"The English had now begun to deluge the markets of France with their whale oils: and they were enabled by the great premiums given by their Government to undersell the French fisherman, aided by feebler premiums, and the American aided by his poverty alone. Nor is it certain that these speculations were not made at the risk of the British Government, to suppress the French and American fishermen in their only market. Some remedy seemed necessary. Perhaps it would not have been a bad one to subject . . . the merchandise of every nation . . . to pay additional duties in the ports of France exactly equal to the premiums and drawbacks given on the same merchandise by their own government."

-- Thomas Jefferson, "Observations on the Whale-Fishery," 1788

Reprinted by permission of the following. Part 1: La Route de La Soie, Luce Boulonois, Editions Arthaud, 1964; Part 2: The Shorter Pepys, edited by Robert Latham, University of California Press, 1985; Part 3: The Wheels of Commerce, Fernand Braudel, Librairie Armand Colin, Paris, 1979. English translation copyright 1982 by William Collins Sons Ltd. and Harper & Row Publishers Inc., 1982. Reprinted by permission of Harper & Row; Part 4: Thomas Jefferson: Writings, edited by Merrill D. Peterson, The Library of America, 1986