To the Senators and Representatives
of the State of Georgia
Novemr. 17th 1792
The Commissioner of the Revenue has transmitted to me the enclosed instrument as a draught of a deed of Conveyance for the Tybee light House intended to be executed by the Senators and Representatives of the State of Georgia.1
On considering together the proviso in the first Section of the Act of Congress of the 7th. day of August 1789 for the establishment and support of light Houses &ca.2 and the second proviso in the Act of the Legislature of Georgia,3 recited in the proposed conveyance I have the honor to inform you that it appears to me, that this deed cannot be accepted by an executive Officer of the United States because it would carry a clear tho implied engagement for the continuance of a Law, which it is in the power of the Legislature alone to make.
I have the Honor to be with great Respect, Gentlemen, Your most obedient Servt.
Secretary of the Treasury
The Senators & Representatives of the State of Georgia in the Congress of the United States
LS, Montague Collection, MS Division, New York Public Library.
1. On November 9, 1792, Tench Coxe wrote to the Senators and Representatives of Georgia enclosing a copy of his letter to John Habersham, superintendent of the Tybee Island lighthouse in Georgia, dated November 7, 1792. In this letter he suggested that they inform interested members of both houses of the Georgia legislature of the requirements concerning cessions of land needed to qualify for Federal support for the maintenance of lighthouses after July 1, 1793 (LC, RG 58, Letters of Commissioner of Revenue, 1792–1793, National Archives).
On November 17, 1792, Coxe wrote to Habersham: “I find that an Act has been passed by the legislature of Georgia for the cession of the Tybee light House and that the Instrument is prepared for Execution by the Senators and Representatives” (LC, RG 58, Letters of Commissioner of Revenue, 1792–1793, National Archives).
2. “An Act for the establishment and support of Lighthouses, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 53–54).
3. “An Act to empower the senators or one senator and two representatives from this state in the Congress of the United States, to sign, seal, and deliver a deed of cession of the light house on Tybee island, and five acres of land belonging thereto to the United States” states:
“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia in General Assembly met, That from and immediately after the passing of this act, it shall be lawful for the Senators of this state in the Congress of the United States, or for one of the said Senators, with any two of the Representatives of this state to the said Congress, to sign, seal, and deliver a deed of cession to the United States on behalf of this state, of the light house on Tybee Island, of the property and jurisdiction of this state, of, in and to the same, and of five acres of land nearest adjoining and belonging thereto, to hold the same and every part thereof to the said United States forever. Provided always, That the act allowing three pence per ton for clearing and removing wrecks and other obstructions in the River Savannah, be continued until the same shall be completely cleared” (Georgia sessions laws, December, 1791, p. 17, Microfilm Collection of Early State Records, Library of Congress). This act was passed on December 15, 1791.