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Report of the Secretary of State, on the Subject of the Cod and Whale Fisheries
Philadelphia, PA: Francis Childs and John Swaine. Very Good-. 1792. Reprint Edition. A smart Reprint Edition in Very Good- condition with loose title page and scattered soiling. Disbound. Folding table on fisheries exports 1789-1790. The first edition was published in 1791 in a folio format of 28 pages; This report is important on two levels: first, as the best statistical report on the history and state of the American fisheries and whaling industry; and second, as a partisan political document, in opposition to Alexander Hamilton. Both the whale and cod fisheries suffered severely during the Revolution, and a combination of taxes and government policy hindered their recovery. Leaders of both industries petitioned the state of Massachusetts for redress, who in turn petitioned the federal Congress, who asked Jefferson to investigate. This he did in his usual thorough fashion, aided considerably by Tench Coxe of the Treasury Department. Jefferson's report, however, was more than a gathering of facts, it was an advocacy of strong support by the federal government for the threatened industries. Recognized that the cod and whaling industries could be highly profitable for the young nation, and that they could also serve as a school for seamen which would lay the basis for American naval power. In ascribing many of the difficulties of the American fisheries to foreign interference, Jefferson was pointing his finger squarely at the British. Jefferson's report was the impetus for the revival of the American fishery and whaling industries, ultimately with the results he predicted. Within a generation, the American thrust into the Pacific was carried out by American whalers from Nantucket and New Bedford, and American commerce rose along the trade in preserved fish from the Grand Banks. The House issue of this landmark state paper, one of the most important reports made by Jefferson as the first Secretary of State, ranking in importance with his weights and measures report and commerce report. Evans 24924 .
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Last Found On: 2013-01-08           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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