Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Jean Baptiste Say

again there the best distribution of labor is supposed to be that which places the manufacturing hands alongside of the agricultural; so that the one part shall feed both, & the other part furnish both with clothes & other comforts. would that be best here? egoism and first appearances say yes. Or, would it be better that all our laborers should be employed in Agriculture? in this case a double or treble portion of fertile lands would be brought into culture; a double or treble creation of food be produced, & it’s surplus go to [. . .] nourish the [. . .] now perishing births of Europe, who in return would manufacture and send us in exchange our clothes & other comforts ... in solving this question too we should allow it’s just weight to the moral & physical preference of the agricultural, over the manufacturing, man.

Thomas Jefferson
Jean Baptiste Say
Date Range
February 1, 1804
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
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