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by Mike Maharrey
As Thomas Jefferson and James Madison strategized on how to address the Alien and Sedition Acts, they corresponded by mail, discussing their ideas. Ten key letters give further insight into their strategy. Their correspondence reveals that the resolutions were merely intended to serve as a starting point, setting the stage for additional, more aggressive steps to stop the federal overreach.
Wilson Cary Nicholas was also involved in the effort. He was an important figure in the Virginia ratifying convention that approved the Constitution, and at the time the Alien and Sedition Actspassed, he served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. He was a close and trusted friend of Jefferson, and delivered Jefferson’s draft of the Kentucky Resolutions to John Breckinridge, who eventually introduced them in the Kentucky House.
Following, you will find the ten letters between these three men reprinted in their entirety. Some of the letters also address other issues. In those cases, the relevant passages have been bolded.
eBook: 36 pages
Publisher: Tenth Amendment Center (August, 2016)