Montpr. Sept. 23. 1830
Yours of the 21st. was recd. yesterday. On the question of recalling the communication made for the Natl. Intelligencer I submit the following statement.
In a letter, lately noticed from Mr. Jefferson dated Novr. 17. 1799, he "encloses me a copy of the draught of the Kentucky Resolves", (a press copy of his own manuscript). Not a word of explanation is mentioned. It was probably sent, & possibly at my request, in consequence of my being a member elect of the Virga. Legislature of -99, which would have to vindicate its contemporary Resolutions of -98. It is remarkable that the paper differs both from the Kentucky Resolns. of -98, and from those of -99. It agrees with the former in the main, and must have been the pattern of the Resolutions of that year; but contains passages, omitted in them, which employ the terms, nullification & nullifying: and it differs in the quantity of matter from the Resols. of -99; but agrees with them in a passage which employs that language, and would seem to have been the origin of it. I conjecture that the Correspondent in Kentucky, probably Col. George Nicholas, might think it better to leave out particular parts of the draft, than risk a misconstruction or misapplication of them; and that the paper might, notwithstanding, be within the reach & use of the Legislature of -99, and furnish the phraseology containing the term Nullification &c. Whether Mr. Jefferson had noted the difference between his draft, & the Resols. of -98, (he could not have seen those of -99, which passed Novr. 14) does not appear. The files of Mr. J-n, particularly his correspondence with Kentucky, must throw light on the whole subject. This aspect of the case seems to favour a recall of the communication, if practicable. Tho’ it be true that Mr. J. did not draft the Resols. of -99, a denial of it simply, might imply more than would be consistent with a knowledge of what is here stated.
I find by the last acct. from G. & S. thro’ their Collector Donaho, that there will be due $12. on the 19th. of next month, and I enclose $10. leaving the addition to be supplied by the little balance from Nicholls. But I am really ashamed to trouble you with such trifles.
I thank you for the Essay on "Distress for Rent &c". I have not yet read it, and can not say when I shall be able to do so, tho’ I anticipate an analytic and accurate view of the subject, instructive to better Lawyers than I am. With affect. esteem
RC (DLC: Nicholas P. Trist Papers); draft (DLC).