To the House of Representatives
Gentlemen of the
House of Representatives.
According to the request in your resolution of the 8th. Inst., I now lay before you a letter from the Secretary of State, containing an estimate of the expences necessary for carrying into effect the convention between the United States of America and the French Republic.
Jany. 12th. 1802.
PrC (DLC); in Meriwether Lewis’s hand, signed and dated by TJ. RC not found, but an endorsement by a House clerk in DNA: RG 233, PM, 7th Cong., 1st sess., indicates that the message and enclosures were referred to the Committee of Ways and Means on 12 Jan. Recorded in SJL with notation “Exp. of French convention.” Printed with enclosures in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Foreign Relations, 2:365.
The House resolution of 8 Jan. stated that “the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, requested to cause to be laid before this House an estimate of the expenses which are necessary for the carrying into effect the Convention between the United States of America and the French Republic.” The House appointed John Randolph and James A. Bayard to present the resolution to the president (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:43).
Meriwether Lewis delivered this message on 12 Jan. After the papers were read, the House committed them to the Committee of Ways and Means. On 12 Mch., Randolph for the committee reported a bill for the appropriation for expenses of carrying into effect the convention. After debate on the 23d, the bill passed on 24 Mch. Following approval by the Senate, the bill became law on 3 Apr. The statute authorized up to $318,000 for claims relating to captured French property and ships, to be spent as directed by the president from funds not appropriated for any other purpose. Language that would have required the funds to be taken first from proceeds of French prizes was struck before the bill passed the House of Representatives (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:47, 135, 155–6; 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 , 2:148).