Monday, February 26, 2007

Rufus King to Daniel Kilham,

My dear Friend

New York

5th March 1786.

What reason has prevented your writing to me? I am not conscious of having forefeited your good esteem, and am utterly at a loss why you neglect me. I will write to you with the same familiarity that I formerly have done. Our domestic affairs are greatly embarrassed, the subject of Revenue is intricate even in the simplest forms of Government; but complex as our federal Government is, all questions of Revenue are complicated in the highest degree. A late act of congress stating some of their money engagements,(1) and their means of complying with them, is a plain statement, and refers to the determination of the states a question infinitely important to the existence of the confederacy. The doctrine of expedients has brought us thus far; but expedients serve only to postpone, and not to remove, the evils which for a time they alleviate; they are therefore improper and impolitic in a republic, where the people determine on all governmental Acts, and consequently ought not only to know, but also to feel, every evil which surrounds them. A false delicacy has sometimes governed the public acts of Congress; an apprehension has been formerly entertained that foreigners would not sufficiently honor & esteem us, if they knew our real situation. This has been a mistaken policy. America was respectable in Arms, she was admired. But peace, so far from advancing her fame, has diminished her former Reputation; and there are few nations whose public credit is at so low an Ebb as our's---;the only method of repossessing what we have lost, is by giving true information to the people, and submitting to their Judgement the promotion & establishment of their own Glory and Honor. But probably you will say that you care little about these Reveries, and inform me that you have long since been tired of them. You have not given me such information heretofore---; I will not however commit myself farther. I am authorised to affirm that I am with the purest esteem & Regard, Your sincere & obliged Friend, Rufus King

RC (NNC: King Collection).1. See Charles Thomson to the States, February 15, note 1



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