University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
collapse sectionS. 
7881. SHIPS, Registers.—[continued].
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

7881. SHIPS, Registers.—[continued].

The laws of the United States confine registers to home-built vessels
belonging to citizens: but they do not make it
unlawful for citizens to own foreign-built vessels;
and the treaties give the right of sea-letters
to all vessels belonging to citizens. But
who are citizens? The laws of registry consider
a citizenship obtained by a foreigner who
comes merely for that purpose, and returns to
reside in his own country, as fraudulent, and
deny a register to such an one, even owning
home-built vessels. I consider the distinction
as sound and safe, and that we ought not to
give sea-letters to a vessel belonging to such a
pseudo-citizen. It compromises our peace, by
lending our flag to cover the goods of one of
the belligerents to the injury of the other. It
produces vexatious searches on the vessels of
our real citizens, and gives to others the participation


Page 808
of our neutral advantages, which belong
to the real citizen only.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 566.