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No apology is offered for devoting so much space in the Branch Papers this year to the life and work of Judge Spencer Roane. Henry Adams and the other historians of the period have but little to say of Roane or of the protest which he constantly made again Chief Justice Marshall, and the files of the Richmond Enquirer, which give so much of the history of Virginia at the time, are not easily accessible.

The series of newspaper letters and formal articles will explain themselves. Most of these articles have not hitherto been identified as Roane’s. This has been done now by reference to the correspondence of Jefferson and Madison and by a study of the Enquirer files for the period of 1815 to 1821.

Roane, Ritchie, and John Taylor, were active leaders of opinion in Virginia for many years. Jefferson gave them his full countenance, and Madison agreed with them in part and at times. John Marshall and the Supreme Court of the United States, as will be seen, were subjects of lively attack.

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