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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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7871. SHIPS, Passports.—[continued].
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7871. SHIPS, Passports.—[continued].

The most important interests
of the United States hang upon this question. [Giving passports to foreign-built
ships.] The produce of the earth is their principal
source of wealth. Our home-built vessels
would suffice for the transportation of a very
small part of this produce to market, and even
a part of these vessels will be withdrawn by
high premiums to other lines of business. All
the rest of our produce, then, must remain on
our hands, or have its price reduced by a war
insurance. Many descriptions of our produce
will not bear this reduction and would, therefore,
remain on hand. We shall lose, also, a
great proportion of the profits of navigation.
The great harvest for these is when other nations
are at war, and our flag neutral. But if
we can augment our stock of shipping only by
the slow process of building, the harvest will
be over while we are only preparing instruments
to reap it. The moment of breeding seamen
will be lost for want of bottoms to embark
them in.—
Opinion on Ship Passports. Washington ed. vii, 625.
(May. 1793)