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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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1748. CONSULS, Native Citizens for.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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1748. CONSULS, Native Citizens for.—

With respect to the consular appointments
it is a duty on me to add some observations,
which my situation here has enabled me to
make. I think it was in the spring of 1784,
that Congress (harassed by multiplied applications
of foreigners, of whom nothing was


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known but on their own information, or on
that of others as unknown as themselves)
came to a resolution, that the interest of
America would not permit the naming any
person, not a citizen, to the office of consul,
vice-consul, agent or commissary. This was
intended as a general answer to that swarm
of foreign pretenders. It appears to me,
that it will be best still to preserve a part of
this regulation. Native citizens, on several
valuable accounts, are preferable to aliens,
and to citizens alien-born. They possess our
language, know our laws, customs, and commerce;
have, generally, acquaintance in the
United States; give better satisfaction, and
are more to be relied on in point of fidelity.
Their disadvantages are an imperfect acquaintance
with the language of this country,
and an ignorance of the organization of its judicial
and executive powers, and consequent
awkwardness, whenever application to either
of these is necessary, as it frequently is. But
it happens that in some of the principal ports
of France, there is not a single. American
(as in Marseilles, L'Orient, and Havre), in
others but one (as in Nantes and Rouen),
and in Bordeaux only, are there two or three.
Fortunately for the present moment, most of
these are worthy of appointments. But we
should look forward to future times, when
there may happen to be no native citizens in a
port, but such as, being bankrupt, have taken
asylum in France from their creditors, or
young ephemeral adventurers in commerce,
without substance or conduct, or other descriptions,
which might disgrace the consular
office, without protecting our commerce. To
avail ourselves of our good native citizens, when we have one in a port, and when there
are none, to have yet some person to attend to
our affairs, it appears to me advisable, to declare
by a standing law that no person but a
native citizen shall be capable of the office of
consul, and that the consul's presence in his
port shall suspend, for the time, the functions
of the vice-consul. This is the rule of 1784,
restrained to the office of consul, and to native citizens. The establishing this, by a standing
law, will guard against the effect of particular
applications, and will shut the door against
such applications.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 494.
(P. 1788)