Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Adams, 20 February 1801

From John Adams

Washington Feb. 20. 1801


In order to save you the trouble and Expence of purchasing Horses and Carriages, which will not be necessary, I have to inform you that I shall leave in the stables of the United States seven Horses and two Carriages with Harness the Property of the United States. These may not be suitable for you: but they will certainly save you a considerable Expence as they belong to the studd of the Presidents Household.

I have the Honor to be with great respect, Sir your most obedient and humble Servant

John Adams

RC (Amor Hollingsworth, Boston, 1951); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Vice President of the United States and President Elect for four years from the 4 of March next”; endorsed by TJ as received 21 Feb. and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in MHi: Adams Papers).

When the House of Representatives discussed appropriations for the president’s household on 2 Mch., Joseph Varnum and Samuel Smith expressed dismay that Adams had bought the horses and vehicles with funds approved for furnishings. Congress, by an act approved the next day, determined that all items in the president’s household other than furniture should be sold, along with any furniture not fit for use, and the proceeds combined with appropriations to purchase additional furniture (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States… Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The first two volumes of the set cited here have “Compiled…by Joseph Gales, Senior” on the title page and bear the caption “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. The remaining volumes bear the caption “History of Congress” on both recto and verso pages. Those using the first two volumes with the latter caption will need to employ the date of the debate or the indexes of debates and speakers. description ends , 10:1070–1; 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 , 2:121–2; Malone, Jefferson description begins Dumas Malone, Jefferson and His Time, Boston, 1948–81, 6 vols. description ends , 4:41).

Index Entries