Thomas Jefferson to William Short
Philadelphia Jan. 3. 1793.
shd be 1793 of my death. but I deplore them as I should have done had they fallen in battle. it was necessary to use the arm of the people, a machine not quite as blind as balls and bombs, but blind to a certain degree. a few of their cordial friends met at their hands the fate of enemies. but time and truth will rescue & embalm their memories, while their posterity will be enjoying that very liberty for which they would never have hesitated to offer up their lives. the liberty of the whole earth was depending on the issue of the contest, and was ever such a prize won with as little innocent blood? my own affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs to this cause, but rather than it should have failed I would have seen half the earth desolated. were there but an Adam & Eve left in every country, & left free, it would be better than as it now is. I have expressed to you my sentiments, because they are really those of 99 in an hundred of our citizens. the universal feasts, and rejoicings which have lately been had on account of the successes of the French shewed the genuine effusions of their hearts. you have been wounded by the sufferings of your friends, and have by this circumstance been hurried into a temper of mind which would be extremely disrelished if known to your countrymen. the reserve of 224.68.1480.916.83 (the president of the United States) had never permitted me to discover the light in which he viewed it. and as I was more anxious that you should satisfy him than me, I had still avoided explanations with you on the subject. but your 113 (letter) induced him to break silence and to notice. . .