Thomas Jefferson Papers

I. Jefferson’s Suppressed Article in His Observations on Calonne’s Letter, [ca. 4 July 1787]

I. Jefferson’s Suppressed Article in His Observations on Calonne’s Letter

6. It is reckoned that this nation employs 30. ships in the African trade, and that these take, one with another, 50 hogsheads of tobacco in part of their loading. The regulations for the protection of the farms forbidding them to take this tobacco from the ports of France, they are obliged to put into Lisbon, and there furnish themselves with the tobaccos of Brazil. It would seem that Magazins d’entrepot established in the principal ports1 might be placed under such cautions of double keys &c. as to expose the farmers to no danger. This would save to France freight and commission on that quantity of tobacco, paiment in cash instead of commodities, and the deviation of 30 ships from the route of their voiage by putting in to Lisbon. It would at the same time and in the same proportion augment the demand for the tobaccoes of the United states.

MS (DLC); undated, but ca. 4 July 1787; endorsed by TJ, possibly at a later date: “Entrepots for tobo. for Africa.” This fragment was once the lower part of the final sheet of TJ’s Observations on Calonne’s letter concerning American trade (see text, Vol. 11: 539–43), but it was detached from the MS (now at ViWC) probably by TJ in the course of composition, since the RC sent to Montmorin does not include it. No evidence remains on the top half of the sheet to show that the present fragment was a continuation of its text, but an examination of the PrC made from MS (ViWC) and to be found in DLC: TJ Papers, 25: 6203–7, shows that TJ also tore away the lower half of its final sheet, but in such a way as to leave remnants of easily identifiable ascenders of the letters in the passage: “6. It is reckoned that‥‥” Thus, aside from the continuance of the sequence of numbers and the substance, which prove that it belongs to TJ’s Observations as originally written, this PrC contains a sort of catchword that keys it to the present fragment, which is widely separated from the MS to which it was originally appended (being now at TJ Papers, 233: 41598).

1Deleted at this point: “of the Atlantic.”

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