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persede the waste of war, and the rage of conquest; that the swords might be turned into ploughshares, the spears into pruning-hooks, and, as the Scriptures express it," the nations learn war no more.


The advancement of Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufactures, by all proper means, will not, I trust, need recommendation.

I cannot forbear intimating the expediency of giving effectual encouragement, as well to the introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad, as to the exertions of skill and genius, in producing them at home.



Commerce and Industry are the best mines of a




It has long been a speculative question among philosophers and wise men, whether Foreign Commerce is of real advantage to any country; that is, whether the luxury, effeminacy, and corruptions, which are introduced along with it, are counterbalanced by the convenience and wealth which it brings.

The decision of this question is of very little importance to us. We have abundant reason to be convinced, that the spirit of trade, which pervades these States, is not to be restrained. It behooves us, then, to establish just principles; and this cannot, any more than other matters of national concern, be done by thirteen heads differently constructed and organized. The necessity, therefore, of a controlling power, is obvious; and why it should be withheld, is beyond my comprehension.



From trade our citizens will not be restrained; and, therefore, it behooves us to place it in the most convenient channels, under proper regulations, freed, as much as possible, from those vices which luxury, the consequence of wealth and power, naturally introduces.



We are either a united people, under one head and for federal purposes; or we are thirteen independent sovereignties, eternally counteracting each other. If the former, whatever such a majority of the States as the Constitution points out, conceives

to be for the benefit of the whole, should, in my humble opinion, be submitted to by the minority. Let the Southern States always be represented; let them act more in union; let them declare, freely and boldly, what is for the interest of, and what is prejudicial to, their constituents; and there will, there must be, an accommodating spirit. In the establishment of a Navigation Act, this, in a particular manner, ought, and will doubtless be attended to. If the assent of nine States, or, as some propose, of eleven, is necessary to give validity to a Commercial System, it insures this measure, or it cannot be obtained.



Our trade, in all points of view, is as essential to Great Britain, as hers is to us. And she will exchange it, upon reciprocal and liberal terms, if better cannot be had.

Had we not better encourage seamen among ourselves, with less imports, than divide them with foreigners, and, by increasing the amount of them, ruin our merchants, and greatly injure the mass of our citizens?


The maritime genius of this country is now steering our vessels in every ocean; to the East Indies, the

North West coasts of America, and the extremities of the globe.


However unimportant America may be considered at present, and however Britain may affect to despise her trade, there will assuredly come a day, when this country will have some weight in the scale of empires.



There are three circumstances, which are thought to give the British merchants an advantage over all others. First their extensive credit, which, I confess, I wish to see abolished. Secondly: their having in one place Magazines, containing all kinds of articles than can be required. Thirdly their knowledge of the precise kinds of merchandise and fabrics which are wanted.



Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.

Even our Commercial Policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying, by gentle means, the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing, with powers so disposed, in order to give

trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them, Conventional Rules of Intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be, from time to time, abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay, with a portion of its independence, for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more.

There can be no greater error, than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.



Though I would not force the introduction of Manufactures, by extravagant encouragements, and to the prejudice of Agriculture, yet, I conceive, much might be done in that way, by women, children, and others, without taking one really necessary hand from tilling the earth.


I have been writing to General Knox, to procure me homespun broadcloth of the Hartford fabric, to

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