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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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4419. LANDS (Public), Settlers.—[further continued].
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4419. LANDS (Public), Settlers.—[further continued].

I sincerely wish that
your proposition to “purchase a tract of land
in the Illinois on favorable terms, for introducing
a colony of English farmers”, may encounter
no difficulties from the established rules
of our land department. The general law prescribes
an open sale, where all citizens May
compete on an equal footing for any lot of
land which attracts their choice. To dispense
with this in any particular case, requires a
special law of Congress, and to special legislation
we are generally averse, lest a principle
of favoritism should creep in and pervent that
of equal rights. It has, however, been done
on some occasions where a special national
advantage has been expected to overweigh that
of adherence to the general rule. The promised
introduction of the culture of the vine procured
a special law in favor of the Swiss settlement
on the Ohio. That of the culture of oil, wine
and other southern productions, did the same
lately for the French settlement on the Tombigbee.
It remains to be tried whether that of


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an improved system of farming, interesting to
so great a proportion of our citizens, may not
also be thought worth a dispensation with the
general rule.—
To George Flower. Washington ed. vii, 83.