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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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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8949. WAR OF 1812, Causes of.—

It is
incomprehensible to me that the Marquis of
Wellesley * * * [should] say that “the
aggression which led to the war, was from the
United States, not from England”. Is there a
person in the world who, knowing the circumstances,
thinks this? The acts which produced
the war were, 1st, the impressment of our citizens
by their ships of war, and, 2d, the Orders of
Council forbidding our vessels to trade with any
country but England, without going to England
to obtain a special license. On the first subject
the British minister declared to our Charge,
Mr. Russel, that this practice of their ships
of war would not be discontinued, and that no
admissible arrangement could be proposed; and
as to the second, the Prince Regent, by his
proclamation of April 21st, 1812, declared in
effect solemnly that he would not revoke the
Orders of Council as to us, on the ground that
Bonaparte had revoked his decrees as to us: that, on the contrary, we should continue under
them until Bonaparte should revoke as to all
the world.
These categorical and definite answers
put an end to negotiation, and were a
declaration of a continuance of the war in
which they had already taken from us one thousand
ships and six thousand seamen. We determined
then to defend ourselves, and to oppose
further hostilities by war on our side also.
Now, had we taken one thousand British ships
and six thousand of her seamen without any
declaration of war, would the Marquis of Wellesley
have considered a declaration of war by
Great Britain as an aggression on her part?
They say we denied their maritime rights. We
never denied a single one. It was their taking
our citizens, native as well as naturalized, for
which we went into war, and because they forbade
us to trade with any nation without entering
and paying duties in their ports on both the
outward and inward cargo. Thus, to carry a
cargo of cotton from Savannah to St. Mary's,
and take returns in fruits, for example, our
vessel was to go to England, enter and pay a
duty on her cottons there, return to St. Mary's,
then go back to England to enter and pay a duty
on her fruits, and then return to Savannah,
after crossing the Atlantic four times, and paying
tributes on both cargoes to England, instead
of the direct passage of a few hours.
And the taking ships for not doing this, the
Marquis says, is no aggression.—
To Mr. Maury. Washington ed. vi, 470.
(M. June. 1815)