Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the Commissioners of the Federal District, 15 January 1793

To the Commissioners of the Federal District

Philadelphia Jan. 15. 1793.


The President, thinking it would be better that the outlines at least of the city and perhaps of Georgetown should be laid down in the plat of the Territory, I have the honor now to send it, and to desire that Mr. Ellicot may do it as soon as convenient that it may be returned in time to be laid before Congress. I have the honor to be with perfect esteem, Gentlemen your most obedt & most humble servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Messrs. Johnson, Stewart & Carrol.” FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL). Enclosure not found.

The enclosed plat, or survey, of the Federal District that Andrew Ellicott submitted to the Commissioners on the first of the month was the product of the instructions he had received from the Secretary of State nearly two years before (TJ to Ellicott, 2 Feb. 1791, in Vol. 19: 68–70; Ralph E. Ehrenberg, “Mapping the Nation’s Capital: The Surveyor’s Office, 1791–1818,” Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress, xxxvi [1979], 282). The survey, which had been forwarded to the President by the Commissioners in a letter of 5 Jan. 1793, has not been found (Tobias Lear to TJ, 11 Jan. 1793, and note; Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 7, 10). For its return to TJ with Ellicott’s corrections and its submission to Congress, see Commissioners to TJ, 11 Feb. 1793; and TJ to George Washington, 18 Feb. 1793, and note.

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