Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to James Pleasants, 27 April 1822

To James Pleasants

Monticello Apr. 27. 22.

Dear Sir

Your favor of the 21st is recieved, and with it Colo Peyton’s acknolegement of the reciept of the 118.D. balance due to me from Ronald’s estate, of which he had before advised me.

I am flattered with the promise of a visit from you, long desired, and very welcome whenever it can be made with your convenience. our University is in a state to compensate the trouble of such a journey, as no other within the extent of the US. could present you an object more worthy of being seen.

Altho’ I withdraw myself from politics almost entirely, I have not been able to see with insensibility the encroachments of the supreme court of the US. on those rights of the states which the constitution of the US. has left in independance on them. the principles of that court are leading us fast to consolidated government which will be a very corrupt one, and too extensive to answer the purposes of good government. in fact since the amalgamation of the parties of Republican and Federal, the most wholsome of any division which can ever exist in any government, Congress has gone more than half way to meet the Federalists: and if the doctrines of McD— are those of a majority, they are gone the whole way. accept my very affectionate and respectful salutations.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (ViW: TC-JP); on verso of reused address cover of Pascal Etienne Meinadier to TJ, 30 Oct. 1819; at foot of text: “James Pleasants esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

At this point in his political career, the South Carolina congressman George McDuffie (mcd—) opposed state sovereignty, the strict construction of the United States Constitution, and the belief that the states, as the primary repository of liberty, had an obligation to resist federal encroachments (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, repr. 1968, 20 vols. in 10 description ends ).

Index Entries

  • Congress, U.S.; TJ on search
  • Constitution, U.S.; and states’ rights search
  • Federalist party; TJ on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Supreme Court search
  • McDuffie, George; as member of U.S. House of Representatives search
  • Peyton, Bernard; and payments to TJ search
  • Pleasants, James; and U.S. judiciary search
  • Pleasants, James; and University of Virginia search
  • Pleasants, James; and W. Ronald’s estate search
  • Pleasants, James; letters to search
  • Pleasants, James; plans to visit TJ search
  • Republican party; TJ on search
  • Ronald, William; estate of search
  • Supreme Court, U.S.; TJ on search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; visitors to search