A Modest Proposal

The Richmond Enquirer

Richmond, Virginia

October 11, 1808

Should the Federalists and Minority-men recommend the removal of the embargo, previous to the repeal of the tributary orders of the British council, it is respectfully submitted to the Congress of the U.S. to authorize the President to depute a special minister to G. Britain, for the purpose of negotiating for the safety of American venoels at the lowest rate of tribute. The benefits of most propositions will depend upon their benrigns as to the honor and the interest of the U. States- it is presumed to be the same as to vernment purchases the general right of navigation at a certain gross sum or suffers each merchant to purchase the right for himself under the form of a British License.

As to the interests of the United States, the advantages are most probably on the side of the proposition which has been offered. The stipulated sum for which the British government would allow us the benefits of a secure trade, would most probably be less than the accumulated sum of duties which would be paid by each merchant upon his exports and imports. — Great Britain would perhaps allow us this privilege for five or six millons of dollars. But the amount of the tribute, as estimated by her tariff of duties would be far greater than this sum.

Every thing that is exported from the U. States to the European continent, and everything imported from thence, would be obliged to call at Great-Britian and pay a certain duty. Calculating then the amount upon each article of exportation and importation, even at the present rate of duty, the gross amount would be enormous. — let us take, for instance, the single article of tobacco. About 84,000 hdds are supposed to be annually exported to Great-Britain of which she consumes about 12,000. The rest must therefore go to the continent of Europe.

Admitting, therefore, an impossible and visionary supposition, the Bonaparte will even consent that we may trade to the continent under the British impositions, we shall have about 22,000 hdds of Tobacco, subject to the Brish duty of exportation. The duty upon this article alone at 27 cents per lb. will be nearly three millions of dollars ; besides tennage on the ship, light moneys etc. Let the same calculation be extended to everything that we may send to or import from Europe, and the proposition which we have offered, will be found to be a cheap one.

The project will be complete, if r. John Jay is deputed as the special — and quite as excellent as a submission to the British encroachments.

The Monroe Committee have announced that they committed error by introducing the names of Dr. Lucas of Mecklenburgh, and Dr. Mackle of Frederick on their Electoral Ticket. The error has been rectified by substituting the names of Peter Baily for the first, and Henry St. George Tucker for the last mentioned county.

Daniel Carroll Brent, Esq. of Stafford, has requested us to state, that “e; he declines standing as an Elector on the Monroe Ticket; “e; that he has a “e; sincere esteem for, and entire confidence in Mr. Monroe; “e; that whatever may be the private wishes of individuals as to the next President , nothing at this period ought to be done, that will increase the schism, now existing among the Republicans; and that running Mr. Monroe now, will have that effect, and cannot avail him.

Yesterday the Executive Council proceeded to the appointment of a Treasurer, vice Gen. W Moseley, declined. The Governor being present — Nathaniel Pope, Esq. of Hanover, Attorney at Law, was appointed. Mr. William Byrd was appointed Assistant Clerk to the Governor, vice Mr. Guerrant, declined.

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