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fault, and the numerous wars which have distressed both countries, are chargeable to her alone, that Court now exists no longer; and the cause and the consequence must cease together. The French, therefore, by the revolution they have made, have conquered for us as well as for themselves; if it be true that their Court only was in fault, and ours never.
On this state of the case, the French Revolution concerns us immediately. We are oppressed with a heavy national debt, a burthen of taxes, and an expensive administration of government, beyond those of any people in the world. We have also a very numerous poor; and we hold that the moral obligation of providing for old age, helpless infancy, and poverty, is far superior to that of supplying the invented wants of courtly extravagance, ambition, and intrigue.
We believe there is no instance to be produced but in England, of seven millions of inhabitants, which make but little more than one million of families, paying yearly SEVENTEEN MILLIONS of taxes.
As it has always been held out by all administrations that the restless ambition of the Court of France rendered this expense necessary to us for our own defence, we consequently rejoice as men deeply interested in the French Revolution, for that Court, as we have already said, exists no longer; and consequently the same enormous expenses need not continue to us.
Thus rejoicing, as we sincerely do, both as men and Englishmen, as lovers of universal peace and freedom, and as friends to our own national prosperity, and a reduction of our public expenses, we cannot but express our astonishment that any part, or any members of our own government, should reprobate the extinction of that very power in France, or wish to see it restored, to whose influence they formerly attributed (whilst they appeared to lament) the enormous increase of our own burthens and taxes. What, then, are they sorry that the pretence for new oppressive taxes, and the occasion for continuing many of the old taxes, will be at an end? If so, and if it is the policy of courts and of court governments, to prefer enemies to friends, and a system of war to that of peace, as affording more pretences for places, offices, pensions, revenue, and taxation, it is high time for the people of every nation to look with circumspection to their own interests.
Those who pay the expense, and not those who participate in the emoluments arising from it, are the persons immediately interested
in inquiries of this kind. We are a part of that national body, on whom this annual expense of seventeen millions falls; and we consider the present opportunity of the French Revolution as a most happy one for lessening the enormous load under which this nation groans. If this be not done, we shall then have reason to conclude, that the cry of intrigue and ambition against other courts, is no more than the common cant of all courts.
We think it also necessary to express our astonishment that a government, desirous of being called FREE, should prefer connection with the most despotic and arbitrary powers in Europe. We know of none more deserving this description than those of Turkey and Prussia, and the whole combination of German despots. Separated as we happily are by nature, from the tumults of the Continent, we reprobate all systems and intrigues which sacrifice (and that too at a great expense) the blessings of our natural situation. Such systems cannot have a national origin.
If we are asked, what government is?—We hold it to be nothing more than a NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, and we hold that to be the best which secures to every man his rights, and promotes the greatest quantity of happiness with the least expense.
We live to improve, or we live in vain; and therefore we admit of no maxims of government or policy on the mere score of antiquity, or other men's authority, the old whigs or the new.
We will exercise the reason with which we are endued, or we possess it unworthily. As reason is given at all times, it is for the purpose of being used at all times.
Among the blessings which the French Revolution has produced to that nation, we enumerate the abolition of the feudal system of injustice and tyranny on the 4th of August, 1789. Beneath the feudal system all Europe has long groaned, and from it England is not yet free. Game laws, borough tenures, and tyrannical monopolies of numerous kinds, still remain amongst us; but rejoicing as we sincerely do, in the freedom of others, till we shall happily accomplish our own, we intended to commemorate this prelude to the universal extirpation of the feudal system, by meeting on the anniversary of that day (the 4th of August) at the Crown and Anchor. From this meeting we were prevented by the interference of certain unnamed and skulking persons with the master of the Tavern, who informed us, that on their representations he could not receive Let those who live by, or countenance feudal oppressions,
take the reproach of this ineffectual meanness and cowardice to themselves. They cannot stifle the public declaration of our honest, open, and avowed opinions.
These are our principles, and these our sentiments. They embrace the interest and happiness of the great body of the nation of which we are a part. As to riots and tumults, let those answer for them, who, by wilful misrepresentations, endeavor to excite and promote them; or who seek to stun the sense of the nation, and to lose the great cause of public good in the outrages of a misinformed mob. We take our ground on principles that require no such riotous aid. We have nothing to apprehend from the poor; for we are pleading their cause. And we fear not proud oppression, for we have truth on our side. We say, and we repeat it, that the French Revolution opens to the world an opportunity in which all good citizens must rejoice that of promoting the general happiness of man. And that it moreover offers to this country in particular, an opportunity of reducing our enormous taxes. These are our objects, and we
will pursue them.
J. HORNE TOOKE,
'CONSTRUCTION OF IRON BRIDGES.
As bridges, and the method of constructing them, are becoming objects of great importance throughout the United States, and as there are at this time proposals for a bridge over the Delaware, and also a bridge beginning to be erected over the Schuylkill at Philadelphia, I present the public with some account of the construction of iron bridges.
The following memoir on that subject, written last winter at the federal city, was intended to be presented to congress. But as the session would necessarily be short, and as several of its members would be replaced by new elections at the ensuing session, it was judged better to let it lie over. In the mean time, on account of the bridges now in contemplation, or began, I give the memoir the opportunity of appearing before the public, and the persons concerned in those works.
Bordentown, New-Jersey, June, 1803.
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.
I HAVE deposited in the office of the secretary of state, and under the care of the patent office, two models of iron bridges; the one in paste-board, the other cast in metal. As they will show, by inspection, the manner of constructing iron bridges, I shall not take up the time of congress with a description of them.
My intention in presenting this memoir to congress, is to put the country in possession of the means and of the right of making use of the construction freely; as I do not intend to take any patent right for it.
As America abounds in rivers that interrupt the land communication, and as by violence of floods, and the breaking up of the ice in the spring, the bridges depending for support from the bottom of the river, are frequently carried away, I turned my
attention, after the revolutionary war was over, to find a method of constructing an arch, that might, without rendering the height inconvenient or the ascent difficult, extend at once from shore to shore, over rivers of three, four, or five hundred feet, and probably more.
The principle I took to begin with, and work upon, was that the small segment of a large circle was preferable to the great segment of a small circle. The appearance of such arches, and the manner of forming and putting the parts together, admit of many varieties, but the principle will be, the same in all. The bridge architects that I conversed with in England denied the principle, but it was generally supported by mathematicians, and experiment has now established the fact.
In 1786, I made three models, partly at Philadelphia, but mostly at Bordentown in the state of New-Jersey. One model was in wood, one in cast iron, and one in wrought iron connected with blocks of wood, representing cast iron blocks, but all on the same principle, that of the small segment of a large circle.
I took the last mentioned one with me to France in 1787, and presented it to the academy of sciences at Paris for their opinion of it. The academy appointed a committee of three of their own body-Mons. Le Roy, the abbe Bossou, and Mons. Borda. The first was an acquaintance of Dr. Franklin, and of Mr. Jefferson, then minister at Paris. The two others were celebrated as mathematicians. I presented it as a model for a bridge of a single arch of 400 feet span over the river Schuylkill at Philadelphia. The committee brought in a report which the academy adopted-that an arch on the principle and construction of the model, in their opinion, might be extended 400 feet, the extent proposed.
In September of the same year, I sent the model to Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society in England, and soon after went there myself.
In order to ascertain the truth of the principle on a larger scale, than could be shown by a portable model of five or six feet in length, I went to the iron foundery of Messrs. Walkers, at Rotherham, county of Yorkshire, in England, and had a complete rib of 90 feet span and 5 feet of height from the cord line to the centre of the arch, manufactured and erected. It was a segment of a circle of 410 feet diameter; and until this was done, no