Thomas Jefferson Papers

Spencer Roane to Thomas Jefferson, 22 October 1815

From Spencer Roane

Richmond, Octo 22d 1815.

Dear sir.

I received, a few days ago, your favour of 12th instant, enclosing1 the scheme of my opinion, in the case of Martin v Hunter. I am very much flattered and gratified by the receipt of that letter.

Going up to the springs, about the last of August, I had intended to avail myself of that opportunity, to pay the homage of my respects, to our first Citizen: Your absence from home, both as I went and came, deprived me of that pleasure, which was to me a source of real regret. Beleiving the question discussed in that paper to be of the first importance, and that your willingness to aid the Cause of truth and public utility, was only equalled by your ability to serve2 it, I had designed, had it fallen in my way, to ask your opinion upon it. With my present impressions on that subject, I am not sure that the opinion (merely,) of any man, could have produced a change:3 but if there be such an opinion, I am frank4 to say it would be that of Mr Jefferson.—Finding my friend Colo Monroe at the Springs, I submitted the paper to his perusal, and as he seemed entirely to concur in my conclusions, it strengthened the Claim of this paper to your Inspection. I was therefore highly5 gratified, when, on my return, he offered6 to Send it to you.

I am much flattered and gratified by the receipt of your letter: flattered, by the very civil manner in which you are pleased to speak of my humble labours; and gratified to find, that I have not erred, in the great principles at least, on which the question seems to turn. Your opinion, as far as it goes, is a great authority, both for the considerations before alluded to, and because you are beleived to be equally friendly to the just claim of both governments.

with sentiments of the highest Consideration respect, and Esteem, I am, Dear Sir,

yr mo: obt servt

Spencer Roane

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr.”; endorsed by TJ as received 27 Oct. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. Dft (ViU: TJP); endorsed by Roane as a letter “in answer to one Enclosing & approving SR’s opn in the Case of Hunter v Fairfax.”

1Dft: “accompanying.”

2Word interlined in Dft in place of “effect.”

3Reworked in Dft from “induced me to change them.”

4Preceding two words interlined in Dft in place of “have not to flatter.”

5Word interlined in Dft in place of “much.”

6Preceding two words interlined in Dft in place of “proposed.”

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; state versus federal authority search
  • law; TJ provides legal advice search
  • Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee search
  • Monroe, James; sends manuscripts to TJ search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Roane, Spencer search
  • Roane, Spencer; letters from search
  • Roane, Spencer; opinion inMartin v. Hunter’s Lessee search
  • Roane, Spencer; proposed visit to Monticello of search
  • springs; visitors to search
  • Supreme Court, U.S.; and jurisdiction of federal and state courts search
  • United States; and jurisdiction of federal courts search
  • Virginia; Court of Appeals search
  • Virginia; springs in search