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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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2530. EMBARGO, Belligerent Powers and.—
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2530. EMBARGO, Belligerent Powers and.—

I take it to be an universal opinion that war will become preferable to a continuance

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Thomas Jefferson
Age about 47 years

From the fresco painting by Brumidi. It was painted, at the time Jefferson was Secretary
of State, on the wall in the President's room of the United States Capitol. Brumidi, the
artist, is renowned for his fine figure fresco work. Specimens of his art are to be found in
many of the rooms, corridors, and halls of the United States Capitol.

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Page 289
of the Embargo after a certain time. Should
we not, then, avail ourselves of the intervening
period to procure a retraction of the
obnoxious decrees peaceably, if possible? An
opening is given us by both parties, sufficient
to form a basis for such a proposition. I wish
you, therefore, to consider the following course
of proceeding, to wit: To instruct our ministers
at Paris and London to propose immediately
to both those powers a declaration on
both sides that these decrees and orders shall
no longer be extended to vessels of the United
States, in which case we shall remain faithfully
neutral; but, without assuming the air
of menace, to let them both perceive that if
they do not both withdraw these orders and decrees,
there will arrive a time when our interests
will render war preferable to a continuance
of the Embargo; that when that time
arrives, if one has withdrawn and the other
not, we must declare war against that other;
if neither shall have withdrawn, we must take
our choice of enemies between them. This, it
will certainly be our duty to have ascertained
by the time Congress shall meet in the fall
or beginning of winter; so that taking off the
Embargo, they may decide whether war must
be declared, and against whom.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 257. Ford ed., ix, 179.
(W. March. 1808)

See 2558.