Monday, December 17, 2012

Jefferson on Nullification, edition 1792

The following quote is from Jefferson's letter to Madison, October 1st, 1792 and is discussing the Hamiltonian National bank legislation. Jefferson explains to Madison what in his opinion the Virginia legislation should do about this issue. This is the earliest and the most radical Jefferson's formulation of the doctrine of nullification I am aware of:

The assembly should reason thus. The power of erecting banks and corporations was not given to the general government. It remains with the state itself. For any person to recognise a foreign legislature in a case belonging to the state itself, is an act of treason against the state, and whosoever shall do any act under colour of the authority of a foreign legislature whether by signing notes, issuing or passing them, acting as director, or any other office relating to it shall be adjudged guilty of high treason and suffer death accordingly.

*The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, volume 24 John Catanzarity ed. Princeton University Press, 1990., pp. 432-33

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