Thomas Jefferson Papers

II. Second State of the Report on Commerce, [before 5–after 23 February 1793]

II. Second State of the Report on Commerce

[before 5 Feb.–after 23 Feb. 1793]

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred by the House of Representatives the Report of a committee on the written message of the President of the United States of the 14th. of February 1791, with instruction to report to Congress the nature and extent of the privileges and restrictions of the commercial intercourse of the United States with foreign Nations, and the measures which he should think proper to be adopted for the improvement of the commerce and navigation of the same, has had the same under consideration, and thereupon makes the following


The nations1 with which the United States have their chief commercial intercourse, are Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain, the United Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, and their American possessions: and the Articles of Export which constitute the Basis of that Commerce, with their respective Amounts, are, Bread stuff, that is to say,

Breadstuff,2 Grains, meals, and Bread, Dollars.
to the annual amount of 7,649,887
Tobacco 4,349,567
Rice 1,753,796
Wood 1,263,534
Salted fish 941,696
Pot & pearl Ash 839,093
Salted Meats 599,130
Indigo 537,379
Horses and Mules 339,753
Whale Oil 252,591
Flax seed 236,072
Tar, Pitch and Turpentine 217,177
Live provisions 137,743
Foreign goods 620,274

To descend to Articles of smaller value than these would lead into a minuteness of detail neither necessary nor useful to the present object.

The proportions of our exports, which go to the Nations beforementioned, and to their Dominions respectively are as follows.

To Spain & it’s Dominions 2,005,907
Portugal & it’s Dominions 1,283,462
France & it’s Dominions 4,698,735
Great Britain & it’s Dominions 9,363,416
The United Netherlands & their3 Dominions 1,963,880
Denmark & it’s Dominions 224,415
Sweden & it’s Dominions 47,240

Our Imports from the same countries are

Spain4 335,110
Portugal 595,763
France 2,068,348
Great Britain 15,285,428
United Netherlands 1,172,692
Denmark 351,364
Sweden 14,325

These imports consist mostly of articles on which industry has been exhausted.

Our Navigation depending on the same Commerce, will appear by the following statement of the Tonnage of our own Vessels, entering in our ports, from those several nations, and their possessions, in one Year, that is to say, from October 1789 to September 1790, inclusive, as follows.

Spain  19,695 Tons
Portugal  23,576
France 116,410
Great Britain  43,580
United Netherlands  58,858
Denmark  14,655
Sweden    750

Of Our Commercial objects, Spain receives favorably our Breadstuff, Salted Fish, Wood, Ships, Tar, Pitch, and Turpentine. On our Meals, however,5 when re-exported to their Colonies, they have lately imposed Duties of from half a Dollar to two dollars the Barrel, the Duties being so proportioned to the current price of their own Flour, as that both together are to make the constant sum of nine Dollars per Barrel.

They do not discourage our Rice, Pot and Pearl Ash, Salted provisions, or whale oil: but these Articles, being in small demand at their Markets, are carried thither but in a small degree. Their demand for Rice, however, is increasing. Neither Tobacco, nor Indigo are received there.6

Themselves and their Colonies are the actual consumers of what they receive from us.

Our Navigation is free with the Kingdom of Spain; foreign Goods being received there in our Ships on the same Conditions as if carried in their own, or in the Vessels of the Country of which such Goods are the manufacture or produce.

Portugal receives favorably our Grain and Bread, Salted fish, and other Salted provisions, Wood, Tar, Pitch, and Turpentine.

For Flax-seed, Pot and Pearl-ash, though not discouraged, there is little demand.

Our Ships pay 20 per cent, on being sold to their Subjects, and are then free bottoms.

Foreign goods (except those of the East Indies) are received on the same footing in our vessels, as in their own, or any others; that is to say, on general Duties of from 20 to 28 per cent and, consequently our Navigation is unobstructed by them.

Tobacco, Rice, and Meals are prohibited.

Themselves and their Colonies consume what they receive from us.

These Regulations extend to the Azores, Madeira, and the Cape de Verd Islands, except that in these, Meals and Rice are received freely.

France receives favorably our Bread-stuff, Rice, Wood, Pot and Pearl ashes.

A duty of 5 Sous the Kental7 is paid on our Tar, Pitch, and Turpentine. Our Whale Oils pay Six Livres the Kental, and are the only foreign Whale Oils admitted. Our Indigo pays 5 Livres the Kental; their own two and a half: but a difference of quality, still more than a difference of duty prevents it’s seeking that market.

Salted Beef is received freely for re-exportation; but if for home-consumption, it pays 5 Livres the Kental. Other salted provisions pay that Duty in all cases, and Salted Fish is made lately to pay the prohibitary one of 20 Livres the Kental.

Our Ships are free to carry thither all foreign goods, which may be carried in their own or any other Vessels, except Tobaccos not of our own growth: and they participate with theirs the exclusive carriage of our whale oils.8

During their former government our Tobacco was under a monopoly, but paid no duties; and our ships were freely sold in their ports and converted into national bottoms. The first national assembly took from our Ships this privilege. They emancipated Tobacco from it’s monopoly, but subjected it to duties of 18 Livres 15 sous the Kental, carried in their own Vessels, and 25 Livres, carried in ours; a difference more than equal to the freight of the Article.

They and their Colonies consume what they receive from us.

Great Britain receives our Pot and Pearl ashes free, while those of other nations pay a duty of 2s./3d. the Kental. There is an equal distinction in favor of our bar-iron; of which Article, however, we do not produce enough for our own use. Woods are free, from us, whilst they pay some small duty from other Countries. Indigo and Flaxseed are free, from all Countries. Our Tar and Pitch pay 11d. sterling the Barrel. From other alien countries they pay about a penny and a third more.

Our Tobacco, for their own Consumption, pays ⅓ Sterling the pound, custom and excise, besides heavy incidental expenses,9 and Rice, in the same case, pays 7/4 sterling the hundred weight; which, rendering it too dear as an Article of common food, it is consequently used in very small quantity.

Our salted fish and salted provisions, in general, are prohibited.10 Our11 Bacon and whale oils are under prohibitory duties: so are our Grains, Meals, and Bread, as to internal consumption, unless in times of such scarcity as may raise the Price of wheat to 50/— sterling the quarter, and other grains and meals in proportion.

Our Ships, even when purchased by their own Subjects, are not permitted to be made free bottoms.12

While the vessels of other nations are secured by standing Laws, which cannot be altered but by the concurrent will of the three Branches of the British Legislature, in carrying thither any thing which is produced or manufactured in13 the Country to which they belong;14 our vessels, with the same prohibition of what is foreign, are further prohibited by a standing law (12. Car. 2. 18. §. 3) from carrying thither15 domestic productions and manufactures. A subsequent Act, indeed, has authorized their Executive to permit the carriage of our own productions in our own bottoms, at it’s sole discretion: and the permission has been given from year to year by Proclamation; but subject every moment to be withdrawn on that single will, in which event, our Vessels having any thing on board, stand interdicted from the Entry of all british ports. The disadvantage of a tenure which may be so suddenly discontinued, was experienced by our Merchants on a late occasion, when an official notification that this law would be strictly enforced, gave them just apprehensions for the fate of their Vessels and cargoes dispatched or destined to the ports of Great Britain. It was privately believed, indeed, that the order of that Court went further than their intention, and so we were, afterwards, officially informed:16 but the embarrassments of the moment were real and great, and the possibility of their renewal lays our commerce to that Country under the same species of discouragement as to other Countries, where it is regulated by a single Legislator: and the distinction is too remarkable not to be noticed, that our navigation is excluded from the security of fixed Laws, while that security is given to the navigation of others.

Our Vessels pay in their ports 1/9 sterling per ton, light and Trinity dues, more than is paid by British Ships, except in the port of London, where they pay the same as British.

The greater part of what they receive from us, is re-exported to other Countries, under the useless charges of an intermediate deposit and double voyage. From Tables published in England, and composed, as is said, from the Books of their Custom-houses, it appears that, of the Indigo imported there in the years 1773,-4,-5, one third was reexported, and from a document of Authority, we learn that of the Rice and Tobacco imported there before the War, four fifths were reexported. We are assured, indeed, that the Quantities sent thither for re-exportation since the war, are considerably diminished: yet less so than reason and national interest would dictate. The whole of our Grain is re-exported when wheat is below 50/. the Quarter, and other Grains in proportion.

The United Netherlands prohibit our pickled Beef and Pork, Meals and Bread of all sorts, and lay a prohibitory duty on Spirits distilled from Grain.

All other of our productions are received on varied duties, which may be reckoned, on a medium, of about 3 per cent.

They consume but a small part of what they receive,17 and, consequently, as to the great mass, they intercept, between us and the Consumer, a portion of the value18 absorbed by the charges attending an intermediate deposit.

Foreign goods, except some East India articles, are received in the vessels of any Nation.

Our Ships may be sold and naturalized there, with exceptions of one or two privileges which scarcely19 lessen their value.

Denmark takes a Duty of about a half penny sterling the pound on Tobacco and about 3/6 sterling the Kental on Rice carried in their own Vessels, and half as much more if carried in ours, and they lay prohibitory duties on Indigo and Corn.20

Sweden receives favorably our Grains and Meals, Salted provisions, Indigo and Whale oil.

They subject our Rice to duties of 1.6 Dollars the hundred21 weight carried in their own vessels, and of 2.25 Dollars the hundred weight22 carried in ours, or any others. Being thus rendered too dear as an Article of Common food, little of it is consumed with them. They consume some of our Tobaccos, which they take circuitously through Great Britain; levying heavy duties on them also; their duties of entry, town duties, and Excise, being 4.3423 Dollars the hundred weight, if carried in their own vessels, and of 40 per cent on that additional, if carried in our own or any other Vessels.

They prohibit altogether our Bread, Fish, Pot and Pearl ashes, Flax seed, Tar, Pitch, and Turpentine, Wood (except oak timber and masts) and all foreign manufactures.

Under so many restrictions and prohibitions, our navigation with them is reduced almost to nothing.

With our neighbors, an order of Things much harder presents itself.24 The extraordinary circumstances of the moment in which the Inhabitants of this Hemisphere became acquainted with those of the other, placed them in a predicament which still continues, and which is as new in the moral as in the physical World. The reciprocal rights and duties established by the laws of nature between neighbor nations, to supply by mutual exchange the wants of the one with the superfluities of another, rights and duties well recognised and practised in other parts of the Earth, are suspended for the inhabitants of this; and the existence of Americans is made to have for it’s object not their own happiness, but that of their Antipodes. To these laws are submitted the native descendants, as well of the Conquerers, as of the people conquered.

Spain and Portugal refuse, to those parts of America which they govern, all direct intercourse with any people but themselves. The Commodities in mutual demand, between them and their Neighbors, must be carried to be exchanged in some port of the dominant country, and the transportation between that and the subject State must be in a domestic bottom.

France by a standing law, permits her West India possessions to receive directly our Vegetables, fresh25 Provisions, Horses, Wood, Tar, Pitch, and Turpentine, Rice and Maize, and prohibits our other Bread stuff: but a suspension of this prohibition having been left to the Colonial Legislature, in times of scarcity,26 the prohibition has been suspended from time to time.

Our Fish and salted Provisions (except Pork) are received in their Islands under a Duty of 327 Livres the Kental, and our Vessels are free to carry our own28 commodities thither, and to bring away Rum and Molasses.

Great Britain admits in her Islands our Vegetables, Fresh29 Provisions, Horses, Wood, Tar, Pitch and Turpentine, Rice, and Breadstuff, by a Proclamation of her Executive limited always to the term of a Year, but hitherto renewed, from Year to Year. She prohibits our salted Fish and other salted Provisions. She does not permit our Vessels to carry thither our own produce. Her Vessels alone, may take it from us, and bring in exchange, Rum, Melasses, Sugar, Coffee, Cocoa-nuts, Ginger, and Pimento. There are, indeed some freedoms in the Island of Dominica, but under such circumstances as to be little used by us. To the British continental Colonies, and to Newfoundland, every thing is prohibited.30 Their Governors, however, in times of distress, have power to permit a temporary importation of certain Articles, in their own Bottoms, but not in ours.

Our Citizens cannot reside as merchants or Factors within any of the British Plantations.31

In the Danish-American possessions a duty of 5 per cent is levied on our corn, corn-meal, Rice, Tobacco, Wood, salted Fish, Indigo, Horses, mules, and Live stock, and of 10 per Cent on our Flour, salted Pork and Beef, Tar, Pitch and Turpentine.

In the American Possessions32 of the United Netherlands and Sweden, all vessels and commodities are freely received,33 subject to duties, not so heavy as to have been complained of.34

To sum up these restrictions, so far as they are important.

  • 1. In Europe.
    • Our Breadstuff is at most times under prohibitory duties in England, and considerably dutied on re-exportation from Spain to her Colonies.
    • Our Tobaccoes are heavily dutied in England, Sweden and France, and prohibited in Spain and Portugal.
    • Our Rice is heavily dutied in England and Sweden, and prohibited in Portugal.
    • Our Fish and salted Provisions are prohibited in England, and under prohibitory duties in France.
    • Our Whale Oils are prohibited in England and Portugal, and our Vessels denied naturalization in England, and of late in France.
  • 2. In the West Indies.
    • All intercourse is prohibited with the Possessions of Spain and Portugal.
    • Our salted Provisions and Fish are prohibited by England.
    • Our salted pork and Bread-stuff (except maize) are received under temporary Laws only, by35 France, and our salted fish pays36 a weighty duty.
  • 3. In the Article of Navigation.
    • Our own carriage of our own Tobacco is heavily dutied in37 France and Sweden.
    • We can carry no article, not of our own production, to the British ports in Europe.
    • Nor even our own produce to her American possessions.
    • Such being the restrictions on the Commerce and Navigation of the United States, the question is, in what way they may best be removed, modified, or counteracted?

As to Commerce, two methods occur. 1. By friendly arrangements with the several Nations with whom these restrictions exist: or 2. By the separate act of our own Legislatures for countervailing their effects.

There can be no doubt but that of these two, friendly arrangement is the most eligible. Instead of embarrassing Commerce under piles of regulating Laws, Duties, and Prohibitions, could it be relieved from all it’s shackles in all parts of the World, could every country be employed in producing that which nature has best fitted it to produce, and each be free to exchange with others mutual surplusses, for mutual wants, the greatest mass possible would then be produced of those things which contribute to human life and human happiness; the numbers of mankind would be increased, and their condition bettered.

Would even a single nation begin with the United States this System of free Commerce, it would be advisable to begin it with that nation; since it is one by one only that it can be extended to all. Where the circumstances of either party render it expedient to levy a revenue by way of impost on Commerce, it’s freedom might be modified in that particular by mutual and equivalent measures, preserving it entire in all others.

Some nations not yet ripe for free commerce in all it’s extent, might still be willing to mollify it’s restrictions and regulations for us, in proportion to the advantages which an intercourse with us might offer. Particularly they may concur with us in reciprocating the Duties to be levied on each side, or in compensating any excess of duty by equivalent advantages of another nature. Our Commerce is certainly of a character to entitle it to favor in most countries. The Commodities we offer are either Necessaries of life; or Materials for manufacture; or convenient Subjects of Revenue: and we take in exchange, either manufactures when they have received the last finish of Art and Industry; or mere Luxuries. Such Customers may reasonably expect welcome, and friendly treatment at every market: Customers too, whose demands, increasing with their wealth and population, must very shortly give full employment to the whole Industry of any nation whatever, in any line of supply they may get into the habit of calling for from it.

But should any nation, contrary to our wishes, suppose it may better find it’s advantage by continuing it’s System of prohibitions, duties, and regulations, it behoves us to protect our Citizens their Commerce and navigation, by counter-prohibitions, duties, and regulations also. Free Commerce and navigation are not to be given in exchange for restrictions and vexations: nor are they likely to produce a relaxation of them.

Our Navigation involves still higher considerations. As a Branch of Industry, it is valuable; but, as a resource of Defence, essential.

It’s value, as a Branch of Industry is enhanced by the dependence of so many other Branches on it. In times of38 Peace it multiplies competitors for employment in transportation, and so keeps that at it’s proper level; and in times of war, that is to say, when those nations who may be our principal carriers shall be at war with each other, if we have not within ourselves the means of transportation, our produce must be exported in belligerent vessels at the increased expense of war freight and insurance, and the articles which will not bear that must perish on our hands.

But it is as a resource for Defence that our Navigation will admit neither neglect nor forbearance. The position and circumstances of the United States leave them nothing to fear on their land-board, and nothing to desire beyond their present rights. But on their Sea-board, they are open to injury, and they have there too, a Commerce which must be protected. This can only be done by possessing a respectable body of Citizen-seamen, and of artists and establishments in readiness for shipbuilding.

Were the Ocean, which is the common property of all, open to the Industry of all, so that every person and vessel should be free to take employment wherever it could be found, the United States would certainly not set the example of appropriating to themselves, exclusively, any portion of the common stock of occupation. They would rely on the enterprise and activity of their Citizens for a due participation of the Benefits of the seafaring Business, and for keeping the marine class of Citizens equal to their object. But if particular Nations grasp at undue shares, and more especially if they seize on the means of the United States to convert them into aliment for their own strength, and withdraw them entirely from the support of those to whom they belong, defensive and protecting measures become necessary on the part of the Nation whose marine resources are thus invaded; or it will be disarmed of it’s defence; it’s productions will lie at the mercy of the nation which has possessed itself exclusively of the means of carrying them, and it’s politicks must39 be influenced by those who command it’s commerce. The carriage of our own commodities, if once established in another Channel, cannot be resumed in the moment we may desire. If we lose the Seamen and Artists whom it now occupies, we lose the present means of marine defence, and time will be requisite to raise up others when disgrace or losses shall bring home to our feelings the Error of having abandoned them. The materials for maintaining our due share of navigation are ours in abundance. And as to the mode of using them, we have only to adopt the principles of those who thus put us on the defensive, or others equivalent and better fitted to our circumstances.

The following principles, being founded in reciprocity appear perfectly just, and to offer no cause of complaint to any nation.

  • 1. Where a nation imposes high Duties on our productions, or prohibits them altogether, it may be proper for us to do the same by theirs, selecting at first those articles of manufactures which40 we take from them in greatest quantity, and which, at the same time we could the soonest furnish to ourselves, or obtain from other Countries; imposing on them duties, lighter at first, but heavier and heavier afterwards as other channels of supply open. Such duties having the effect of indirect encouragement to domestic manufactures of the same kind, may induce the manufacturer to come himself into these States, where cheaper Subsistence, equal Laws, and a vent of his wares free of duty may ensure him the highest profits from his Skill and Industry. And here it would be in the power of the State Governments to co-operate essentially by opening the resources of encouragement which are under their controul, extending them liberally to Artists in those particular Branches of manufacture, for which their Soil, Climate, Population and other Circumstances have matured them, and fostering the precious efforts and progress of household manufacture by some patronage suited to the nature of it’s objects, guided by the local informations they possess and guarded against abuse by their presence and attentions. The oppressions on our agriculture in foreign ports would thus be made the occasion of relieving it from a dependence on the councils and conduct of others, and of promoting arts, manufactures, and population at home.
  • 2. Where a nation refuses permission to our Merchants and Factors to reside within certain parts of their Dominions, we may, if it should prove41 expedient, refuse residence to theirs in any and every part of ours.42
  • 3. Where a nation refuses to receive in our Vessels any productions but our own, we may refuse to receive in theirs43 any but their44 productions. The Bill reported by the Committee is well framed45 to effect this object.46
  • 4. Where a nation refuses to our Vessels the carriage even of our own productions to certain Countries under their47 subjection, we may refuse to theirs the carriage of the same or any other of our productions to the same or any other Countries. And here Justice and Friendship48 would dictate that those who have no part in imposing the restriction on us should not be the victims of measures adopted to defeat it’s effect: but that these should be pointed to the dominant Country itself by prohibiting their Vessels from the carriage of our productions to the dominant country, and to all others where our own or those of any other nation may freely carry them. And that this restriction might bring no inconvenience on the agriculture of our Country, it might be proper to begin by leaving the present moderate Tonnage Duty on their Vessels for the first Year, advancing it from Year to Year, in a given ratio, till time should have been afforded for a sufficient increase of the means of transporation by ourselves and other Nations, when absolute prohibition might take place.49

The establishment of some of these principles by Great Britain alone has already lost us in our commerce with that country and it’s possessions, between eight and nine hundred Vessels of near 40,000 Tons burthen, according to statements from official materials, in which they have confidence. This involves a proportional loss of Seamen, Shipwrights, and Shipbuilding, and is too serious a loss to admit forbearance of some effectual remedy.

It is true we must expect some inconvenience in practice from the establishment of discriminating duties. But in this, as in so many other cases, we are left to chuse between two evils. These inconveniencies are nothing, when weighed against the loss of wealth, and loss of force, which will follow our perseverance in the Plan of indiscrimination. When once it shall be perceived that we are either in the System, or the Habit, of giving equal advantages to those who extinguish our commerce and navigation by Duties and Prohibitions, as to those who treat both with liberality and justice, liberality and Justice will be converted by all into Duties and Prohibitions. It is not to the moderation and Justice of others we are to trust for fair and equal access to market with our productions, or for our due share in the transportation of them; but to our own means of independence, and the firm will to use them. Nor do the inconveniencies of discrimination merit consideration. Not one of the nations beforementioned; perhaps, not a commercial Nation on Earth, is without them. In our Case, one distinction alone will suffice, that is to say, between Nations who favor our productions and navigation, and those who do not favor them. One set of moderate Duties, say the present Duties, for the first, and a fixed advance on these as to some Articles, and prohibitions, as to others, for the last.

Still it must be repeated that friendly arrangements are preferable with all who will come into them; and that we should carry into such arrangements all the Liberality and Spirit of accommodation which the nature of the Case will admit.

France has, of her own accord, proposed Negotiations for improving, by a new Treaty on fair and equal principles, the commerical relations of the two Countries. But her internal disturbances have hitherto prevented the prosecution of them to effect, though we have had repeated assurances of a continuance of the disposition.

Proposals of friendly arrangement have been made on our part by the present government to that of Great Britain, as the Message states: but being already on as good a footing in Law, and a better in Fact, than the most favored nation, they have not as yet, discovered any disposition to have it meddled with.

We have no reason to conclude that friendly arrangements would be declined by the other nations with whom we have such commercial intercourse as may render them important. In the meanwhile, it would rest with the wisdom of Congress to determine whether, as to those nations, they will not surcease ex parte regulations, on the reasonable presumption that they will concur in doing whatever Justice and moderation dictate should be done.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 69: 11981–91); consisting originally of fair copy of Document I above—incorporating most of the revisions noted there—transcribed by George Taylor, Jr., on 21 numbered pages in the customary form for TJ’s drafts; with one emendation by Taylor and many others by TJ, as noted below, some being suggested by Tench Coxe, including a slip bearing revised language pasted down over part of p. 18, the verso of fol. 11989 (see note 49 below), and others by foreign ministers in the United States, thereby transforming it into draft of Document III below; with penciled notations in the margin, eight by Taylor identifying four sets of extracts enclosed in TJ’s circular to the foreign ministers of 13 Feb. 1793, and one by George Washington (see below); undated, but transcribed by Taylor sometime before 5 Feb. 1793, when TJ received Coxe’s suggestions, and completed by TJ sometime after 23 Feb. 1793, when he received the last of the replies from the foreign ministers. The text as printed above reflects the state of the MS before TJ submitted it to Coxe for review and before he revised it in light of Coxe’s extensive list of queries and suggested changes (see enclosure to Coxe to TJ, 5 Feb. 1793; and the revisions inspired by him in notes 1–2, 4, 7, 9–15, 17–18, 20–2, 24–31, 33, 35–39, 42, 45, and 47–9 below). TJ submitted the amended MS to the President on 10 Feb. 1793; two days later, after inserting a note in the margin, the President returned it with a general statement of approval (TJ to Washington, 10 Feb. 1793; Washington to TJ, 12 Feb. 1793; and note 24 below). On 13 Feb. 1793 TJ submitted extracts from the revised MS to the foreign ministers (Circular to Foreign Ministers in the United States, 13 Feb. 1793, and enclosures). The French, British, and Spanish emissaries responded with observations that led TJ to make additional changes in the MS, presumably after receiving F. P. Van Berckel’s observations on 23 Feb. 1793, though the latter did not result in any revisions (George Hammond to TJ, 15 Feb. 1793; Josef Ignacio de Viar and Josef de Jaudenes to TJ, 15 Feb. 1793; Jean Baptiste Ternant to TJ, [16 Feb. 1793], Van Berckel to TJ, 22 Feb. 1793; and notes 6, 8, and 16 below). TJ made still more alterations at different times (see notes 5, 19, 32, 34, 40–1, 44, and 46 below). All of the foregoing revisions are reflected in the final report, but two other alterations TJ made in the MS and subsequently erased do not appear in that text (see notes 17 and 43 below). In amending this state of the report TJ also employed the following rough notes for the revision of the section on p. 6 concerning the British exclusion of American-built ships from the carrying trade between Great Britain and the United States (see text at note 12 below), and for other intended revisions he did not make there or on p. 8:

“page 6.

our ships when purchased and navigated by their own subjects cannot be employed in their trade with us, while the ships of other countries so purchased and navigated may be employed in their trade with those countries
duty on fish imported.

[…] to be [changed?] for a permission to islanders alone

pa.8. Ireland.

* the navigation act §.1. admits into the American trade, two descriptions of vessels
1. vessels built and belonging to America &c and navigated lawfully
2. vessels belonging to English and navigated lawfully. our vessels, bought by British, were covered by both these descriptions with other nations it makes it sufficient that the vessel belongs to England or such other country

The Proclamation restrains it to

1. British built ships owned by Brit. subjects and navigated &c.
2. American built ships owned and navigated by Americans.
Consequently American built ships owned by British, are excluded

14. Car. 2. c. 11. §.6 no foreign built ship shall be deemed British

27. G. 3. c. 19. (Nodin 3.) importations restrained.

1. to Brit. or British built ships legally navigated
2. to ships of country produc[ing?] them, legally navigated
and declares no ships deemed British but such as are British built.
         6. Anderson 818.”

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 233: 41597); consisting of one page entirely in TJ’s hand; undated, but written at three different times, the section for p. 8 lengthwise over apparently unrelated calculations. For another document TJ may have used in revising this state of the report, see Memorandum from Tench Coxe, [before 5 Feb. 1793], printed below in the supplement to the present volume.

1TJ interlined “countries” in place of this word in response to Tench Coxe.

2Word altered to “Bread” by TJ in response to Tench Coxe.

3Word interlined by Taylor.

4TJ added “and it’s dominions” after all the countries listed in this table except the United Netherlands, where he added “and their dominions,” in response to Tench Coxe.

5TJ here interlined “as well as on those of other foreign countries.”

6TJ here added “Our commerce is permitted with their Canary islands under the same conditions” in response to Josef Ignacio de Viar and Josef de Jaudenes.

7TJ here interlined “or nearly 4½ cents” in response to Tench Coxe.

8TJ here added “and tobaccos” in response to Jean Baptiste Ternant.

9TJ here lined out “incidental” and interlined “of collection” in response to Tench Coxe.

10TJ altered the preceding sentence to read “Our salted fish and other salted provisions except Bacon are prohibited” in response to Tench Coxe.

11TJ canceled this word as part of the revision recorded in the previous note.

12TJ altered this paragraph to read “Our Ships, though purchased and navigated by their own Subjects, are not permitted to be used even in their trade with us” in response to Tench Coxe.

13TJ altered the preceding seven words to read “any produce or manufacture of,” apparently in response to Tench Coxe.

14TJ canceled the next two words and here interlined in their place “which may be lawfully <imported> carried in any vessels, ours,” apparently in response to Tench Coxe.

15TJ here interlined “all and any of our,” apparently in response to Tench Coxe.

16Sentence to this point altered by TJ to read “The Minister of that court indeed frankly expressed his personal conviction that the words of the order went farther than was intended, and so he, afterwards, officially informed us” in response to George Hammond.

17After interlining “proportion” in place of “part” earlier in the sentence, TJ here changed the comma to a period, canceled the next seven words, and interlined “The residue is partly forwarded for consumption in the inland parts of Europe and partly reshipped to other maritime countries. On the latter portion,” all in response to Tench Coxe. This interlineation is based on an erased and largely illegible marginal note that TJ marked for insertion in this paragraph.

18Clause to this point altered by TJ to “so much of the value as is” in response to Tench Coxe.

19TJ interlined “somewhat” in place of this word.

20At least partly in response to Tench Coxe, TJ altered this paragraph to read “Denmark lays considerable duties on our tobacco and Rice carried in their own Vessels, and half as much more if carried in ours, but the exact amount of these duties is not perfectly known here. They lay such as amount to prohibitions on our Indigo and Corn.”

21TJ interlined “16 mills the pound” in place of the preceding three words and digits in response to Tench Coxe.

22TJ interlined “40. per cent additional on that, or 224/10 mills” in place of the preceding four words and digits in response to Tench Coxe. In the margin alongside the changes recorded in this and the preceding note TJ wrote “1. skilling pr. ℔.”

23Based on MS 5 listed at Document I above, TJ here wrote in the margin:

“RxD. sk

4–3-pr 100 ℔.


1. = 1.07.”

24TJ lined out the remainder of this paragraph. In the margin he wrote “qu. whether this should be inserted or not?” Below this George Washington wrote in pencil: “It ought to be well considered in its consequences.” Although Tench Coxe had questioned the paragraph, he recommended that it be modified rather than deleted.

25TJ interlined “live” in place of this word in response to Tench Coxe.

26TJ interlined “it was formerly suspended occasionally, but latterly without interruption” in place of the remainder of this sentence in response to Tench Coxe.

27TJ here interlined “colonial” in response to Tench Coxe and wrote in the margin “(about 37. cents).”

28TJ altered the preceding five words to read “as free as their own to carry our” in response to Tench Coxe.

29TJ interlined “live” in place of this word in response to Tench Coxe.

30TJ altered the preceding sentence to read “In the British continental Colonies, and in Newfoundland all our productions are prohibited, and our vessels forbidden to enter their ports” in response to Tench Coxe.

31TJ here added “this being expressly prohibited by the same statute of 12 Car. 2. c.18. commonly called their Navigation act” in response to Tench Coxe.

32TJ interlined “islands” in place of this word.

33TJ altered the preceding clause to read “our vessels and produce are received” in response to Tench Coxe.

34TJ here added “but they are heavier in the Dutch possessions on the continent.”

35TJ interlined “in the dominions of” in place of this word in response to Tench Coxe.

36TJ here interlined “there” in response to Tench Coxe.

37Remainder of sentence altered by TJ to “Sweden, and lately in France” in response to Tench Coxe.

38TJ here interlined “general” in response to Tench Coxe.

39Word reworked by TJ to “may” in response to Tench Coxe.

40TJ here interlined “first burthening or excluding those productions which they bring here in competition with our own of the same kind; selecting next such manufactures as” in place of the preceding eight words.

41TJ here interlined “be thought” in place of this word.

42TJ here added “or modify their transactions” in response to Tench Coxe.

43TJ here interlined an erased and illegible passage of about five words.

44TJ here interlined “own.”

45Sentence to this point altered by TJ to read “The 1st. and 2d. clauses of the Bill reported by the Committee are well formed” in response to Tench Coxe.

46TJ wrote the following paragraph in the margin for insertion here: “4. Where a nation refuses to consider any vessel as ours which has not been built within our territories, we should refuse to consider as theirs any vessel not built within their territories.” He then remembered the next paragraph. See note 98 to Document i above.

47TJ altered the remainder of the sentence to read “domination we might refuse to theirs of every description the carriage of the same productions to the same Countries” in response to Tench Coxe.

48TJ altered the preceding part of this sentence to read “But as Justice and good neighborhood” in response to Tench Coxe.

49In response to Tench Coxe TJ here first added “—Moreover, it is of course understood that the reciprocation of this principle should be confined to cases where a disadvantageous balance of commerce with the dominant nation gives us a just [claim?] to equivalent advantages with it’s colonies, and where it is right [and?] necessary that we should check an evil ourselves for which no qualification can be obtained from the other party.” He then lined out, also in response to Coxe, “defeat … prohibiting” in the second sentence of this paragraph and pasted over the remainder of it, including his addition, a slip on which he wrote “defeat it’s effect, it may be proper to confine the restriction to vessels owned or navigated by any subjects of the same dominant power, other than the inhabitants of the country to which the said productions are to be carried. And to prevent all inconvenience to the said inhabitants, and to our own, by too sudden a check on the means of transportation, we may continue to admit the vessels marked for future exclusion, on an advanced tonnage, and for such length of time only, as may be supposed necessary to provide against that inconvenience.”

Index Entries