Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Edward Livingston, 2 April 1802

From Edward Livingston

New York Apl. 2d. 1802


The enclosed paper is I believe the only one printed here which contains the proceedings of the House of Commons on the provisional removal of the countervailing duties and the late arrangement respecting the sixth article—

I have thought it might be agreeable to you Sir to receive the earliest intelligence on these interesting subjects and have therefore taken the liberty to send you the paper which I pray you to receive with the assurance of my highest Respect.

Edw Livingston

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 5 Apr. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: see below.

On 2 Apr., at least two New York City newspapers printed PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS of 17–19 Feb. concerning a bill to put into effect the convention recently concluded between Britain and the United States. In a footnote to the published version of his annual message in December, TJ had raised the issue of COUNTERVAILING DUTIES, additional charges that Britain imposed on goods imported in American ships. Reports that Congress was contemplating the removal of U.S. duties that favored American shipping prompted a suggestion in the Commons that the British prepare to suspend the countervailing duties upon receipt of information that the Americans had in fact removed their extra impost charges. Leave was granted for the introduction of a bill in Parliament to carry out that proposal. The New York newspapers had recently published, from the National Intelligencer, a summation of the contents of the convention concerning the sixth article of the Jay Treaty. Newspapers in the city did not publish the text of the convention until 9–10 Apr. (New York Commercial Advertiser, 31 Mch., 2, 9 Apr.; New-York Gazette and General Advertiser, 1, 2 Apr.; New York American Citizen and General Advertiser,10 Apr.; Editorial Note and Document III, Annual Message to Congress, 8 Dec. 1801).

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