Quotations on Great Britain
1775 August 25. (to John Randolph). "I am sincerely one of those [who still wish for reunion with their parent country], and would rather be in dependance on Great Britain, properly limited, than on any nation upon earth, or than on no nation. But I am one of those too who rather than submit to the right of legislating for us assumed by the British parliament...would lend my hand to sink the whole island in the ocean."
1786 May 6. (to C.W.F. Dumas). "The English are still our enemies...The spirit existing there, and rising in America, has a very lowering aspect. To what events it may give birth, I cannot foresee. We are young, and can survive them; but their rotten machine must crush under the trial."
1787 October 9. (to Comte de Moustier). "The Count de Moustier will find the affections of the Americans with France, but their habits with England. Chained to that country by circumstances, embracing what they loathe, they realize the fable of the living and dead bound together."
1787 December 15. (to William Carmichael). "I considered the British as our natural enemies, and as the only nation on earth who wished us ill from the bottom of their souls. And I am satisfied that were our continent to be swallowed up by the ocean, Great Britain would be in a bonfire from one end to the other."
1806 May 4. (to James Monroe). "No two countries upn earth have so many points of common interest and friendship; and the rulers must be great bunglers indeed, if, with such dispositions, they break them asunder."
1814 December 10. (to John Melish). "Instead of fearing and endeavoring to crush our prosperity, had [the British] cultivated it in friendship, it might have become a bulwark instead of a breaker to them. There has never been an administration in this country which would not gladly have met them more than half way on the road to an equal, a just and solid connection of friendship and intercourse. And as to repressing our growth, they might as well attempt to repress the waves of the ocean."
1815 March 16. (to Caesar Rodney). "There is not a nation on the globe with whom I have more earnestly wished a friendly intercourse on equal conditions. On no other would I hold out the hand of friendship to any. I know that their creatures represent me as personally to England. But fools only can believe this, or those who think me a fool. I am an enemy to her insults and injuries. I am an enemy to the flagitious principles of her administration, and to those which govern her conduct towards other nations. But would she give to morality some lace in her political code, and especially should she exercise decency, and at least neutral passions towards us, there is not, I repeat it, a people on earth with whom I would sacrifice so much to be in friendship."
1816 October 16. (to James Monroe). "Great Britain, in her pride and ascendency, has certainly hated and despised us beyond every earthly object. Her hatred may remain, but the hour of her contempt is passed and is succeeded by dread; not at present, but a distant and deep one. It is the greater as she feels herself plunged into an abyss of ruin from which no human means point out an issue. We also have more reason to hate her than any nation on earth."
1820 December 27. (to William Roscoe). "Circumstances have nourished between our kindred countries angry dispositions which both ought long since to have banished from their bosoms. I have ever considered a cordial affection as the first interest of both. No nation on earth can hurt us so much as yours, none be more useful to you than ours."
1825 November 9. (to J. Evelyn Denison). "These two nations holding cordially together, have nothing to fear from the united world. They will be the models for regenerating the condition of man, the sources from which representative government is to flow over the whole earth."