To Daniel Clymer, Esqr. September 1786
From the original letter at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Sept 1786
I enclose you a publication of mine on the affairs of the State. — It was my intention at the conclusion of the war to have laid down the Pen and satisfied myself with silently beholding the prosperity of a Country, in whose difficulties I had borne my share, and in the raising of which, to an Independent Empire, I had added my mite — But it is easier to wish than to obtain the object wished for, and we readily resolve on what is afterwards difficult to execute.
Instead of that tranquility which the Country required and might have enjoyed, and instead of that internal prosperity which her independent Situation put her in the power to possess, she has suffered herself to be rent into Factions, and sacrificed her interest to gratify her passions.
The proceedings of the Legislature for these two years past are marked with such vehemence of party spirit and rancorous prejudice, that it is impossible any Country can thrive or flourish under such manifest misconduct.
I have often been at a loss to account for the conduct of people where no visible interest appeared to direct them, and where it has been evident to me that the consequences of their own conduct would operate against themselves.
I can very easily account for a great part of the conduct of several of the distant Back County members. They are not affected by matters which operate within the old settled parts of the State. They are not only beyond the reach and circle of that commercial intercourse which takes place between all the Counties on this side the Susquehanna and Philadelphia, but they are entirely within the circle of commerce belonging to another State, that of Baltimore. Some of them may probably think that it would be no disadvantage to their situations if the Delaware, through which all the produce of the Counties east of Susquehanna must be exported, were shut up. Some parts of their conduct cannot be fully accounted for without taking this envious disposition into Calculation. By attacking the Bank they have caused a considerable part of its cash to be drawn out and removed to Baltimore by the holders of Bank Notes at that place; and if they could affect a total dissolution of it at Philadelphia, and see one established at Baltimore, it would then be all very well, you would hear no more of their complaints against Banks.
On this ground their conduct in this Affair is easily accounted for. But on what ground the members of your County could join them in the business is very difficult to determine. Berks County can have no other Channel through which her produce can be exported than thro’ the Delaware, and no other market to draw hard money from than from Philadelphia. She cannot go to Baltimore. — I have often been surprised that your members should not have discernment enough to perceive this. It is one of those matters you should see yourselves rather than be told of. It is a misfortune to the State that the commerce is subject to this division, but since it is so and cannot be otherwise, it is but fair that one part should see what the other is doing.
I have an aversion to touch on matters which have in themselves the nature of discord and division. But in this case it can be no otherwise than it is, and the best remedy is that you be on your guard.
I wish (MS. mutilated) to see all the counties of the State in full Prosperity, but I have a dislike to see one part privately and enviously working against the other and I would as readily do the same part towards them as I now do towards you did I see the same occasion.
I hope the ensuing elections will put an end to these matters, and if there can be no way found to reconcile parties, let them at least stand on fair and open ground with each other.
I am with Respect and Complts to yourself and Friends,
your obt. hble servant