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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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3876. IMPRESSMENT, War against.—

Continued impressments of our seamen by
her naval commanders, whose interest it was
to mistake them for theirs, her innovations
on the law of nations to cover real piracies,
could illy be borne; and perhaps would not
have been borne, had not contraventions of
the same law by France, fewer in number but
equally illegal, rendered it difficult to single
the object of war. England, at length, singled
herself, and took up the gauntlet, when the
unlawful decrees of France being revoked as
to us, she, by the proclamation of her Prince
Regent, protested to the world that she would
never revoke hers until those of France
should be removed as to all nations. Her minister,
too, about the same time, in an official
conversation with our Chargé, rejected our
substitute for her practice of impressment;
proposed no other; and declared explicitly
that no admissible one for this abuse could
be proposed. Negotiation being thus cut
short, no alternative remained but war, or
the abandonment of the persons and property
of our citizens on the ocean. The last one,
I presume, no American would have preferred.
War was therefore declared, and
justly declared; but accompanied with immediate
offers of peace on simply doing us
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. vi, 215. Ford ed., ix, 422.
(M. Oct. 1813)