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FORT HILL, October 30, 1830.
SIR: The last mail brought me your letter of the 2d instant, but post marked the 23d, which I herewith return.
I cannot consent to correspond with you on the subject to which it refers. The controversy is not with you, but General Jackson. You, from the first, voluntarily assumed the character of the informer. Under that character only can I know you, which of course precludes all communication between us in relation to the controversy, except through General Jackson. Regarding you in the light I do, you may rest assured that no abuse on your part, however coarse, nor charges against me, however false, can possibly provoke me to raise you to the Jryel of a principal, by substituting you in trie place of General Jackson in the correspondence. Should you, however, submit to the degradation of the position which you have thus voluntarily taken, and will send this or any other statement to General Jackson, and induce him to make it the subject of any further communication to me, as confirming in his opinion your former statement, or weakening my refutation, I will be prepared, by the most demonstrative proof, drawn from the paper itself, to show such palpable errors in your present statement as to destroy all confidence in your assertions; leaving it, however, to those who have the best means of judging to determine whether the want of truth be owing to a decayed memory or some other cause.
Having been taught by the past the necessity of taking all possible precaution where I have any thing to do with you, I deem it prudent not to deprive myself of the advantage which your paper affords me, and have accordingly taken a copy, as a precautionary measure.
I am, &c.
- John C. Calhoun