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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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——. Our ships, though purchased
and navigatated by their own [British] subjects, are not permitted to be used even in
their trade with us. While the vessels of other
nations are secured by standing laws, which
cannot be altered but by the concurrent will of
the three branches of the British legislature,
in carrying thither any produce or manufacture
of the country to which they belong, which May
be lawfully carried in any vessels, ours, with
the same prohibition of what is foreign, are
further prohibited by a standing law (12 Car.
2, 18, sect. 3,) [the Navigation Act] from carrying
thither all and any of our own domestic productions
and manufactures. A subsequent act,
indeed, has authorized their executive to permit
the carriage of our own productions in our own
bottoms, at its sole discretion; and the permission
has been given from year to year by
proclamation, but subject every moment to be
withdrawn on that single will; in which event,
our vessels having anything on board, stand
interdicted from the entry of all British ports.
The disadvantage of a tenure which may be
so suddenly discontinued, was experienced by
our merchants on a late occasion (April 12,
1792), when an official notification that this law
would be strictly enforced, gave them just apprehensions
for the fate of their vessels and
cargoes despatched or destined for the ports of
Great Britain. The minister of that court, indeed,
frankly expressed his personal conviction
that the words of the order went farther
than was intended, and so he afterwards officially
informed us; but the embarrassments of
the moment were real and great, and the possibility
of their renewal lays our commerce to
that country under the same species of discouragement
as to other countries, where it is
regulated by a single legislator; and the distinction
is too remarkable not to be noticed,
that our navigation is excluded from the security
of fixed laws, while that security is given
to the navigation of others.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 641. Ford ed., vi, 474.
(Dec. 1793)