Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Jean Guillaume Hyde de Neuville
|Monticello Dec. 13. 18.|
I rejoice, as a Moralist, at the prospect of a reduction of the duties on wine, by our national legislature. it is an error to view a tax on that liquor as merely a tax on the rich it is a prohibition of it’s use to the midling class of our citizens, and a condemnation of them to the poison of whisky, which is desolating their houses. no nation is drunken where wine is cheap; and none sober, where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage. it is in truth the only antidote to the bane of whisky. fix but the duty at the rate of other merchandise, and we can drink wine here as cheaply as we do grog: and who will not prefer it? it’s extended use will carry health and comfort to a much enlarged circle.