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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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2250. DOLLAR, Advantages as Unit.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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2250. DOLLAR, Advantages as Unit.—

The Financier [Robert Morris] * * * seems to concur with me in thinking his
smallest fractional division too minute for
a Unit and, therefore, proposes to transfer
that denomination to his largest silver coin,
containing 1000 of the units first proposed,
(1440) and worth about 4s. 2d. lawful, or
25-36 of a Dollar. The only question then
remaining between us is, whether the Dollar,
or this coin, be best for the Unit. We both
agree that the ease of adoption with the people,
is the thing to be aimed at. As to the
Dollar, events have overtaken and superseded
the question. It is no longer a doubt whether
the people can adopt it with ease; they have
adopted it, and will have to be turned out of
that into another tract of calculation, if another
Unit be assumed. They have now two
Units, which they use with equal facility,
viz., the Pound of their respective State, and
the Dollar. The first of these is peculiar to
each State; the second, happily, common to
all. In each State, the people have an easy
rule of converting the pound of their State
into dollars, or dollars into pounds; and this
is enough for them, without knowing how this
may be done in every State of the Union.
Such of them as live near enough the borders
of their State to have dealings with their
neighbors, learn also the rule of their neighbors;
thus, in Virginia and the Eastern
States, where the dollar is 6s. or 3-10 of a


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pound, to turn pounds into dollars, they multiply
by 10 and divide by three. To turn dollars
into pounds, they multiply by 3 and divide
by 10. Those in Virginia who live near to
Carolina, where the dollar is 8s. or 4-10 of a
pound, learn the operation of that State,
which is a multiplication by 4, and division
by 10, et e converso. Those who live near
Maryland, where the dollar is 7s. 6d. or 3-8 of
a pound, multiply by 3, and divide by 8, et e
All these operations are easy, and
have been found, by experience, not too much
for the artithmetic of the people, when they
have occasion to convert their old Unit into
dollars, or the reverse.—
Supplementary Explanations. Washington ed. i, 171. Ford ed., iii, 455.

See Money, Unit.