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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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580. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Acrimony over.—
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580. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Acrimony over.—

The assumption
of State debts has appeared as revolting to
several States as their non-assumption to others.
It is proposed to strip the proposition of the injustice
it would have done by leaving the States
who have redeemed much of their debts on no
better footing than those who have redeemed
none; on the contrary, it is recommended to assume
a fixed sum, allotting a portion of it to
every State in proportion to its census. Consequently,
every State will receive exactly what
they will have to pay, or they will be exonerated
so far by the General Government's taking their
creditors off their hands. There will be no injustice
then. But there will be the objection
still, that Congress must then lay taxes for
those debts which would have been much better
laid and collected by the State governments.
And this is the objection on which the accommodation
now hangs with the non-assumptioners,
many of whom committed themselves in their
advocation of the new Constitution by arguments
drawn from the improbability that Congress
would ever lay taxes where the States
could do it separately. These gentlemen feel the
reproaches which will be levelled at them personally.
I have been, and still am of their opinion
that Congress should always prefer letting
the States raise money in their own way, where
it can be done. But, in the present instance, I
see the necessity of yielding for this time to the
cries of the creditors in certain parts of the
Union; for the sake of Union, and to save us
from the greatest of all calamities, the total extinction
of our credit in Europe.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iii, 153. Ford ed., v, 188.
(N.Y., June. 1790)