Thomas Jefferson Papers

Notes on Newspaper Articles, 21 February 1798

Notes on Newspaper Articles


Nov. 30. good cautions to prevent fire. Adams & Larkin’s paper of this date.
Dec. 1. Pleasant’s paper. an excellent piece on the bank of the US. shewing they draw 960,000 D. profits on 2. millions actual cash which is 48. per cent.
Bache’s. Mc.kain’s charge on the subject of libels.1


Feb. 3. & 5 16.2 Brown’s paper, 33 excellent pieces (by Tenche Coxe) the 1st. fixg. the dates of the commencemt of British & French spolians

Feb. 5. Greenleaf’s paper. a piece signed Ecclesiasticus, shewing that the 1st. day of the week is not authorized as Sabbath by the example or precepts of our Saviour, or his apostles, or the primitive fathers. that they kept no Sabbath. that it was first ordained in the 4th. century by Constantine, & then only for the cities, leaving the country to pursue it’s agriculture

21. do. answer by Sabbaticus.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 103:17593); written entirely in TJ’s hand on a scrap of paper probably at two or more sittings; with notation by TJ on verso: “Newspapers, tracts & references.”

The list of cautions to prevent fire was printed in the Boston Independent Chronicle at the request of the Massachusetts Charitable Fire Society.

Pleasant’s paper: Richmond Virginia Argus.

Thomas McKean, chief justice of the Pennsylvania supreme court, presented his charge on the subject of libels to the grand jury on 27 Nov. 1797 (Philadelphia Aurora, 1 Dec. 1797). Tench Coxe used the pseudonym “An American Merchant” for his articles on “Neutral Spoliations,” which appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette on the dates listed by TJ. In his discussion of steps taken by Great Britain and France against neutral shipping in 1792–93, Coxe blamed the British for initiating the interdiction of shipments of foodstuffs. At some unknown time TJ, perhaps prompted by Coxe’s articles and perhaps after consulting some of the same sources of information, drew up a chronology of the same sequence of events (see Notes on Infractions of Neutral Rights by France and Great Britain, [after 21 July 1795], printed in Vol. 28: 411–12).

The article signed ecclesiasticus appeared in Greenleaf’s New York Journal on 3 Feb. 1798.

1Preceding eight words inserted in different ink.

2Preceding date interlined by TJ.

3TJ first wrote “2” and then altered the digit to read as above.

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