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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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613. AUBAINE, Droit d'.—
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613. AUBAINE, Droit d'.—

The expression
in the eleventh article of our treaty of
commerce and amity with France, “that the
subjects of the United States shall not be reputed
Aubaines in France, and consequently
shall be exempted from the Droit d'Aubaine,
or other similar duty, under what name soever,
” has been construed so rigorously to
the letter, as to consider us as Aubaines in
the colonies of France. Our intercourse with
those colonies is so great, that frequent and
important losses will accrue to individuals, if
this construction be continued. * * * I presume
that the enlightened Assembly now engaged
in reforming the remains of feudal
abuse among them, will not leave so inhospitable
an one as the Droit d'Aubaine existing
in France, or any of its dominions. If this
may be hoped it will be better that you should
not trouble the minister with any application
for its abolition in the colonies as to us. This
would be creating into a special favor to us
the extinction of a general abuse, which will,
I presume, extinguish of itself. Only be so
good as to see, that in abolishing this odious
law in France, its abolition in the colonies,
also, be not omitted by mere oversight; but
if, contrary to expectation, this fragment of
barbarism be suffered to remain, then it will
become necessary to bring forward the enclosed
case, and press a liberal and just exposition
of our treaty, so as to relieve our
citizens from this species of risk and ruin
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 189. Ford ed., v, 234.
(N.Y., 1790)