Boston March 6 – 1851


Baranabas Bates Esq.




                        I saw a notice lately to take the responsibility of the mail service of the country, giving large bonds for the faithful performance of the duty to.

            From this fact I inferred that there was probably a large company in New York, who wished to engage in that business – If there be such a company, I should like, for a proper compensation, to take the risk of testing the constitutionality of the laws which prohibit private mails.

            I would establish a mail from New York to Boston, simply to bring the question to a decision.

            As you may wish for some evidence of the probable success of the experiment, I send you  a pamphlet, (prepared for another purpose), containing a copy of the argument I published seven years ago on “The Unconstitutionality of the Laws of Congress prohibiting Private Mails,” also the opinions of Hon. Rufus Choate, Hon. Franklin Dexter, Hon. Simon Greanleaf, Hon. B.F. Butler, and others as to the merits of that argument.

            I have so much confidence of success that I should be willing to take the risk of any judgments that might be obtained against me, provided I could be properly compensated in case of success.

            If you feel any interest in the matter, I should be happy to hear from you. If you feel none, please excuse the liberty I have taken in addressing you.


                                                                                                Very Respectfully

                                                                                                            Your Obedient Servant

                                                                                                                        Lysander Spooner