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the whole of the present paper medium be suspended in its circulation after acertain

and not distant day.Ascertain by proper inquiry the greatest sum of it which has at any one time

been inactual circulation.Tak e a certain term of years for its gradual reduction, suppose it to be

five years; thenlet the solvent banks issue ? of that amount in new notes, to be attested by a

publicofficer, as a security that neither more or less is issued, and to be given out inexchange for

the suspended notes, and the surplus in discount.Let ? th of these notes bear on their face that

the bank will discharge them with specieat the end of one year; another 5th at the end of two years; a

third 5th at the end of three years; and so of the 4th and 5th. They will be sure to be brought in at

their respective periods of redemption.Ma ke it a high offence to receive or pass within this

State a note of any other.There is little doubt that our banks will agree readily to this operation;

if they refuse,declare their charters forfeited by their former irregularities, and give

summary process against them for the suspended notes.The Bank of the United States

will probably concur also; if not, shut their doors and join the other States in respectful, but firm

applications to Congress, to concur inconstituting a tribunal (a special convention,

e. g.

) for settling amicably the questionof their right to institute a bank, and that

also of the States to do the same.A staylaw for the suspension of executions, and their discharge

at five annualinstalme nts, should be accommodated to these measures.Inter dict forever, to

both the State and national governments, the power of establishing any paper bank; for

without this interdiction, we shall have the same ebbsand flows of medium, and the same

revolutions of property to go through everytwenty or thirty years.In this way the value of

property, keeping pace nearly with the sum of circulatingmed ium, will descend

gradually to its proper level, at the rate of about ? every year,the sacrifices of what shall be

sold for payment of the first instalments of debts will bemoderate, and time will

be given for economy and industry to come in aid of thosesubseque nt. Certainly no nation ever

before abandoned to the avarice and jugglings of private individuals to regulate,

according to their own interests, the quantum of circulating medium for the nation, to

inflate, by deluges of paper, the nominal pricesof property, and then to buy up

that property at 1s. in the pound, having firstwithdrawn the floating medium which might

endanger a competition in purchase. Yet

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this is what has been done, and

will be done, unless stayed by the protecting hand of the legislature. The evil has been

produced by the error of their sanction of thisruinous machinery of banks; and justice,

wisdom, duty, all require that they shouldinterpos e and arrest it before the schemes of

plunder and spoliation desolate thecountry. It is believed that Harpies are already

hoarding their money to commencethes e scenes on the separation of the legislature; and we know

that lands have beenalready sold under the hammer for less than a years rent. [1]Jefferson

further wrote to Nelson:Montic ello, March 12, 1820I thank you, dear Sir, for the

information in your favor of the 4th instant, of thesettlement,

for the present,

of the Missouri question. I am so completely withdrawnfrom all attention to public matters, that nothing

less could arouse me than thedefinition of a geographical line, which on an abstract principle is to

become the lineof separation of these States, and to render desperate the hope that man

can ever enjoythe two blessings of peace and selfgovernment. The question sleeps for the

present, but is not dead. This State is in a condition of unparalleled distress. The suddenreductio

n of the circulating medium from a plethory to all but annihilation is producing an

entire revolution of fortune. In other places I have known lands sold bythe sheriff

for one years rent; beyond the mountain we hear of good slaves selling for one hundred

dollars, good horses for five dollars, and the sheriffs generally the purchasers. Our produce is

now selling at market for onethird of its price, before thiscommercial catastrophe, say flour at

three and a quarter and three and a half dollarsthe barrel. We should have less right to

expect relief from our legislators if they had been the establishers of the unwise system of

banks. A remedy to a certain degree was practicable, that of of reducing the

quantum of circulation gradually to a level withthat of the countries with which we have

commerce, and an eternal abjuration of paper. But they have adjourned without doing anything. I fear

local insurrectionsag ainst these horrible sacrifices of property. In every condition

of trouble or tranquillity be assured of my constant esteem and respect. [1]Jefferson

again wrote to Thweat:Montic ello, Dec. 24, 21

Dear Sir,

I have duly received your

two favors of Nov. 6. & Dec. 13. requesting me toconsent to the publication of my opinion on

the encroachments of the judiciary of theU.S. expressed in a former letter to you, but my

dear Sir, there is a time for things; for advancing and for retiring; for a Sabbath of rest as well as

for days of labor, andsurely that Sabbath has arrived for one near entering on his 80th

year. Tranquility isthe

summum bonum

of that age. I wish now for quiet, to

withdraw from the broils of the world, to soothe enmities and to die in the peace and good will of all

mankind.The thing too which you request has been done in substance. In the extract of a

letter, published with my consent, recommending Colo. Taylors book, and in a letter to a

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Mr. Jarvis, who wrote and sent me a book entitled

the Republican,

in which letter, Iformally combated his heretical doctrine that the judiciary is

the ultimate expounder and arbiter of all constitutional questions. You are not aware of the

inveterate hatredstill rankling in the hearts of some of our old tories. I received the

last summer a 4thof July oration from the son of a deceased friend. In my answer I

commended its principles in moderate and inoffensive terms, expressing at the same time

myaffections for his father. He published my letter, and it drew on me torrents of abuse,from

particular tory papers, in the revived spirit of 96. and 1800. Their columns werefilled with

Billingsgate against me, for several months. No, my dear friend, permit meat length to retire

from the angry passions of mankind and to pass in undisturbedrep ose the few days remaining

to me of life. They will surely be past in sentiments of sincere esteem and respect for

yourself, and affectionate attachment to Mrs. Thweat. [1]Jefferson further wrote to Judge

Roane:Montice llo, June 27, 1821



I have read Colonel

Taylors book of
Constructions Construed,

with greatsatisfactio n, and, I will say, with

edification; for I acknowledge it corrected someerrors of opinion into which I had slidden without

sufficient examination. It is themost logical retraction of our governments to

the original and true principles of theconstitution creating them, which has appeared since

the adoption of that instrument. Imay not perhaps concur in all its opinions, great

and small; for no two men ever thought alike on so many points. But on all its important

questions, it contains the true political faith, to which every catholic republican should

steadfastly hold. It should be put into the hands of all our functionaries, authoritatively, as a standing

instruction,and true exposition of our Constitution, as understood at the time we agreed to it. It

isa fatal heresy to suppose that either our State governments are superior to the federal,or the federal to

the States. The people, to whom all authority belongs, have dividedthe powers of

government into two distinct departments, the leading characters of which are


and domestic; and they have appointed for each a distinct set of functionaries.

These they have made coordinate, checking and balancing each other,like the three cardinal

departments in the individual States: each equally supreme as tothe powers delegated to

itself, and neither authorized ultimately to decide what belongs to itself, or to its

coparcenor in government. As independent, in fact, asdifferent nations, a spirit

of forbearance and compromise, therefore, and not of encroachment and usurpation,

is the healing balm of such a constitution; and each party should prudently shrink from all

approach to the line of demarcation, instead of rashly overleaping it, or throwing

grapples ahead to haul to hereafter. But, finally, the peculiar happiness of our blessed

system is, that in differences of opinion betweenthese different sets of servants, the appeal is to

neither, but to their employers peaceably assembled by their representatives in Convention.

This is more rationalthan the

jus fortioris,

or the cannons mouth, the

ultima et sola ratio regum.

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[1]In reply to a question from Macon concerning this

letter, Jefferson wrote to him:Bucksprin g, Oct. 20, 21Absence at an occasional but distant

residence prevented my receiving your friendlyletter of Oct. 20. [


] till 3. d. ago. A line from good old friends is like balm to mysoul. You ask me what

you are to do with my letter of Sep. [


] 19. I wrote it, mydear Sir, with no other

view than to pour my thoughts into your bosom. I knew theywould be safe there, and

I believed they would be welcome, but if you think, as yousay, that good would

be done by shewing it to
a few well tried friends

I have noobjectn to that. But ultimately you

cannot do better than to throw it into the fire. Myconfidence, as you kindly observed, has

been often abused by the publication of myltres for the purposes of interest or vanity; and it

has been to me the source of much pain to be exhibited before the public in forms not meant for

them. I receive lresexpressed in the most frdly & even affectionate terms, sometimes

perhaps asking myopn on some subject. I cannot refuse to answer such letters, nor can I do it dryly

&suspiciously. Among a score or two of such correspdts, one perhaps betrays me. I feelit mortifyingly,

but conclude I had better incur one treachery than offend a score or two of good people. I

sometimes expressly desire that my letters may not be publd, but this is so like requesting a

man not to steal or cheat that I am ashamed of it after Ihave done it.Our govmt is now

taking so steady a course as to shew by what road it will pass todestruction, to wit, by

consolidn first, & then corruption, its necessary consequence.T he engine of consolidn will

be the Fedl judiciary, the two other branches thecorrupted & corrupting instruments. I

fear an explosion in our state legislature, I wishthey may confine themselves to a

strong but pacific temper. Protestn Virge is not at present in favr with her costates. An

opposn headed by her would determine all theantiMissouri states to take the contrary side.

She had better lie by therefore until theshoe shall pinch an Eastern state. Let the cry be first raised

from that quarter & wemay fall into it with effect. But I fear our Eastern

associates wish for consolidn, inwhich they would be joined by the smaller states generally, but

with a foot in thegrave I have no right to meddle with these things. Ever & affectly.

[1]From the original in the possession of Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet of New York. [1]From the

original in the possession of Mr. F. G. Burnham of Morristown, NewJersey. [1]In our

paper of the 3d, under the head of the next President we quoted from the

Petersbg Intelligencer

the information of a Gentleman from Columbia S. C.mentioning that in a

Caucus of members assembled there for the nomin of a Presidenta letter was read

from Mr. Jefferson pointing to this object. We are authorized by afriend of Mr. Js much in his

society & intimacy to declare that that Gent. never wrotesuch a letter, never

put pen to paper on that subject, and studiously avoids allconversn on it.

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