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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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5734. NAVIGATION, Protection of.—[further continued].
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5734. NAVIGATION, Protection of.—[further continued].

Were the ocean, which
is the common property of all, open to the
industry of all, so that every person and vessel
should be free to take employment whereever
it could be found, the United States
would certainly not set the example of appropriating
to themselves, exclusively, any
portion of the common stock of occupation.
They would rely on the enterprise and activity
of their citizens for a due participation
of the benefits of the seafaring business,
and for keeping the marine class of citizens
equal to their object. But if particular nations
grasp at undue shares, and, more especially,
if they seize on the means of the
United States, to convert them into aliment
for their own strength, and withdraw them
entirely from the support of those to whom
they belong, defensive and protecting measures
become necessary on the part of the nation
whose marine resources are thus invaded;
or it will be disarmed of its defence;
its productions will lie at the mercy of the
nation which has possessed itself exclusively
of the means of carrying them, and its politics
may be influenced by those who command
its commerce. The carriage of our
own commodities, if once established in another
channel, cannot be resumed in the moment
we may desire. If we lose the seamen
and artists whom it now occupies, we lose the
present means of marine defence, and time will
be requisite to raise up others, when disgrace or
losses shall bring home to our feelings the
error of having abandoned them. The materials
for maintaining our due share of navigation,
are ours in abundance. And, as to the mode
of using them, we have only to adopt the
principles of those who put us on the defensive,
or others equivalent and better fitted
to our circumstances.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 647. Ford ed., vi, 481.
(Dec. 1793)