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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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5450. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued] .
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5450. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued] .

I observed [to the Count
de Vergennes] that France paid us two millions
of livres for tobacco; that for such portions of
it as were bought in London, they sent the
money directly there, and for what they bought
in the United States, the money was still remitted
to London by bills of exchange; whereas,
if they would permit our merchants to sell this
article freely, they would bring it here, and
take the returns on the spot in merchandise, not
money. The Count observed that my proposition
contained what was doubtless useful, but
that the king received on this article, at present,
a revenue of twenty-eight millions, which
was so considerable as to render them fearful
of tampering with it; that the collection of
this revenue by way of Farm was of very
ancient date, and that it was always hazardous
to alter arrangements of long standing, and of
such infinite combinations with the fiscal system.
I answered, that the simplicity of the
mode of collection proposed for this article,
withdrew it from all fear of deranging other
parts of their system; that I supposed they
would confine the importation to some of
their principal ports, probably not more than
five or six; that a single collector in each of
these was the only new officer requisite; that
he could get rich himself on six livres a hogshead,
and would receive the whole revenue,
and pay it into the treasury, at short hand.—
Conference with Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. ix, 232. Ford ed., iv, 119.