Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the Board of Trade, 22 March 1780

To the Board of Trade

Mar. 22. 1780.

The Executive will not interpose to favor such a commerce (referring to a proposal contained in a Letter from Mr. Thoroughgood Smith of Accomack Mar. 16. 1780 with respect to exchanging Corn for Salt with a Bermudian Vessel) with Individuals as is herein proposed; but as great Quantities of Salt are wanting for public use and an immense Quantity lately required by Congress the Board of Trade will please to consider whether it may be beneficial to purchase the within Salt, giving not more than two Bushels of Corn in exchange for one of Salt.

Tho: Jefferson

Tr in Board of Trade Journal (Vi). The letter has cross lines drawn through it and “countermanded” written below it. Before this was done, the Board of Trade had decided to purchase the salt and had directed a letter to be written to Thoroughgood Smith requesting him to contract with Captain Vezey “upon the most advantageous terms he can, to be paid for in Corn, at no rate exceeding two Bushels of Corn for one Bushel of Salt.” This also had lines drawn through it; the reason for the countermanding of the order appears to be that given in TJ’s letter to the Board, following.

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