January 6th 1806 [i.e. 1807]
I enclose three letters from the Supervisor of South Carolina which relate in part to a bill of injunction filed against him, at the instance as I understand of William Smith the former member of Congress, for the purpose of stopping all proceedings in the collection of the direct tax. I have marked in each letter the paragraphs which relate to that subject.
This is quite a new proceeding. What Judge Bee will do no person can foresee. But if a district judge can, on motion of individuals, grant an injunction or issue any other process forbidding generally a Supervisor or collector to proceed in the execution of his duties, the whole of our revenue, impost as well as any other is at the mercy of any evil disposed & unprincipled or wrong headed judge. The novelty of the attempt induced me to wait for the attorney general. Something however must be done. As a part of the last letter of the Supervisor embraces some propositions to amend the law, I may send it to some committee & in that way bring the subject under the notice of Congress.
But must the district attorney be instructed how to proceed? and if the judge shall grant the injunction, must the Supervisor obey it & cease to collect? Those are questions on which I request the favor of your opinion, if you do not think it proper to give any positive directions.
Very respectfully Your obedt. Sevt.
I enclose copy of my answer to the first letters of the Supervisor of the 14th July, so far as relates to that point. The two last of 27th Octr & 19th. Decer. are yet unanswered on that point.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.