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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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3014. FISHERIES, Massachussetts and.—
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3014. FISHERIES, Massachussetts and.—

I fear there is foundation for the design
intimated in the public papers, of demanding
a cession of our rights in the fisheries.
What will Massachusetts say to this? I mean
her majority, which must be considered as
speaking through the organs it has appointed
itself, as the index of its will. She chose to
sacrifice the liberties of our sea-faring citizens,
in which we were all interested, and
with them her obligations to the co-States,


Page 338
rather than war with England. Will she now
sacrifice the fisheries to the same partialities?
This question is interesting to her alone; for
to the middle, the southern and western
States, they are of no direct concern; of no
more than the culture of tobacco, rice and
cotton, to Massachusetts. I am really at a
loss to conjecture what our refractory sister
will say on this occasion. I know what, as a
citizen of the Union, I would say to her.
“Take this question ad referendum. It concerns
you alone. If you would rather give
up the fisheries than war with England,
we give them up. If you had rather fight
for them, we will defend your interests to
the last drop of our blood, choosing rather
to set a good example than follow a bad one.”
And I hope she will determine to fight for
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 353. Ford ed., ix, 462.
(M. July. 1814)