(Part of the Collection, Kersey's Essays)

Jesse Kersey

Taken From  A Narrative of the Early Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors of Jessey Kersey, Late of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Chapman, 1851, pages 195-196.

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[P. 195] It has been my lot to be frequently engaged in defence of the peaceable principles of the Christian religion. During the last war with Great Britain,(1) I felt a concern to go to Washington, in order to try to prevail with our rulers to embrace the first opening to close the contest. When there, I first called on James Madison, the President of the United States, and mentioned to him how affecting it was to contemplate the condition of the inhabitants along the frontiers of our country, exposed as they were to the sound of the instruments of death, He seemed to feel the weight of my concern for the return of peace to our land, I had also an opportunity with James Monroe, then Secretary of State. I found him surrounded with a large company of gentlemen and ladies, as they are usually called. The company seemed to look upon us as out of place, and some of them smiled upon our appearance and manners. But while I was opening my concern, particularly in relation to the afflicted inhabitants along the frontiers of our country, I observed several of those called ladies who shed tears. The Secretary handed me a printed sheet of paper, which he said would show me the justness of our cause. I remarked that I would look over it; but before leaving the subject I would mention a case that had occurred between two wealthy and high spirited men. They had unhappily misunderstood each other, and a quarrel ensued. Such were their high-toned feelings of animosity that all that could be done to reconcile them seemed to be without effect. It happened, however, that these two men [P. 196] were one day riding out, each in his own carriage, and about to meet in the road. The one thought he would not turn out, and the other determined on the same course. But when they were coming near to each other one of them reflected that it would be a shameful business to break down in the public road, when there was ample room for them to pass without coming in collision. With these thoughts he told his driver to turn out. The other then said if the first had not turned out, he intended to do so. In this ease he that first gave way acted the most honorable part, while the other could make but a poor acknowledgement. Now here is the difficulty. Men are commonly too self. willed, and will not yield as they should do when provocation or disputes, real or imaginary, occur, and thus it is that quarrels and wars are commenced and carried on with a vindictive spirit. The secretary confessed that such was human nature, and that hence it was that wars were continued in the world.

1. The War of 1812. -pds <-Back