Thomas Jefferson Papers
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V. Memoranda by James Madison, [January 1791]

V. Memoranda by James Madison

[Jan. 1791]

G. Britain from At war At peace
May 1689 to Sepr. 1697 =  8y. 4m. to May 1702 =  4y. 8m.
May 1702 to Aug. 1712 = 10. 3. to Decr. 1718 =  6. 4
Decr. 1718 to June 1721 =  2. 6 to Mar. 1727 =  5. 8
Mar. 1727 to May 1727 =  0. 2 to Octr. 1739 = 12. 4
Octr. 1739 to May 1748 =  8. 7 to June 1755 =  7. 0
June 1755 to Novr. 1762 =  7. 5 to June 17781 = 15. 7
June 1778 to Mar. 1783 =  4. 9 to May 1789 =  6. 2
3. lost in broken months
42. War 58. peace
{ During º war Insurance between U.S. & G.B. may be rated from 12 to 20 per Ct.2
do. U.S. & W. Inds. from 12 to 20 do.
During peace U.S. & G.B. about  2 ½ do.
U.S. & W. Inds. abt.  2 ½ do.
During war insurance of freight beyond that of peace from 30 to 50 per Ct.
*The annual value of exports from U.S. in British Bottoms = 3 Dollars
Freight of do. from do. in do. to Europe = do.
do. of do. from do. in do. to W. Inds. = do.
Annual value of Imports in Brit: Bottoms [see Champion p. 51] do.
[See Report of Impost & the 10 per Ct. discount in favr. of Amer.Botts.]

From these data result the expence of Insurance & freight taxed by Brit: Wars on the trade or rather agriculture of U.S. during their present dependence on British Bottoms.

From the same may be inferred the loss which war with Spain would have cost the U.S. During the prospect of it insurance in Some instances rose to near double the peace rate.4

To the wars of the above period, France was with little exception a party. So was Holland, excluding the war preceding the last. So in fact were the maritime nations in Genl.

Perhaps it may be easier to make the calculation for all our trade in Foreign Bottoms, than for that in British alone: or expedient to super-add the former to the latter calculation.5

* Champion p. 140.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 233: 41600); entirely in hand of James Madison (but see note 2, below); undated, but certainly written after 6 Jan. 1791 when Hamilton submitted his “General Abstract of Duties Arising on the Tonnage of Vessels entered into the United States” (asp, Commerce, I, 7–8) and before 1 Feb. 1791 when TJ handed in his report. Dft (DLC: Madison Papers); at head of text in Madison’s hand: “made for Mr. Jefferson, when preparing his report for Congress”; endorsed; containing variations in substance and phraseology from text of MS, some of which are indicated in notes below.

1Thus in MS; neither Madison in compiling this table nor TJ in using it included the two years of war after the colonies declared their independence, the basis of the calculation obviously being that of the formal declaration of war against a sovereign nation, in this instance France.

2At this point the figure “16,” probably in TJ’s hand, is set down in MS.

3Blank in MS in this and following two entries. See Appendix No. 18 of TJ’s Report.

4Dft reads: “During the late question between G. B. and Spain insurance rose in some instances to double or nearly double that of peace, being a tax at the rate of dollars per annm. Had war taken place we see the tax <we must have> which would have been imposed by our dependence on Brit: Bottoms.”

5Dft reads: “The Calculation may be extended to the whole of our trade in foreign bottoms.”

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

º altho’ these estimates are from an Underwriter it may be well to consult Mr. T[ench] C[oxe] or others, on them.

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