I. To the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate
Dec. 8. 1801.
The circumstances under which we find ourselves at this place rendering inconvenient the mode heretofore practised, of making, by personal Address, the first communications, between the legislative and Executive branches, I have adopted that by Message, as used on all subsequent occasions through the session. in doing this, I have had principal regard to the convenience of the legislature, to the economy of their time, to their relief from the embarrasment of immediate answers, on subjects not yet fully before them, and to the benefits thence resulting to the public affairs. trusting that a procedure, founded in these motives, will meet their approbation, I beg leave through you, Sir, to communicate the inclosed message, with the documents accompanying it, to the honorable the House of Representatives, and pray you to accept, for yourself and them, the homage of my high respect and consideration.
RC (DNA: RG 233, PM, 7th Cong., 1st sess.); in Meriwether Lewis’s hand except date, signature, and inside address; signed and dated by TJ; in TJ’s hand at foot of text: “The honble The Speaker of the H. of Representatives”; endorsed by a clerk. RC (DNA: RG 46, LPPM, 7th Cong., 1st sess.); in Lewis’s hand except date, signature, and inside address; signed and dated by TJ; in TJ’s hand at foot of text: “The honble The President of the Senate”; endorsed by a clerk. FC (DLC); entirely in TJ’s hand; probably used as copy text for the RCs; in the final sentence after “the honorable the,” TJ wrote both “Senate” and “H. of R.,” one above the other, enclosing the chambers’ names in braces. Enclosure: Document II.
Through you, sir: the House of Representatives elected Nathaniel Macon its speaker on 7 Dec. As vice president, Aaron Burr was president of the Senate, but on 8 Dec., when the Senate received TJ’s annual message, Abraham Baldwin presided in Burr’s absence (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:5; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820–21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:155–7).