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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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4384. LAND, Allodial and Feudal tenures.—[further continued].
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4384. LAND, Allodial and Feudal tenures.—[further continued].

[The question of the public lands] may be considered in the two
points of view, 1st, as bringing a revenue into
the public treasury, 2d, as a tenure. * * * First, is it consistent with good policy or free
government to establish a perpetual revenue?
Is it not against the practice of our wise British
ancestors? Have not the instances in
which we have departed from this, in Virginia,
been constantly condemned by the universal
voice of our country? Is it safe to make the
governing power, when once seated in office, independent
of its revenue? Should we not have
in contemplation and prepare for an event
(however deprecated) which may happen in the
possibility of things; I mean a reacknowledgment
of the British tyrant as our King, and previously
strip him of every prejudicial possession?
Remember how universally the people
ran into the idea of recalling Charles II., after
living many years under a republican government.
As to the second, was not the separation
of the property from the perpetual use of lands
a mere fiction? Is not its history well known,
and the purposes for which it was introduced,
to wit, the establishment of a military system
of defence? Was it not afterwards made
an engine of immense oppression? Is it wanting
with us for the purpose of military defence?
May not its other legal effects (such of them
at least as are valuable) be performed in other
more simple ways? Has it not been the practice
of all other nations to hold their lands as their
personal estate in absolute dominion? Are we
not the better for what we have hitherto abolished
of the Feudal system? Has not every
restitution of the ancient Saxon laws had happy
effects? Is it not better now that we return at
once into that happy system of our ancestors,
the wisest and most perfect ever yet devised by
the wit of man, as it stood before the 8th
To—. Ford ed., ii, 79.
(Pa., 17761776)gt;

See Colonies.