Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the Senate and the House of Representatives, 14 February 1803

To the Senate and the House of Representatives

Gentlemen of the Senate and
of the House of Representatives.

In obedience to the Ordinance for the government of the territories of the United States, requiring that the laws adopted by the Governor & judges thereof shall be reported to Congress from time to time, I now transmit those which have been adopted in the Indiana territory from January 1801. to February 1802. as1 forwarded to the office of the Secretary of State.

Th: Jefferson

Feb. 14. 1803.

RC (DNA: RG 233, PM, 7th Cong., 2d sess.); endorsed by a House clerk. PrC (DLC); lacks emendation (see note below). RC (DNA: RG 46, LPPM, 7th Cong., 2d sess.); endorsed by a Senate clerk. Both letters recorded in SJL and connected by a brace to notation “laws of Indiana.” Enclosures: copies of 12 laws and resolutions passed by the governor and judges of the Indiana Territory from 19 Jan. 1801 to 3 Feb. 1802 (Trs in DNA: RG 233, PM, endorsed by a House clerk; Trs in DNA: RG 46, LPPM, endorsed by a Senate clerk).

ordinance for the government of the territories: that is, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the terms of which were adopted by the act of Congress of 7 May 1800 creating the Indiana Territory (Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934-75, 28 vols. description ends , 2:42–3; 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 , 2:58–9).

TJ’s message and its accompanying papers were received by the House of Representatives on 14 Feb. and by the Senate the following day. The House ordered them to lie on the table, while the Senate referred them to a committee consisting of Joseph Anderson, John Breckinridge, and DeWitt Clinton (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:341; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820-21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:265). They were subsequently printed as Message from the President of the United States, Transmitting the Laws of the Indiana Territory of the United States, from January, 1801, to February, 1802 (Washington, D.C., 1803; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819, New York, 1958-63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 3365).

1Word altered from “and.” RC in RG 46: “as.”

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