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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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5556. MOROCCO, Tribute or war.—
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5556. MOROCCO, Tribute or war.—

Emperor of Morocco * * * is ready to
receive us into the number of his tributaries.
What will be the amount of tribute remains yet
to be known, * * * but it will surely be
more than a free people ought to pay to a
power owning only four or five frigates, under
twenty-two guns. He has not a port into which
a larger vessel can enter. The Algerines possess
fifteen or twenty frigates, from that size
up to fifty guns. Disinclination on their part
has lately broken off a treaty between Spain
and them, whereon they were to have received
a million of dollars, besides great presents in
naval stores. What sum they intend we shall
pay, I cannot say. Then follow Tunis and
Tripoli. You will probably find the tribute to
all these powers make such a proportion of the
Federal taxes, as that every man will feel them
sensibly when he pays those taxes. The question
is whether their peace or war will be
cheaper? But it is a question which should
be addressed to our honor, as well as our avarice.
Nor does it respect us as to these pirates
only, but as to the nations of Europe. If we
wish our commerce to be free and uninsulted,
we must let these nations see that we have an
energy which at present they disbelieve. The
low opinion they entertain of our powers cannot
fail to involve us soon in a naval war.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 401.
(P. 1785)