Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO ALEXANDER SPOTSWOOD. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIV (1798-1799)
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TO ALEXANDER SPOTSWOOD. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIV (1798-1799) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. XIV (1798-1799).
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TO ALEXANDER SPOTSWOOD.
Philadelphia, 22 November, 1798.
Your letter of the 13th enclosing a publication under the signature of Gracchus, on the alien and sedition laws, found me at this place deeply engaged in business.
You ask my opinion of these laws, professing to place confidence in my judgment. For the compliment of which I thank you. But to give opinions unsupported by reasons might appear dogmatical, especially as you have declared that Gracchus has produced “thorough conviction in your mind of the unconstitutionality and inexpediency of the acts above mentioned.” To go into an explanation on these points I have neither leisure nor inclination, because it would occupy more time than I have to spare.
But I will take the liberty of advising such as are not “thoroughly convinced,” and whose minds are yet open to conviction, to read the pieces and hear the arguments, which have been adduced in favor of as well as those against, the constitutionality and expediency of those laws, before they decide; and consider to what lengths a certain description of men in our country have already driven, and seem resolved further to drive matters, and then ask themselves if it is not time and expedient, to resort to protecting laws against aliens (for citizens you certainly know are not affected by that law), who acknowledge no allegiance to this country, and in many instances are sent among us (as there is the best circumstantial evidence to prove) for the express purpose of poisoning the minds of our people, and to sow dissensions among them, in order to alienate their affections from the government of their choice, thereby endeavoring to dissolve the Union, and of course the fair and happy prospects, which were unfolding to our view from the revolution.
But, as I have observed before, I have no time to enter the field of politics; and therefore shall only add my best respects to the good family at New Port, and the assurances of being, dear Sir, your very humble servant.