"The malefactors sent to America were not sufficient in number to merit enumeration, as one class out of three that peopled America: it was at a late period of their history that this practice began. I have no book by me which enables me to point out the date of its commencement; but I do not think the whole number sent would amount to two thousand; and being principally men eaten up with disease, they married seldom, and propagated little. I do not suppose that themselves and their descendants are at present four thousand, which is little more than one-thousandth part of the whole inhabitants."—'Memoirs and Correspondence of President Jefferson,' vol. i. p. 406.
It is pretty evident, from the tenour of these observations, that this was by no means a favourite subject with the worthy plenipotentiary; whose native patriotism, as well as his laudable desire to make his countrymen stand as well as possible with their good allies, doubtless induced him to throw a little American dust into the eyes of the French encyclopedists: for while he would induce the reader, at the commencement of his remarks, to believe that not more than two thousand English convicts had ever been transported to America altogether, he intimates, at the close