Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from Thomas Jefferson, [23 December 1791]

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia, December 23, 1791]

Th. Jefferson presents his respectful compliments to the Secretary of the treasury and incloses him the copy of a letter and table which he has addressed to the President of the United States,1 and which being on a subject whereon the Secretary of the Treasury and Th: J. have differed in opinion,2 he thinks it his duty to communicate to him.

AL, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Jefferson’s letter to Washington is dated December 23, 1791. In this letter Jefferson submitted to the President a tabular exhibit of the English and French restrictions on American commerce entitled “Footing of the commerce of the United States with France & England, & with the French and English American colonies” (letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress). The letter and table are both printed in Ford, Writings of Jefferson description begins Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (New York, 1892–1899). description ends , V, 411–13. Jefferson explained his reasons for sending the table in the following section of his letter to Washington:

“As the conditions of our commerce with the French and British dominions, are important, and a moment seems to be approaching, when it may be useful that both should be accurately understood, I have thrown a representation of them into the form of a table, shewing at one view, how the principal articles, interesting to our agriculture and navigation, stand in the European and American Dominions of these two powers” (letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress).

2The difference of opinion between H and Jefferson arose over the question of the proposed commercial treaty with France. See George Cabot to H, December 8, 1791, note 1.

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