Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from the District of Columbia Commissioners, 3 October 1801

From the District of Columbia Commissioners

Commissioners Office 3d Octobr. 1801.


We inclose an estimate of the sums which we consider as necessary to carry on the operations of the season, and to pay the interest to the State of Maryland to the end of this year—   This estimate we do not consider as perfectly accurate, but think it may be so far relied on, as to enable the President to determine whether the sum stated, as necessary to complete the Streets, or what other sum shall be expended thereon.—

This work which has been recommended by the President we are very desirous of accomplishing, but wish to have his sanction for the necessary expenditures.—

We are with the highest respect Sir, Your most obdt. Servants

William Thornton

Alexr White

Tristram Dalton

RC (DLC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Thornton, White, and Dalton; at foot of text: “President of the U.S.”; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Oct. and so recorded in SJL. FC (DNA: RG 42, DCLB).

In a memorial to Maryland’s House of Delegates dated 17 Oct., the commission expressed its “regret” for late payments on the total interest due to the state in 1801, noting that they had insufficient funds to execute the work requested by the president and to pay the interest. The commissioners asked the state assembly to renegotiate the terms of the loans and their repayment with Congress. The commission sent the memorial to TJ, who endorsed the cover letter as received on 21 Oct. (Trs in DLC, in William Brent’s hand, including signatures of Thornton, White, and Dalton). For the memorial, see Gallatin to TJ, 10 Jan. 1802.

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