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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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7885. SHIPS, Tonnage duties.—
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7885. SHIPS, Tonnage duties.—

French complain of our tonnage duty; but it is
because it is not understood. In the ports of
France, we pay fees for anchorage, buoys and
beacons, fees to measurers, weighers and
gaugers, and in some countries for light-houses.
We have thought it better that the public here
should pay all these, and reimburse itself by a
consolidation of them into one fee, proportioned
to the tonnage of the vessel, and therefore
called by that name. They complain that
the foreign tonnage is higher than the domestic.
If this complaint had come from the
English, it would not have been wonderful,
because the foreign tonnage operates really as
a tax on their commerce, which, under this
name, is found to pay 16½ dollars for every
dollar paid by France.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 275. Ford ed., v, 363.
(Pa., 1791)