Timothy Pickering and Richard Peters were both prominent patriots and members of the Continental Congress’s “board of war” during the Revolution. By 1806 both were ardent Federalists, and on April 13 of that year Pickering wrote Peters a letter that included this passage:
If Jefferson had not been five years our President, I should not have believed it possible for one man, controuled by precise constitutional rules and laws, to produce such a revolution in politics and morals as we now see.… The national spirit and dignity are gone—never to rise while Jefferson bears rule. And who will succeed? A man of character & ability? No! The feeble, timid Madison, or the dull Monroe. … Fools and knaves will continue to be the general favourites of the people, until the government is subverted.
From Essex Institute Historical Collections, October, 1958