“What is the present state of things in Europe, at this time and what it may be when you receive this, is unknown to us. Their horizon seems overspread with clouds, and whether The storm may pass away, or burst on their heads seems uncertain. If the latter, they have long scenes of misery to go through, and not without risk of involving us, and certainty of embarrassing our communications with them. But I hope for peace. I trust that the allied powers will be sensible that they have neither the right nor the power to impose on France a ruler which she rejects, or to displace one who, from being originally an Usurper, seems now to have become a legitimate despot, by the will of the great body of the nation. They have rejected their king Log, and preferred a kite. They have a right to be eaten, if they chuse it. Altho’ war seems to be one of the obstacles which nature has provided against the too great multiplication of the human species, and therefore can never be expected to be entirely done away, yet there is still room enough in the world for many more than are yet living, and we may therefore, without irreligion, pray for peace, which, while it lengthens the lives of many, gives comfort & prosperity to the general mass.”
— Thomas Jefferson writes to George Ticknor, July 4 1815.