University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
collapse sectionM. 
5428. MONOPOLY, Farmers General.—[continued].
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

5428. MONOPOLY, Farmers General.—[continued].

As to the article of
tobacco, which had become an important
branch of remittance to almost all the States,
I had the honor of communicating to you my
proposition to the Court to abolish the monopoly
of it in their farm; that the Count de
Vergennes was, I thought, thoroughly sensible
of the expediency of this proposition,
and disposed to defriend it; that the renewal


Page 580
of the lease of the farms had been consequently
suspended six months and was still
in suspense, but that so powerful were the
Farmers General and so tottering the tenure
of the Minister of Finance in his office, that
I despaired of preventing the renewal of the
farm at that time. Things were in this state
when the Marquis de Lafayette * * * proposed to me a conference with some persons
well acquainted with the commercial
system of this country. We met. They
proposed the endeavoring to have a committee
appointed to inquire into the subject. The
proposition was made to the Count de Vergennes,
who befriended it, and had the Marquis
de Lafayette named a member of the
committee. He became, of course, the active
and truly zealous member for the liberty
of commerce; others, though well-disposed,
not choosing to oppose the farm openly.
* * * The committee showed an early and
decisive conviction that the measure taken
by the farm to put the purchase of their tobaccos
into monopoly on that side of the
water, as the sale of them was on this,
tended to the annihilation of commerce between
the two countries. Various palliatives
were proposed from time to time. I confess
that I met them all with indifference; my
object being a radical cure of the evils by
discontinuing the farm, and not a mere assuagement
of it for the present moment,
which, rendering it more bearable, might lessen
the necessity of removing it totally, and
perhaps prevent that removal.—
To John Jay. Ford ed., iv, 232.
(P. 1786)