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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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5866. NEUTRALITY, Provisions not contraband.—
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5866. NEUTRALITY, Provisions not contraband.—

This article [358] is so manifestly
contrary to the law of nations, that nothing
more would seem necessary than to observe that
it is so. Reason and usage have established
that when two nations go to war, those who
choose to live in peace retain their natural
right to pursue their agriculture, manufactures,
and other ordinary vocations, to carry the produce
of their industry for exchange to all nations,
belligerent or neutral, as usual, to go and
come freely, without injury or molestation, and,
in short, that the war among others shall be,
for them, as if it did not exist. One restriction
on their natural rights has been submitted to
by nations at peace; that is to say, that of
not furnishing to either party implements
merely of war, for the annoyance of the other,
nor anything whatever to a place blockaded by
its enemy. What these implements of war are,
has been so often agreed and is so well understood,
as to leave little question about them
at this day. There does not exist, perhaps,
a nation in our common hemisphere which has
not made a particular enumeration of them,
in some or all of their treaties, under the name
of contraband. It suffices for the present occasion,
to say, that corn flour and meal, are
not of the class of contraband, and consequently
remain articles of free commerce. A culture,
which, like that of the soil, gives employment
to such a proposition of mankind, could
never be suspended by the whole earth, or interrupted
for them, whenever any two nations
should think proper to go to war.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iv, 59. Ford ed., vi, 413.
(Pa., Sep. 1793)


Instructions to commanders of British war ships
directing them to stop vessels carrying provisions to
French ports, and send them to English ports where
their cargoes may be purchased by that government,
or released on security that they will be taken to
the ports of some country in amity with Great