CHAPTER XXXIII
THE GLOOMY FEDERALISTS

As the war progressed, that Madison was in secret alliance with Napoleon was extensively believed. In writing to Col. David Humphreys, March 23, 1813, Madison expressed surprise that any one should believe so absurd a story, and pointed to his own and Jefferson's messages, and his recent instructions to Barlow, limiting his negotiations in France to the subjects of indemnity and commerce. "With such strong presumptions and decisive proofs before the public it is impossible," he said, "that a purpose in this government of allying itself with that of France can be seriously believed by any intelligent individual not in a temper to reject a witness even from the dead."* Those who believed this charge had during the diplomatic contest preceding the war generally sided with England, and, according to Henry Lee, did not believe that Madison wished to accommodate matters with that country. The situation in Washington was so uncertain and had been so prolonged that not even the Republicans themselves thought war was really coming. Many of them wrote to Madison and implored him not to enter into it, giving as one reason that it would injure his political fortunes. Governor John S. Barbour, his neighbour, asked him in strict confidence, March 30, 1812, to tell him whether or not there was to be war. If it was really impending he wished to put Virginia in a state of defence; if not, he did not wish to alarm the people by unnecessary preparations. Elbridge Gerry, then completing his term as Republican Governor of Massachusetts, wrote two weeks later (April

____________________
*
Works ( Cong. Ed.) II, 560.

-340-

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