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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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8980. WASHINGTON (City), Foundation of.—[continued].
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8980. WASHINGTON (City), Foundation of.—[continued].

I take the following to
be the disposition of the several States: The
four Eastern States are for any place in preference
to Philadelphia, the more northern it is,
however, the more agreeable to them. New
York and New Hampshire are for the Falls of
Delaware. Pennsylvania is for Germantown
first, and next for the Falls of Delaware. It
is to be noted that Philadelphia had no attention
as a permanent seat. Delaware is for Wilmington;
but for Georgetown in preference to the
Falls of Delaware, or any other situation which
[may] attract the trade of their river. Maryland
is for Annapolis, and the smallest hope for
this will sacrifice a certainty for Georgetown.
Virginia, every place southward of Potomac
being disregarded by the States as every place
north of the Delaware, saw it would be useless
to consider her interests as to more southern
positions. The Falls of Potomac will probably,
therefore, unite the wishes of the whole State.
If this fails, Annapolis and the Falls of Delaware
are then the candidates. Were the convenience
of the delegates alone to be considered,
or the general convenience to government in
their transaction of business with Congress,
Annapolis would be preferred without hesitation.
But those who respect commercial advantages
more than the convenience of individuals,
will probably think that every position
on the bay of Chesapeake, or any of its waters,
is to be dreaded by Virginia, as it may attract
the trade of that bay and make us, with respect
to Maryland, what Delaware State is to Pennsylvania.
Considering the residence of Congress,
therefore, as it may influence trade, if
we cannot obtain it on the Potomac, it seems
to be our interest to bring it past all the
waters of the Chesapeake bay. The three
Southern States are for the most southern situation.
It should be noted that New Hampshire
and Georgia were absent on the decisions of
these questions, but considering their interests
would be directly opposite, it was thought their
joint presence or absence would not change the
result. From the preceding state of the views
of the several members of our Union, your
Excellency will be enabled to judge what will
be the probable determination on any future revision
of the present plan. The establishment
of new States will be friendly or adverse to
Georgetown according to their situation. If a
State be first laid off on the Lakes, it will add a
vote to the northern scale; if on the Ohio, it
will add one to the southern.—
To Governor Benjamin Harrison. Ford ed., iii, 342.
(Pa., Nov. 1783)


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