Friday, May 14, 2010

William Livingston, Cato, February 4, 1778:

I've uploaded the entire text from William Livingston's address as "Cato," February 4, 1778 which I quoted in my last post. If the text is too small, use the magnifying glass tool.

Pay close attention to the 3rd footnote. And that's because our next upload will be of a piece by Livingston dated February 18, 1778. Yet the footnote appears to inform that the Feb. 18 address was "inserted" by Mathew Carey under Livingston's name in 1788. The reason why the ten years make a difference is because, as we will see, the arguments there strikingly parallel Madison's in the Memorial and Remonstrance. If these were Livingston's words in 1778 we could reasonably concluded Madison lifted the ideas (that's how close they are). But if they were Carey's words in 1788, it's likely he lifted the ideas from Madison. Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance was written in 1785.

Livingston 1

Livingston 2

Update: In rereading the footnote, it seems that BOTH pieces were "inserted" by M. Carey in 1788. However, I can't tell (yet) who wrote the pieces (Livingston, under whose name they were given or Carey) and when they were written (1778 when dated or 1788 when published). The difference matters. Because as noted if they were written in 1778, they anticipate Madison's argument in the Memorial and Remonstrance, and some of Jefferson's Virginia arguments too. It's true that the "Whigs" -- Jefferson, Madison, and Livingston -- cribbed Locke. However, it wasn't just "Locke," but rather how Jefferson understood Locke, how Madison understood Locke, how Livingston understood Locke, etc.

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