Volunteer Troop of Cincinnati Offers Services to the President

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CollectionMassachusetts Historical Society: John Adams Papers view image
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Document Information
Date July 28, 1798
Author Name Jacob Burnet (primary)
Recipient Name John Adams (primary)
Summary The officers and men of the Cincinnati militia horsemen express their outrage at the depredations of France and offer themselves in service to the president, to defend the Constitution.
Document Format Letter Signed
Document Notes Enclosed in St.Clair to Adams, 07/30/1798.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups James Findley; Jacob Burnet; Volunteer Troop of Cincinnati; President of the United States; John Adams; despots of France; belligerent powers; ;
Related Places United States; France; Barbary States; ;
Keywords conduct; commerce; temptation; religion; insults; Constitution; law; service; ;
Key Phrases [not available]
Transcription

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LIII 198
The Address of the Volunteer Troop of Cincinnati to the President of the United States.
Sir,
While our fellow Citizens in every part of the Union are tendering their Services to Support the Government of their choice, permit the Volunteer Troop of Cincinnati to claim the same previldege.
Divesting ourselves as far as possible of that prejudice which as Americans we feel for our own Government and its administration we have endeavoured to View your conduct with impartiality, and the more we reflect on it, the stronger is our conviction that the honor and independence of the Nation has been the great Object of your Labors.
When we saw you anxiously endeavouring to restore harmony between the United States and France, it was our fond hope that the attempt would be crowned with success, but we were not then aware, that the despots of France had totally abandoned the principles of Justice,—hence our expectations were disappointed and with indignation we beheld them adding insult to injury. —
The upright and impartial conduct of the United States towards the Belligerent powers entitled them to the advantages of a neutral State, but unfortunately, the rich Commerce of America presented a temptation too strong for the morality of modern France. — That corrupt Nation denying the existence of God and defying the power of man, have thrown
off the restraints of Religion and the dread of Reproach, and commenced Pirates against the Commercial World, and in their Career of Inequity leave the Barbary States far behind.
Had it been possible for human exertion to bring them back to a sence of Justice, so that peace might have been preserved, your attempt would have been crowned with Success, as we are convinced that it was not only made with sincerity and conducted with prudence, but that it was not relinquished till a fair experiment proved that the object could not be obtained, but at the expence of Independence. War is a Calamity which every Friend to Morality and Virtue must deprecate, but which every lover of his Country must cordially embrace, in preference to National degradation, — attended with its worst consequences it is far preferable to peace with dishonor. –
If we are to elect between death and Slavery, we hesitate not a moment in the choice, for we hold nothing so dear as our Independence, it was purchased with much of the richest Blood of the Nation and we will never consent to resign it without a struggle.—
The Insults offered our Government, we feel as pointed at ourselves, for we know no distinction between the American people and their Constitution, Laws and Constituted Authorities. —
Let France indulge the hope of finding in the bosom or our Country the means of accomplishing her iniquitous purpose. Let her continue to View us as a divided degraded people, till the event shall convince her and the world that such an Opinion is founded of the Grossest ignorance of the American Character.—
Reposing the most perfect confidence in your Wisdom, Firmness and Patriotism, of which we have had many illustrious
198a
illustrious proofs, we will meet the approaching contest with firmness, confident that America United in a virtuous Cause may bid defiance to the World call.
Please to accept Sir of our Services — they shall be cheerfully given, when the Voice of our Country calls. —
By Order of the Troop. James Findlay Captain
Jacob Burnet Secy