Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Avery, 20 November 1802

From John Avery

Boston Novemr 20th 1802


Agreeable to the direction of the Legislature I have the honor to transmit your Excellency one set of the Maps of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for your own use. I have delivered them to the care of the honorable Mr Varnum.—

I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s most obedient & very humble Servant

John Avery Secy:

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esqr Presidt of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 8 Jan. 1803 and so recorded in SJL.

John Avery (1739–1806) of Boston was a Harvard graduate and active patriot during the American Revolution. In 1780, he was elected the first secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a position he held until his death (John L. Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Sibley’s Harvard Graduates: Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College, 18 vols. [Cambridge, Mass., 1873– ], 14:384–9).

An 8 Mch. 1802 resolution by the Massachusetts legislature directed the secretary of the commonwealth to send one set of state maps to the president of the United States. Sets were also to be presented to each house of Congress and to the Library of Congress (Resolves, &c. of the General Court of Massachusetts. Passed at the Session Begun and Held at Boston, on Thursday, the Fourteenth Day of January, Anno Domini 1802 [Boston, 1802], 68).

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