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MY DEAR SIR, Mr. Calhoun, as you are doubtless aware, has published a labored defence of nullification, in the form of a letter, to Governor Hamilton. It is far the ablest and most plausible, and therefore the most dangerous vindication of that particular form of revolution, which has yet appeared.
In the silence of abler pens, and seeing as I think I do, that the affairs of this government are rapidly approaching a crisis, I have felt it to be my duty to answer Mr. Calhoun, and, as he adopted the form of a letter, in which to put forth his opinions, I think of giving my answer a similar form. The object of this is, to ask your permission to address my letter to you. I propose to feign that I have received a letter from you calling rny attention to Mr. Calhoun's publication ; and then, in answer to such supposed letter, to proceed to review his whole argument at some length, not in the style of a speech, but in that of cool, constitutional, and legal discussion. If you feel no repugnance to be thus written to, I will be obliged to you for your assent ; on the other hand if any reasons suggest themselves to your mind against such a form of publication, another can be readily adopted. I cannot complete the paper before the election, as I am at present a good deal pressed with professional affairs, but I hope to bring it into light in the course of the next month.
I have little to say to you, my dear Sir, upon political subjects. The whole ground is open to you. I trust you will be one of those who will have votes to give, and devoutly pray you may yet see some way of so uniting the well-disposed, as to rescue us from our peril.
I am, dear Sir, with most sincere and true regard, yours,
- Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster, Edited by Fletcher Webster, Volume I, 1857