Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO AROHIBALD THWEAT - The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826)
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TO AROHIBALD THWEAT - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 12.
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TO AROHIBALD THWEAT
Monticello, January 19, 1821
—I duly received your favor of the 11th, covering Judge Roane’s letter, which I now return. Of the kindness of his sentiments expressed towards myself I am highly sensible; and could I believe that my public services had merited the approbation he so indulgently bestows, the satisfaction I should derive from it would be reward enough to his wish that I would take a part in the transactions of the present day. I am sensible of my incompetence. For first, I know little about them, having long withdrawn my attention from public affairs, and resigned myself with folded arms to the care of those who are to care for us all. And, next, the hand of time pressing heavily on me, in mind as well as body, leaves to neither sufficient energy to engage in public contentions. I am sensible of the inroads daily making by the federal, into the jurisdiction of its co-ordinate associates, the State governments. The legislative and executive branches may sometimes err, but elections and dependence will bring them to rights. The judiciary branch is the instrument which, working like gravity, without intermission, is to press us at last into one consolidated mass. Against this I know no one who, equally with Judge Roane himself, possesses the power and the courage to make resistance; and to him I look, and have long looked, as our strongest bulwark. If Congress fails to shield the States from dangers so palpable and so imminent, the States must shield themselves, and meet the invader foot to foot. This is already half done by Colonel Taylor’s book; because a conviction that we are right accomplishes half the difficulty of correcting wrong. This book is the most effectual retraction of our government to its original principles which has ever yet been sent by heaven to our aid. Every State in the Union should give a copy to every member they elect, as a standing instruction, and ours should set the example. Accept with Mrs. Thweat the assurance of my affectionate and respectful attachment.1
[1 ]Jefferson again wrote to Thweat:
Monticello, Dec. 24, 21
—I have duly received your two favors of Nov. 6. & Dec. 13. requesting me to consent to the publication of my opinion on the encroachments of the judiciary of the U.S. expressed in a former letter to you, but my dear Sir, there is a time for things; for advancing and for retiring; for a Sabbath of rest as well as for days of labor, and surely that Sabbath has arrived for one near entering on his 80th year. Tranquility is the summum bonum of that age. I wish now for quiet, to withdraw from the broils of the world, to soothe enmities and to die in the peace and good will of all mankind. The thing too which you request has been done in substance. In the extract of a letter, published with my consent, recommending Colo. Taylor’s book, and in a letter to a Mr. Jarvis, who wrote and sent me a book entitled the Republican, in which letter, I formally combated his heretical doctrine that the judiciary is the ultimate expounder and arbiter of all constitutional questions. You are not aware of the inveterate hatred still rankling in the hearts of some of our old tories. I received the last summer a 4th of July oration from the son of a deceased friend. In my answer I commended it’s principles in moderate and inoffensive terms, expressing at the same time my affections for his father. He published my letter, and it drew on me torrents of abuse, from particular tory papers, in the revived spirit of 96. and 1800. Their columns were filled with Billingsgate against me, for several months. No, my dear friend, permit me at length to retire from the angry passions of mankind and to pass in undisturbed repose the few days remaining to me of life. They will surely be past in sentiments of sincere esteem and respect for yourself, and affectionate attachment to Mrs. Thweat.