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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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8416. TERRITORY, Seizure.—
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8416. TERRITORY, Seizure.—

I consider
war between France and England as
unavoidable. * * * In this conflict, our
neutrality will be cheaply purchased by a cession
of the island of New Orleans and the
Floridas; because taking part in the war, we
could so certainly seize and securely hold them
and more. And although it would be unwise
in us to let such an opportunity pass of obtaining
the necessary accession to our territory
even by force, if not obtainable otherwise,
yet it is infinitely more desirable to
obtain it with the blessing of neutrality rather
than the curse of war.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. iv, 487.
(W. May. 1803)