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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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581. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Compromise plans.—
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581. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Compromise plans.—

The question
for assuming the State debts has created greater
animosities than I ever yet saw take place on
any occasion. There are three ways in which
it may yet terminate. 1. A rejection of the
measure, which will prevent their funding any
part of the public debt, and will be something
very like a dissolution of the government. 2.
A bargain between the Eastern members, who
have had it so much at heart, and the middle
members, who are indifferent about it, to adopt
those debts without any modification on condition
of removing the seat of government to
Philadelphia or Baltimore. 3. An adoption of
them with this modification, that the whole
sum to be assumed shall be divided among the
States in proportion to their census; so that
each shall receive as much as they are to pay;
and perhaps this might bring about so much
good humor as to induce them to give the temporary
seat of government to Philadelphia, and
then to Georgetown permanently. It is evident
that this last is the least bad of all the turns the
thing can take. The only objection to it will be


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that Congress will then have to lay and collect
taxes to pay these debts, which could much better
have been laid and collected by the State
governments. This, though an evil, is a less one
than any of the others in which it may issue,
and will probably give us the seat of government
at a day not very distant, which will vivify our
agriculture and commerce by circulating through
our State an additional sum every year of half a
million of dollars.—
To Dr. George Gilmer. Washington ed. iii, 150. Ford ed., v, 192.
(N.Y., June. 1790)