To John Marshall
Washington Dec. 28. 1800.
I have the honor to inform you that a list of the votes for President & Vice-president of the US. has come to my hands from every state of the union; and consequently that no special messenger to any of them need be provided by the department of state. I have the honor to be with great respect Sir
Your most obedt. humble servt
PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “The Secretary of State”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.
The first list of the votes that TJ received in his capacity as president of the Senate was from Pennsylvania, which he acknowledged on 8 Dec.: “Received by the hand of George Nauman a packet certified by the electors for the state of Pensylvania to contain a list of the votes given by them for a President and Vice president of the US.” (MS in DNA: RG 217, MTA; entirely in TJ’s hand and signed by him; at foot of text: “Geo. Nauman. from Lancaster to the Capitol—128 Miles”). The bearer of a state’s official vote was entitled to an allowance of 25 cents per mile (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 1:240), and TJ’s receipt of most of the packets after the one from Pennsylvania is recorded by vouchers prepared with slightly modified wording by clerk Patrick Ferrall of the auditor’s office. TJ signed each voucher after filling in the date (in most cases), the name of the messenger, and the state. Ferrall also wrote a separate statement of the payment due to each courier. The vouchers and statements—the dates of which reflect the submission of requests for disbursement, not necessarily receipt of the packets—have the following sequence: Virginia (by William O. Callis, 10 Dec.), New Jersey (Jonathan Rhea, 10 Dec.), Delaware (John Elliot, by 11 Dec.), North Carolina (William Tate, 13 Dec.), New York (John Van Benthuysen, by 13 Dec., TJ first dating the voucher 1800 and later adding 12 Mch.), Maryland (Horatio Gates Munroe, 17 Dec.), Rhode Island (Amos Jenckes, 22 Dec.), Connecticut (William Munson, 23 Dec.), South Carolina (George H. Brown, by 24 Dec., voucher lacking), Tennessee (John Kennedy, 24 Dec.), Kentucky (John Bridges, 28 Dec.), Vermont (Richard Whitney, 30 Dec.), New Hampshire (William Gardner, 30 Dec.), Massachusetts (Salem Town, by 1 Jan., voucher lacking), and Georgia (Moses Speers, by 5 Jan., voucher lacking); all MSS in DNA: RG 217, MTA.
Special messenger: under the 1792 “Act relative to the Election of a President and Vice President of the United States,” the electors for each state were to seal three certificates listing their votes. A person appointed by a majority of the electors would deliver one of the certificates to the president of the Senate at the seat of government before the first Wednesday of January following the election. The second certificate was mailed to the same destination. The third was placed in the care of the federal judge of the district in which the electors had assembled. If the president of the Senate did not receive certification of a state’s votes by the first Wednesday of January, the statute required the secretary of state to “send a special messenger” to the district judge for the third certificate (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 1:239–40).