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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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8231. SUPREME COURT, Republicanism and.—[continued].
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8231. SUPREME COURT, Republicanism and.—[continued].

The misfortune of Bidwell
removes an able man from the competition.
Can any other bring equal qualifications
to those of [Levi] Lincoln? I know
he was not deemed a profound common
lawyer; but was there ever a profound common
lawyer known in one of the Eastern
States? There never was, nor never can be,
one from those States. The basis of their
law is neither common nor civil; it is an
original, if any compound can be so called.
Its foundation seems to have been laid in the
spirit and principles of Jewish law, incorporated
with some words and phrases of
common law, and an abundance of notions of
their own. This makes an amalgam sui
and it is well known that a man, first
and thoroughly initiated into the principles of
one system of law, can never become pure
and sound in any other. Lord Mansfield was
a splendid proof of this. Therefore, I say,
there never was, nor can be a profound common
lawyer from those States. Sullivan had
the reputation of preeminence there as a
common lawyer, but we have his History of
Land Titles, which gives us his measure.
Mr. Lincoln is, I believe, considered as
learned in their laws as any one they have.
Federalists say that Parsons is better. But
the criticalness of the present nomination puts
him out of the question. As the great mass
of the functions of the new judge are to be
performed in his own district, Lincoln will be
most unexceptionable and acceptable there;
and on the Supreme bench equal to any who
can be brought thence. Add to this his integrity,
political firmness, and unimpeachable
character, and I believe no one can be
found to whom there will not be more serious
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 550. Ford ed., ix, 285.
(M. Sep. 1810)