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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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3333. FUR TRADE, Great Britain and.—
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3333. FUR TRADE, Great Britain and.—

In the present state of affairs between Great
Britain and us, the government is justly jealous
of the contraventions of those commercial
restrictions which have been deemed necessary
to exclude the use of British manufactures in
these States, and to promote the establishment
of similar ones among ourselves. The interests,
too, of the revenue require particular
watchfulness. But in the non-importation
of British manufactures, and the revenue
raised on foreign goods, the Legislature
could only have in view the consumption
of our own citizens, and the revenue to be
levied on that. We certainly did not mean to
interfere with the consumption of nations foreign
to us, as the Indians of the Columbia and
Missouri are, or to assume a right of levying
an impost on that consumption; and if the
words of the laws take in their supplies in
either view, it was probably unintentional, and
because their case not being under the contemplation
of the Legislature, has been inadvertently
embraced by it. The question with
them would be not what manufactures these
nations should use, or what taxes they should
pay us on them, but whether we would give a
transit for them through our country. We
have a right to say we will not let the British
exercise that transit. But it is our interest,
as well as a neighborly duty, to allow it when
exercised by our own citizens only. To guard
against any surreptitious introduction of British
influence among those nations, we May
justifiably require that no Englishman be permitted
to go with the trading parties, and
necessary precautions should also be taken to
prevent this covering the contravention of our
own laws and views. But these once securely
guarded, our interest would permit the transit
free of duty.—
To John Jacob Astor. Washington ed. vi, 55. Ford ed., ix, 351.
(M. May. 1812)