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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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2248. DOLLAR, Adaptedness for Unit.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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2248. DOLLAR, Adaptedness for Unit.—

In fixing the Unit of Money, these circumstances
are of principal importance. 1. That
it be of convenient size to be applied as a
measure to the common money transactions
of life. 2. That its parts and multiples be in
an easy proportion to each other, so as to
facilitate the money arithmetic. 3. That the
unit and its parts or divisions, be so nearly of
the value of some of the known coins,
as that
they may be of easy adoption for the people.
The Spanish dollar seems to fulfil all these
conditions. Taking into our view all money
transactions, great and small, I question if a
common measure of more convenient size than the Dollar could be proposed. The value
of 100, 1,000, 10,000 dollars is well estimated
by the mind; so is that of the tenth or the
hundredth of a dollar. Few transactions are
above or below these limits. The expediency
of attending to the size of the money Unit
will be evident to anyone who will consider
how inconvenient it would be to a manufacturer
or merchant, if, instead of the yard for
measuring cloth, either the inch or the mile
had been made the Unit of Measure. [149]
Notes on a Money Unit. Washington ed. i, 162. Ford ed., iii, 446.

See Decimal System.


Parton in his Life of Jefferson says: “Two years
before, Gouverneur Morris, a clerk in the office of
his uncle Robert Morris, had conceived the most
happy idea of applying the decimal system to the notation
of money. But it always requires several
men to complete one great thing. The details of the
system devised by Gouverneur Morris were so cumbrous
and awkward as almost to neutralize the simplicity
of the leading idea. Jefferson rescued the
fine original conception by proposing our present
system of dollars and cents; the dollar to be the Unit
and the largest silver coin.”—Editor.