MVB to Nathan Williams, 2 February 1820
Feby 2d 1820
You will doubtless remember that when at Louis's during the sitting of the Supreme court you mentioned to me that chief Justice Spencer had declared to Genl. Brown that the Republican party no longer existed as such & that henceforth our Citizens would be divided among the Supporters & opposers of the present administration. The sentiments thus attributed to the chief Justice being in unison with those avowed in the Register and understood as intended to govern the conduct of our opponents, and as there was no reserve or restriction of any kind suggested either in the original declaration or communication of it, I thought proper to notice the subject in a short essay which appeared in the argus over the signature of Leonidas, & to give the matter more authenticity referred to the direct declarations of the chief Justice in preference to newspaper avowals.
The qualifyed denyal of his honor with the subsequent note from Leonidas containing his promise to give his author and to avow himself you have ^doubtless^ both seen. It is uncertain whether application for the author &c. will be made & in the event of its not being done (which is most probable) I may not think it worth while to say any thing more about it as the matter is well understood by the public & the issue taken by the chief Justice one as to words merely. In the event however of the call being made I should like to be able to state the authority you had for the declaration of which I will thank you to advise me by return mail
Yours very sincerely