To William Blount
New York August 1st. 1790
Your favour of July the 7th has been duly received. On information from Doctr. Williamson that you are not possessed of the acts establishing the western Governments, I have now the honor to enclose to you 1. The Ordinance of the ancient Congress for the Government of the Territory North West of the Ohio. 2. An act of the present Congress for the Government of the same. 3. Their Act for the Government of the Territory South of the Ohio.
It is expected Congress will rise this week. As soon as their Acts are printed a complete copy of them shall be sent to you. I presume they must be directed to you at your new residence, from whence we shall be happy to receive as full and frequent communications as shall be convenient to you.
It is not yet known whether a war has taken place between Spain and Great Britain. Colonel McGillivray and the Creek Chiefs are now here, and we hope that friendly arrangements will take place.—I have the honor to be with great esteem and respect &c.
FC (DNA: RG 59, PCC No. 120); at foot of text: “(signed) Thomas Jefferson.” Enclosures: (1) Ordinance of 13 July 1787. (2) Act of 7 Aug. 1789 for the government of the Northwest Territory. (3) Act of 26 May 1790 for the government of the Southwest Territory. Enclosures are printed in Carter, Terr. Papers description begins The Territorial Papers of the United States, ed. Clarence E. Carter, Washington, 1934–62, 26 vols. description ends , ii, 39–50, 203; iv, 18–19. The terms of the Act for the government of the Southwest Territory were identical with those for the government of the Northwest Territory, with one exception—acceptance of the ten conditions stated in the North Carolina deed of cession, one of which was that the territory should be formed into a state or states conformably to the Ordinance of 1787 provided that no regulations made by Congress should “tend to emancipate slaves” (texts of the North Carolina Act of cession of 22 Dec. 1789, of the deed of cession of 25 Feb. 1790, and of the Act of acceptance of 2 Apr. 1790 are printed in Carter, Terr. Papers description begins The Territorial Papers of the United States, ed. Clarence E. Carter, Washington, 1934–62, 26 vols. description ends , iv, 3–8, 9–17; TJ transmitted two authenticated copies of the Act of acceptance to the governor of North Carolina on 6 Apr. 1790, together with a copy of the Act of 2 Apr. 1790 to prevent the exportation of goods not duly inspected according to the laws of the states [circular: FC in DNA: RG 59, PCC No. 120; RC to governor of Pennsylvania, NN; to governor of Maryland, MdAA; to governor of North Carolina, NcR]).
Blount’s letter of 7 July 1790 acknowledged receipt of his commission as governor of the Southwest Territory and asked TJ to inform the President that he had a “very perfect Sense of the Honor” and that he accepted the office “with a firm Determination to perform the duties of it to the best of Abilities” (RC in DNA: RG 59, SWTP; endorsed by TJ as received 23 July 1790 and so recorded in SJL; at foot of text in pencil in TJ’s hand: “Letters for Govr. Blount must be put in mail for Washington in N. Carolina. Send him the act for government N. W. of the Ohio”). For TJ’s summary of information concerning candidates for office in the Southwest Territory as derived from letters of members of Congress from North Carolina (Hugh Williamson, Timothy Bloodworth, John B. Ashe) and no doubt from conversations with his friends John Brown of Kentucky and Benjamin Hawkins of North Carolina, see under 7 June 1790 (texts of Williamson to Washington, 28 May 1790; Bloodworth to Washington, 5 June 1790; Ashe to Washington, 5 June 1790, which were utilized by TJ are in Carter, Terr. Papers description begins The Territorial Papers of the United States, ed. Clarence E. Carter, Washington, 1934–62, 26 vols. description ends , iv, 19–23). The commissions to Blount as governor, to Daniel Smith as secretary, and to David Campbell as judge, are all dated 8 June 1790; TJ’s letters of transmittal of these commissions, together with that covering the commission of John McNairy as judge of the Southwest Territory, are all dated 15 June 1790 (FCs in DNA: RG 59, PCC No. 120; texts in Carter, Terr. Papers description begins The Territorial Papers of the United States, ed. Clarence E. Carter, Washington, 1934–62, 26 vols. description ends , iv, 24–6, 29–30).