and has written an admirable "Life of Albert Gallatin" (1879). Gaillard Hunt has written a short "Life of James Madison" (1902), and has edited his "Writings," 9 vols. (1900-1910). The Federalist attitude toward the Administration is reflected in the "Works of Fisher Ames," 2 vols. (1857). The intense hostility of New England Federalists appears also in such books as Theodore Dwight's "The Character of Thomas Jefferson, as exhibited in His Own Writings" (1839). Franklin B. Dexter has set forth the facts relating to Abraham Bishop, that arch-rebel against the standing order in Connecticut, in the "Proceedings" of the Massachusetts Historical Society, March, 1906.


The larger histories of the American navy by Maclay, Spears, and Clark describe the war with Tripoli, but by far the best account is G. W. Allen's "Our Navy and the Barbary Corsairs" (1905), which may be supplemented by C. O. Paullin's "Commodore John Rodgers" (1910). T. Harris's "Life and Services of Commodore William Bainbridge" (1837) contains much interesting information about service in the Mediterranean and the career of this gallant commander. C. H. Lincoln has edited "The Hull-Eaton Correspondence during the Expedition against Tripoli 1804-5" for the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. XXI (1911). The treaties and conventions with the Barbary States are contained in "Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols and Agreements between the United States of America and Other Powers," compiled by W. M. Malloy, 3 vols. (1910-1913).


Even after the lapse of many years, Henry Adams's account of the purchase of Louisiana remains the best: Volumes I and II of his "History of the United States." J. A. Robertson in his "Louisiana under the Rule of Spain, France, and the United States," 1785-1807, 2 vols. (1911), has brought together a mass of documents relating to the province and territory. Barbe-Marbois, "Histoire de la Louisiana et de la Cession" (1829), which is now accessible in translation, is the main source of information for the French side of the negotiations. Frederick J. Turner, in a series of articles contributed to the "American Historical Review" (vols. II, III, VII, VIII, X), has pointed out the significance of the diplomatic contest for the Mississippi Valley. Louis Pelzer has written on the "Economic Factors in the Acquisition of Louisiana" in the "Proceedings" of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, vol. VI (1913). There is no adequate biography of either Monroe or Livingston. T. L. Stoddard has written on "The French Revolution in San Domingo" (1914).


The vexed question of the boundaries of Louisiana is elucidated by Henry Adams in volumes II and III of his "History of the United States." Among the more recent studies should be mentioned the articles contributed by Isaac J. Cox to volumes VI and X of the "Quarterly" of the Texas State Historical Association, and an article entitled "Was Texas Included in the Louisiana Purchase?" by John R. Ficklen in the "Publications" of the Southern History Association, vol. V. In the first two chapters of his "History of the Western Boundary of the Louisiana Purchase" (1914), T. M. Marshall has given a resume of the boundary question. Jefferson brought together the information which he possessed in "An Examination into the boundaries of Louisiana," which was first published in 1803 and which has been reprinted by the American Philosophical Society in "Documents relating to the Purchase and Exploration of Louisiana" (1904). I. J. Cox has made an important contribution by his book on "The Early Exploration of Louisiana" (1906). The constitutional questions involved in the purchase and organization of Louisiana are reviewed at length by E. S. Brown in "The Constitutional History of the Louisiana Purchase, 1803-1812" (1920).


The most painstaking account of Burr's expedition is W. F. McCaleb's "The Aaron Burr Conspiracy" (1903) which differs from Henry Adams's version in making James Wilkinson rather than Burr the heavy villain in the plot. Wilkinson's own account of the affair, which is thoroughly untrustworthy, is contained in his "Memoirs of My Own Times," 3 vols. (1816). The treasonable intrigues of Wilkinson are proved beyond doubt by the investigations of W. R. Shepherd, "Wilkinson and the Beginnings of the Spanish Conspiracy," in vol. IX of "The American Historical Review," and of I. J. Cox, "General Wilkinson and His Later Intrigues with the Spaniards," in vol. XIX of "The American Historical Review." James Parton's "Life and Times of Aaron Burr" (1858) is a biography of surpassing interest but must be corrected at many points by the works already cited. William Coleman's "Collection of the Facts and the Documents relative to the Death of Major-General Alexander Hamilton" (1804) contains the details of the great tragedy. The Federalist intrigues with Burr are traced by Henry Adams and more recently by S. E. Morison in the "Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis," 2 vols. (1913). W. H. Safford's "Blennerhassett Papers" (1861) and David Robertson's "Reports of the Trials of Colonel Aaron Burr for Treason, and for a Misdemeanor," 2 vols. (1808), brought to light many interesting facts relating to the alleged conspiracy. The "Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801-1816," 6 vols. (1917), contain material of great value.


The history of impressment has yet to be written, but J. R. Hutchinson's "The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore" (1913) has shown clearly that the baleful effects of the British practice were not felt solely by American shipmasters. Admiral A. T. Mahan devoted a large part of his first volume on "Sea Power in its relations to the War of 1812," 2 vols. (1905), to the antecedents of the war. W. E. Lingelbach has made a notable contribution to our understanding of the Essex case in his article on "England and Neutral Trade" printed in "The Military Historian and Economist," vol. II (1917). Of the contemporary pamphlets, two are particularly illuminating:

James Stephen, "War in Disguise; or, the Frauds of the Neutral Flags" (1805), presenting the English grievances, and "An Examination of the British Doctrine, which Subjects to Capture a Neutral Trade, not open in Time of Peace," prepared by the Department of State under Madison's direction in 1805. Captain Basil Hall's "Voyages and Travels" (1895) gives a vivid picture of life aboard a British frigate in American waters. A graphic account of the Leopard-Chesapeake affair is given by Henry Adams in Chapter I of his fourth volume.


Besides the histories of Mahan and Adams, the reader will do well to consult several biographies for information about peaceable coercion in theory and practice. Among these may be mentioned Randall's "Life of Thomas Jefferson," Adams's Life of Albert Gallatin" and "John Randolph" in the "American Statesmen Series," W. E. Dodd's "Life of Nathaniel Macon" (1903), D. R. Anderson's "William Branch Giles" (1914), and J. B. McMaster's "Life and Times of Stephen Girard," 2 vols. (1917). For want of an adequate biography of Monroe, recourse must be taken to the "Writings of James Monroe," 7 vols. (1898-1903), edited by S. M. Hamilton. J. B. Moore's "Digest of International Law", 8 vols. (1906), contains a mass of material bearing on the rights of neutrals and the problems of neutral trade. The French decrees and the British orders-in-council were submitted to Congress with a message by President Jefferson on the 23d of December, 1808, and may be found in "American State Papers, Foreign Relations," vol. III.


The relations of the United States and Spanish Florida are set forth in many works, of which three only need be mentioned: H. B. Fuller, "The Purchase of Florida" (1906), has devoted several chapters to the early history of the Floridas, but so far as West Florida is concerned his work is superseded by I. J. Cox's "The West Florida Controversy, 1789-1813" (1918). The first volume, "Diplomacy," of F. E. Chadwick's "Relations of the United States and Spain," 3 vols. (1909-11), gives an account of the several Florida controversies. Several books contribute to an understanding of the temper of the young insurgents in the Republican Party: Carl Schurz's "Henry Clay," 2 vols. (1887), W. M. Meigs's "Life of John Caldwell Calhoun," 2 vols. (1917), M. P. Follett's "The Speaker of the House of Representatives" (1896), and Henry Adams's "John Randolph" (1882).


The civil history of President Madison's second term of office may be followed in Adams's "History of the United States," vols. VII, VIII, and IX; in Hunt's "Life of James Madison;" in Adams's "Life of Albert Gallatin;" and in such fragmentary records of men and events as are found in the "Memoirs and Letters of Dolly Madison" (1886) and Mrs. M. B. Smith's "The First Forty Years of Washington Society" (1906). The history of New England Federalism may be traced in H. C. Lodge's "Life and Letters of George Cabot" (1878); in Edmund Quincy's "Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts" (1867); in the "Life of Timothy Pickering," 4 vols. (1867-73); and in S. E. Morison's "Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis," 2 vols. (1913). Theodore Dwight published his "History of the Hartford Convention" in 1833. Henry Adams has collected the "Documents relating to New England Federalism," 1800-1815" (1878). The Federalist opposition to the war is reflected in such books as Mathew Carey's "The Olive Branch; or, Faults on Both Sides" (1814) and William Sullivan's "Familiar Letters on Public Characters" (1834).


The history of the negotiations at Ghent has been recounted by Mahan and Henry Adams, and more recently by F. A. Updyke, "The Diplomacy of the War of 1812" (1915). Aside from the "State Papers," the chief sources of information are Adams's "Life of Gallatin" and "Writings of Gallatin" the "Memoirs of John Quincy Adams," 12 vols. (1874-1877), and "Writings of John Quincy Adams" 7 vols. (1913-), edited by W. C. Ford, the "Papers of James A. Bayard, 1796-1815" (1915), edited by Elizabeth Donnan, the "Correspondence, Despatches, and Other Papers, of Viscount Castlereagh," 12 vols. (1851-53), and the "Supplementary Despatches. of the Duke of Wellington," 15 vols. (1858-78). The Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. XLVIII (1915), contain the instructions of the British commissioners. "A Great Peace Maker, the Diary of James Gallatin, Secretary to Albert Gallatin" (1914) records many interesting boyish impressions of the commissioners and their labors at Ghent.


The want of a good biography of James Monroe is felt increasingly as one enters upon the history of his administrations. Some personal items may be gleaned from "A Narrative of a Tour of Observation Made during the Summer of 1817" (1818); and many more may be found in the "Memoirs and Writings" of John Quincy Adams. The works by Fuller and Chadwick already cited deal with the negotiations leading to the acquisition of Florida. The "Memoirs et Souvenirs" of Hyde de Neuville, 3 vols. (1893-4), supplement the record which Adams left in his diary. J. S. Bassett's "Life of Andrew Jackson," 2 vols. (1911), is far less entertaining than James Parton's "Life of Andrew Jackson," 3 vols. (1860), but much more reliable.


The problem of the recognition of the South American republics has been put in its historical setting by F. L. Paxson in "The Independence of the South American Republics" (1903). The relations of the United States and Spain are described by F. E. Chadwick in the work already cited and by J. H. Latane in "The United States and Latin America" (1920). To these titles may be added J. M. Callahan's "Cuba and International Relations" (1899). The studies of Worthington C. Ford have given John Quincy Adams a much larger share in formulating the Monroe Doctrine than earlier historians have accorded him. The origin of President Monroe's message is traced by Mr. Ford in "Some Original Documents on the Genesis of the Monroe Doctrine," in the "Proceedings" of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1902, and the subject is treated at greater length by him in "The American Historical Review," vols. VII and VIII. The later evolution and application of the Monroe Doctrine may be followed in Herbert Kraus's "Die Monroedoktrin in ihren Beziehungen zur Amerikanischen Diplomatie and zum Volkerrecht" (1913), a work which should be made more accessible to American readers by translation.


The subjects touched upon in this closing chapter are treated with great skill by Frederick J. Turner in his "Rise of the New West" (1906). On the slavery controversy, an article by J. A. Woodburn, "The Historical Significance of the Missouri Compromise," in the "Report" of the American Historical Association for 1893, and an article by F. H. Hodder, "Side Lights on the Missouri Compromise," in the "Report" for 1909, may be read with profit. D. R. Dewey's "Financial History of the United States" (1903) and F. W. Taussig's "Tariff History of the United States" (revised edition, 1914) are standard manuals. Edward Stanwood's "History of the Presidency," 2 vols. (1916), contains the statistics of presidential elections. T. H. Benton's "Thirty Years' View; or, A History of the Working of American Government, 1820-1850," 2 vols. (1854-56), becomes an important source of information on congressional matters. The latter years of Jefferson's life are described by Randall and the closing years of John Adams's career by Charles Francis Adams.


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