Montpellier Sepr. 22. 1831
I have recd. Sir your letter of the 16th. with the printed observations inclosed.
I feel the respect due to the friendly sentiments it expresses; but must decline the task you mark out for me. If I had not already had occasion to make public my general views of the power<s> of Congress on the subject of encouraging manufactures, & the general principles which ought to regulate the exercise of it, I might now plead my great age, with the addition of a severe attack of Rheumatism, as requiring me not to enter that field of controversy.
I canot doubt that this explanation will be satisfactory, and I beg you to accept the offer of my respects & my good wishes.
Facsimile printed in Paul C. Richards Catalogue 179, item 344.