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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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5297. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Western people and.—[continued].
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5297. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Western people and.—[continued].

If they declare themselves
a separate people, we are incapable of a single
effort to retain them. Our citizens can never
be induced, either as militia or as soldiers, to
go there to cut the throats of their own brothers
and sons, or rather, to be themselves the subjects,
instead of the perpetrators of the parricide.
Nor would that country requite the cost
of being retained against the will of its inhabitants,
could it be done. But it cannot be done.
They are able already to rescue the navigation
of the Mississippi out of the hands of Spain,
and to add New Orleans to their own territory.
They will be joined by the inhabitants
of Louisiana. This will bring on a war between
them and Spain; and that will produce the question
with us, whether it will not be worth our
while to become parties with them in the war, in
order to reunite them with us, and thus correct
our error? And were I to permit my forebodings
to go one step further, I should predict
that the inhabitants of the United States would
force their rulers to take the affirmative of that
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 106. Ford ed., iv, 363.
(P. 1787)


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