I. From James Madison
[before 13 Apr. 1803?]
(1.) Quer. if the laws give any authority at present beyond the limits of the U.S.?
2 “This Mission having reference to the Comerce”—may repell, more than the expression used, the criticism of illicit principal objects of the measure.
4. if practicable he might note occasionally the variations of the Needle.
RC (DLC: TJ Papers, 181:22591); entirely in Madison’s hand, in pencil; undated; endorsed by TJ as received from the State Department with notation “mr Madison’s notes on the instrns to Capt Lewis”; date of receipt in endorsement overwritten and illegible, possibly 12 or 13 Apr.
Madison probably keyed his remarks to numbers he wrote on the now-missing early draft of the instructions. TJ cited exploration as the object of the mission—albeit “for the purposes of commerce” (Document IV).
including the fish: Madison may have been suggesting an addition to the part of the instructions that concerns natural history. The finished instructions refer only to “the animals of the country generally” (same).