This volume reveals Jefferson's continuing interest in a unified system of weights and measures, his effort to create a mint, and his concern over executive proceedings in the Northwest Territory. It contains also his suggestions for the President's annual message and his first encounter, at the hands of Noah Webster, with Federalist ridicule of his interest in science. Despite his heavy official duties and the confusion into which his household was thrown when 78 crates of books, wines, and furniture arrived from France, Jefferson never failed to write his promised weekly letter to his daughters and son-in-law under the alternating plan which obligated each of them to write only once every three weeks. The record of this time of extraordinary pressure shows that Jefferson retained his usual equanimity except when, after a full two months, he failed to receive any scrap of writing from the little family at Monticello.
But the conflict with Hamilton over the Bank, important as it was, did not bring the two men on the public stage as contestants. Instead, the first focusing of public attention on the breach in the administration occurred with the publication of Jefferson's report on the whale and cod fisheries. This widely disseminated report is here presented in a context showing that, after Hamilton declined to cooperate in reciprocating the favors France had granted to American trade, Jefferson deliberately and publicly challenged the Hamiltonian opposition. In unusually blunt language, his report called for commercial retaliation against Great Britain, thus causing a sensation both in the ... ministry.
This volume shows Jefferson's concern over the growing discontent in the South and West over fiscal and other policies of the national government, his resistance to interested promotion of consular appointments in business circles, his grappling with the political and constitutional questions concerning the admission of Kentucky and Vermont, his involvement in the political consequences of the death of Franklin that affected even the proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, his cautious relationship with Tench Coxe as a source of statistical information which the Secretary of the Treasury failed to supply, and his report to Washington on a judicial appointment that brought on both embarrassment and constitutional questions. Once Congress had dispersed, Jefferson was able to turn his attention to long-neglected private concerns and to the correspondence that gave him most satisfaction, that with the family at Monticello.
Covering the years 1760-1776.
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