Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Joseph Anderson, 4 March 1803

From Joseph Anderson

George Town 4th March 1803
friday morning.


In my letter of yesterday, I express’d an intention of waiting on you this morning—but as you will probably be much engaged, and as I am very anxious to begin my Journey, after so long an absence from my family—I have concluded, to decline doing myself that honor—As it is of importance however to my concerns, to be inform’d, upon the Subject of my letter—I have to request the favour of an early answer; Cou’d I receive it in a week or two, after my arrival at home, which will probably be about the twentyeth of March—It wou’d very much accomodate me—As Some arrangements respecting my future pursuits, will depend upon your answer—please to direct—to Cheeks Cross Roads, Jefferson County.—If you Shou’d think proper to favor this application—I take leave to Observe, that I have express’d a wish, to be of that board of Commissioners, who are to set in the County of Adams—

With Sentements of the Most respectful Consideration—

Jos: Anderson

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 4 Mch. and “to be Commr. Missipi” and so recorded in SJL.

In his letter of yesterday, Anderson requested a place as one of the commissioners to settle land claims in the Mississippi Territory. A statute approved by Congress on 3 Mch. for “regulating the grants of land, and providing for the disposal of the lands of the United States, south of the state of Tennessee” authorized the establishment of two land offices in the territory, one in Adams County and one in Washington County, to dispose of lands lying west and east of the Pearl River, respectively. In addition to a register of lands and a receiver of public money, each county was to have two commissioners, who, with the register, would decide cases of claims to land from British or Spanish grants or under the April 1802 agreement between the United States and Georgia (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 , 2:229–35; Vol. 37:343–5; Matthew Clay to TJ, 28 Feb.).

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