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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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6759. POPULATION, America's capacity for.—
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6759. POPULATION, America's capacity for.—

The territory of the United States
contains about a million of square miles, English.
There is, in them, a greater proportion of fertile
lands than in the British dominions in Europe.
Suppose the territory of the United States, then,
to attain an equal degree of population with
the British European dominions, they will have
an hundred millions of inhabitants. Let us extend
our views to what may be the population
of North and South America, supposing them
divided at the narrowest part of the Isthmus of
Panama. Between this line and that of 50° of
north latitude, the northern continent contains
about five millions of square miles, and south
of this line of division the southern continent
contains about seven millions of square miles.
* * * Here are twelve millions of square miles
which, at the rate of population before assumed,
will nourish twelve hundred millions of inhabitants,
a greater number than the present
population of the whole globe is supposed to
amount to. If those who propose medals for
the resolution of questions, about which nobody
makes any question, those who have invited discussion
on the pretended problem, “whether the
discovery of America was for the good of mankind ”? if they, I say, would have viewed it
only as doubling the numbers of mankind, and,
of course, the quantum of existence and happiness,
they might have saved the money and
the reputation which their proposition has cost
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 275. Ford ed., iv, 179.
(P. 1786)