Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel Smith, [9 March 1802]

From Samuel Smith

Tuesday [9 Mch. 1802]


I do myself the Honor to return you Mr. Coxe’s Opinions—there are some Ideas, that I think useful which I have Communicated to Mr. Randolph as Chairman of the Ways & Means.—I have the honor be

your friend & servt.

S. Smith

RC (DLC); partially dated; address clipped: “The Preside”; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 9 Mch. Enclosures: see below.

COXE’S OPINIONS: although they were marked private, TJ may have shared Tench Coxe’s letters dated 22 Feb. and 1 Mch. with Smith. Coxe advocated the establishment of commercial relations with China and a reduction in U.S. dependance on trade with Great Britain. He sought a system based on reciprocity, a principle supported by Smith, who also advocated reducing taxes on trade to increase commerce and foster prosperity. A revision of tax policy, however, would require cooperation with John RANDOLPH, chair of the Committee of Ways and Means (Frank A. Cassell, Merchant Congressman in the Young Republic: Samuel Smith of Maryland, 1752–1839 [Madison, Wis., 1971], 113–14; Cooke, Coxe description begins Jacob E. Cooke, Tench Coxe and the Early Republic, Chapel Hill, 1978 description ends , 401–3). For the tension that existed between Smith, who chaired the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures, and Randolph, see Cassell, Merchant Congressman, 113–16.

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