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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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4536. LAW OF WASTE, Explained.—
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4536. LAW OF WASTE, Explained.—

The main objects of the law of Waste in England are: 1, to prevent any disguise of the
lands which might lessen the reversioner's
evidence of title, such as the change of
pasture into arable, &c.; 2, to prevent any
deterioration of it, as the cutting down forest,
which in England is an injury. So careful is
the law there against permitting a deterioration
of the land, that though it will permit
such improvements in the same line, as
manuring arable lands, leading water into
pasture lands, &c., yet it will not permit improvements
in a different line, such as erecting
buildings, converting pasture into arable,
&c., lest these should lead to a deterioration.
Hence we might argue in Virginia, that
though the cutting down of forest in Virginia
is, in our husbandry, rather an improvement
generally, yet it is not so always, and therefore
it is safer never to admit it. Consequently,
there is no reason for adopting different rules


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of waste here from those established in England.—
To Peter Carr. Washington ed. iii, 452. Ford ed., vi, 91.
(Pa., 1792)