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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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4105. JEFFERSON (Thomas), A Nailmaker.—
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4105. JEFFERSON (Thomas), A Nailmaker.—

In our private pursuits it is a great
advantage that every honest employment is
deemed honorable. I am myself a nailmaker,
On returning home after an absence of ten
years, I found my farms so much deranged
that I saw evidently they would be a burden
to me instead of a support till I could regenerate
them; and, consequently, that it was
necessary for me to find some other resource
in the meantime. I thought for a while of
taking up the manufacture of potash, which
requires but small advances of money. I concluded
at length, however, to begin a manufacture
of nails, which needs little or no
capital, and I now employ a dozen little
boys from ten to sixteen years of age, overlooking
all the details of their business myself,
and drawing from it a profit on which I
can get along till I can put my farms into a
course of yielding profit. My new trade of
nail-making is to me in this country what
an additional title of nobility or the ensigns
of a new order are in Europe.—
To M. de Meunier. Ford ed., vii, 14.
(M. 1795)