Front Page Titles (by Subject) EXTEMPORE THOUGHTS AND DOUBTS ON VERY SUPERFICIALLY RUNNING OVER THE BANKRUPT BILL 1 - The Works, vol. 7 (Correspondence 1792-1793)
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EXTEMPORE THOUGHTS AND DOUBTS ON VERY SUPERFICIALLY RUNNING OVER THE BANKRUPT BILL 1 - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 7 (Correspondence 1792-1793) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 7
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EXTEMPORE THOUGHTS AND DOUBTS ON VERY SUPERFICIALLY RUNNING OVER THE BANKRUPT BILL1
The British statute excepts expressly farmers, graziers, drovers, as such tho’ they buy to sell again. This bill has no such exception.
The British adjudications exempt the buyers & sellers of bank stock, government papers, &c. What feelings guided the draughtsman in adhering to his original in this case & departing from it in the other?
The British courts adjudge that any artists may be bankrupts if the materials of their art are bought, such as shoemakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, &c. Will the body of our artists desire to be brought within the vortex of this law? It will follow as a consequence that the master who has an artist of this kind in his family whether hired, indentured, or a slave, to serve the purposes of his farm or family, but who may at leisure time do something for his neighbors also, may be a bankrupt.
The British law makes a departure from the realm. i.e. out of the mediation of British law, an act of bkrptcy. This bill makes a departure from the State wherein he resides (tho’ into a neighboring one where the laws of the U. S. run equally,) an act of bankruptcy.
The Commnrs may enter houses, break open doors, chests, &c. Are we really ripe for this? is that spirit of independence & sovereignty which a man feels in his own house and which Englishmen felt when they denominated their houses their castles, to be absolutely subdued & is it expedient that it should be subdued?
The lands of the bankrupt are to be taken sold & is not this a predominant question between the general & State legislatures?
Is Commerce so much the basis of the existence of the U. S. as to call for a bankrupt law? on the contrary are we not almost agricultural? Should not all laws be made with a view essentially to the poor husbandman? When laws are wanting for particular descriptions of other callings, should not the husbandman be carefully excused from their operation, and preserved under that of the general system only, which general system is fitted to the condition of the husbandman?
[1 ]This is undated, but is apparently Jefferson’s comment on the bankrupt bill introduced in the House of Representatives by W. L. Smith as chairman of a committee, Dec. 10. 1792.