Front Page Titles (by Subject) J. B. to U. S. President, Jackson. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
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J. B. to U. S. President, Jackson. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 11.
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J. B. to U. S. President, Jackson.
“January 10, 1830.
“I have this moment finished the hearing of your message: I say the hearing; for at my age (as above-mentioned) I am reduced to read mostly by my ears. Intense is the admiration it has excited in me—correspondent the sentiments of all around me.
“ ’Tis not without a mixture of surprise and pleasure, that I observe the coincidence between your ideas and my own on the field of legislation. The coincidence of mine with those of Dr Livingston, the Louisiana senator, are, perhaps, not unknown to you.
“The flattering manner in which he is pleased to speak of my labours in that field, is, in the highest degree, encouraging to me. The herewith transmitted publication, entitled “Codification Proposal,” &c., may serve to bring it to view. These circumstances combined, concur in flattering me with the hope, that the present communication will not be altogether unacceptable to you. Annexed is a list of some of my works, which solicit the honour of your acceptance.
“Here follow a few observations, which I take the liberty of submitting to you, on some of the topics touched upon in your above-mentioned message.
“1st, Navy Board.—In this sub-department of the Defensive Force Department, you find, I perceive, many-seatedness established—by you, single-seatedness, I see, is preferred: so is it by me—for this preference, your reason is responsibility:—so is it for mine. But in my account, though the principal reason, it is but one among several. This may be seen in the accompanying copy of the 1st part of my Constitutional Code, ch. ix., section 3.
“2d, After that you come to the Judiciary. If I do not misrecollect, in your superior Judicatories the bench is single seated. In my leading chapter on the Judiciary, to all the reasons which apply to the Administration Department in all its sub-departments, twelve or thirteen in number, several which are peculiar to the Judiciary are added.
“3d, Utter inaptitude of Common Law for its professed purpose—guidance of human action. Places in which you may find this topic worked: 1. ‘Papers on Codification and Education.’—2. ‘Codification Proposal,’—and 3. ‘Petition for Codification’ in the volume of ‘Petitions.’
“4th, Superfluous functionaries.—In this number my researches have led me to reckon the whole of your Senate—not merely the whole expense thrown away, but the whole authority, much worse than useless. Responsibility in greatest part destroyed by a single functionary, what must it be by a multitude so numerous? Functions legislative and administrative thus united in the same body; thus the same men are judges over themselves. In my view of the matter, the administrative and the judiciary are two authorities employed to give execution and effect to the will of the legislative, and which, accordingly, ought to be, in the instance of every member of each, at all times distinct: the legislative being, by means of the power of location and dislocation though not by that of imperation, subordinate to the people at large—the constitutive.
“Knowing nothing of the facts, my theory leads me to expect to find, that the sort of relation that has place between the President and the Senate, is, that each of these functionaries, the President included, locates, within his field of patronage, a protégé of his own, without any check from the authority of the rest.
“This is nothing more than a faint, imperfect, and inaccurate outline, drawn momentarily by a broken memory from the recollection of a short paper written several years ago. Should it afford any prospect of being of any use, and you will favour me with a line to let me know as much, I will get it copied and transmitted to you: possibly I may even not wait for such your commands.
“It occurs to me, that should our opinions agree on this subject, there might be a use in the ideas being delivered, as coming from me or anybody else rather than yourself: seeing the opposition it would be sure to meet with from those who are satisfied with things as they are—the wound that such an opposition might give to your popularity, which is as much as to say, to the interests of the State.
“5th, Defensive Force—by sea and land: its organization. Tactics, (of course,) neither in land nor water service, am I, who know nothing of the matter, absurd enough to have comprised in it: but the part that I have undertaken has undergone the minute examination, and received the considerate approbation of leading minds of the first order, distinguished not only by talent, but by experience and splendid success; and who, indeed, though without having published on the subject, had in great part anticipated me.
“An intelligent man, who is in the confidence of the Duke of Orleans, and bears the whimsical name of Le Dieu, has been here in London for some time, publishing a periodical in French, under the title of ‘Le Représentant des Peuples.’ He is thought to be the author of an address to the French army, that, after having been written here, and either printed or lithographized, has been transmitted to, and circulated in France. It has for its object the engaging the army, should matters come to a crisis, to act, not against, but for the people. The above-mentioned periodical I have not had time to look into; but I am told that it advocates monarchy, which, considering the connexion of the author with a family so near to the throne as that of the Duke of Orleans is, he could not choose but do. Thinking you might possibly have the curiosity to look into it, I send you a copy of such of the numbers of it as have appeared. La Fayette is a dear friend, and occasional correspondent of mine; but unless it be for some special purpose, we have neither of us any time to write.
“Forgive the liberty I take of suggesting the idea of your putting in for a copy of our House of Commons’ Votes and Proceedings. The annual sum I pay for them is between £16 and £17, included in which is a copy of our Acts of Parliament.* Infinite is the variety of the political information which they afford; for scarcely any document that is asked for is ever refused. As to the price, scarcely would six, eight, or ten times (I believe I might go further) the money, procure the same quantity of letterpress from the booksellers. Trash, relatively speaking of course, is, by far the greatest part; but if in the bushel of chaff a grain of wheat were to be found, the above-mentioned price you will, perhaps, think not ill bestowed on the purchase of it. Dr Livingston, if either of the packets I have endeavoured to transmit to him through the same official channel have reached their destination, will be able to show you a few articles of the above-mentioned stock.
“If I do not mistake you, you are embarked, or about to embark, in a civil enterprise, which Cromwell, notwithstanding all his military power, failed in,—I mean the delivery of the people from the thraldom in which, everywhere, from the earliest recorded days, they have been held by the harpies of the law. Having yourself officiated in the character of judge, you are in possession of an appropriate experience, which in his instance had no place; but will you be able to resist their influence over the people? In opposition to you, so long as you are engaged, or believed to be engaged, in any such design, it were blindness not to look to see their utmost influence employed. The interest of the lawyers, and that of their fellow-citizens, in the character of clients, need it be said? is utterly irreconcileable. You cannot assuage the torments of the client, but you diminish in proportion the comforts of the lawyer. If these be really of the number of your generous designs, I cannot but flatter myself with the prospect of being for that purpose an instrument in your hands. The contents of the accompanying packet will, in so far as you have time to look at them, show you on what grounds.—With the most heartfelt esteem and respect, I subscribe myself,” &c.
[* ] This is a misapprehension. The Acts of Parliament are not distributed with the Papers of the House of Commons.