The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


We are in suspense here to see the fate and effect of Mr. Pitt's bill against democratic societies. I wish extremely to get at the true history of this effort to suppress freedom of meeting, speaking, writing and printing. Your acquaintance with Sedgwick will enable you to do it. Pray get the outlines of the bill he intended to have brought in for this purpose. This will enable us to judge whether we have the merit of the invention; whether we were really beforehand with the British minister on this subject; whether he took his hint from our proposition, or whether the concurrence in the sentiment is merely the result of the general truth that great men will think alike and act alike, though without intercommunication. I am serious in desiring extremely the outlines of the bill intended for us.

to William B. Giles, 19 March 1796