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TO LEVY LINCOLN.
Monticello, August 30, 1803. DEAR SIR, The inclosed letter came to hand by yesterday's post. You will be sensible of the circumstances which make it improper : that I should hazard a formal answer, as well as of the desire its friendly aspect naturally excites, that those concerned in it should understand that the spirit they express is friendly viewed. You can judge also from your knowledge of the ground, whether it may be usefully encouraged. I take the liberty, therefore, of availing myself of your neighbourhood to Boston, and of
your friendship to me, to request you to say to the captain and others, verbally, whatever you think would be proper, as expressive of my sentiments on the subject. With respect to the day on which they wish to fix their anniversary, they may be told that disapproving myself of transferring the honours and veneration for the great birth-day of our republic to any individual, or of dividing them with individuals, I have declined letting my own birth-day be known, and have engaged my family not to communicate it. This has been the uniform answer to every application of the kind.
On further consideration, as to the amendment to our constitution respecting Louisiana, I have thought it better, instead of enumerating
powers which Congress may exercise, to give them the same powers they have as to other portions of the Union generally, and to enumerate the special exceptions, in some such forin as the following.
Louisiana, as ceded by France to the United States, is made a part of the United States ; its white inhabitants shall be