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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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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1745. CONSULS, Inutility of.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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1745. CONSULS, Inutility of.—

As to
ourselves, we do not find the institution of
consuls very necessary. Its history commences
in times of barbarism, and might well
have ended with them. During these, they
were perhaps useful, and may still be so in
countries not yet emerged from that condition.
But all civilized nations at this day, understand
so well the advantages of commerce,
that they provide protection and encouragement
for merchant strangers and vessels
coming among them. So extensive, too, have
commercial connections now become, that
every mercantile house has correspondents in
almost every port. They address their vessels
to these correspondents, who are found to
take better care of their interests, and to obtain
more effectually the protection of the laws
of the country for them, than the consul of
their nation can. He is generally a foreigner,
unpossessed of the little details of knowledge
of greatest use to them. He makes national
questions of all the difficulties which arise;
the correspondent prevents them. We carry
on commerce with good success in all parts of
the world; yet we have not a consul in a
single port, nor a complaint for the want of
one, except from the persons who wish to be
consuls themselves. Though these considerations
may not be strong enough to establish
the absolute inutility of consuls, they May
make us less anxious to extend their privileges
and jurisdictions, so as to render them objects
of jealousy and irritation in the places of
their residence. That the government [of
France] thinks them useful, is sufficient reason
for us to give them all the functions and
facilities which our circumstances will admit.
Instead, therefore, of declining, every article
[in the consular convention] which will be
useless to us, we accede to everyone which will
not be inconvenient. Had this nation alone
been concerned, our desire to gratify them,
might have tempted us to press still harder
on the laws and opinions of our country. But
your Excellency knows, that we stand engaged
in treaties with some nations, which will give
them occasion to claim whatever privileges
we yield to any other. This renders circumspection
more necessary.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 420.
(P. 1788)