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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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2657. ENGLAND, Loss of America.—
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2657. ENGLAND, Loss of America.—

The object of the present ministry is to buoy
up the nation with flattering calculations of
their present prosperity, and to make them
believe they are better without us than with
us. This they seriously believe: for what
is it men cannot be made to believe! * * * The other day * * * a General Clark, a
Scotchman and ministerialist * * * introduced
the subject of American affairs, and
in the course of the conversation told me that
were America to petition Parliament to be
again received on their former footing, the
petition would be very generally rejected.
He was serious in this, and I think it * * * is the sentiment perhaps of the nation. In
this they are wise, but for a foolish reason.
They think they lost more by suffering us
to participate of their commercial privileges,
at home and abroad, than they lose by our political
severance. The true reason, however,
why such an application should be rejected
is. that in a very short time, we should oblige
them to add another hundred millions to their
debt in unsuccessful attempts to retain the
subjection offered to them. They are at present
in a frenzy, and will not be recovered
from it till they shall have leaped the precipice
they are now so boldly advancing to.—
To Richard Henry Lee. Washington ed. i, 541. Ford ed., iv, 207.
(L. 1786)