Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Munroe, 6 October 1803

From Thomas Munroe

Octo. 6. 1803

T Munroe has had the honor of recieving the Presidents note of this morning and will conform strictly to the directions therein given—To save the president the trouble of examining the Acts of Congress when he takes the subject into consideration T. M. begs leave to refer to the Act of 1t. May 1802 Abolishing the Board of Comrs. Section 5, page 126. as the president says in his note he does not at present recollect the Act of Congress on the subject—

RC (DLC); addressed: “President”; endorsed by TJ as received 6 Oct. and so recorded in SJL.

In conformity with directions suggested by TJ in his note of this morning, Munroe wrote Maryland treasurer Thomas Harwood on 7 Oct., enclosing a $3,000 quarterly interest payment due the state on its $200,000 loan to the District of Columbia. Regarding payments on the loan’s principal in 1804, Munroe stated that “altho’ nothing within my knowledge has indicated a want of either the will or the means of the Government to pay with punctuality every just demand of the State of Maryland yet it is not within my province to say what they will do specifically” (FC in DNA: RG 42, LRDLS).

In section 5 of the 1 May 1802 act abolishing the Washington board of commissioners, the superintendent was authorized, under the president’s direction, to sell as many city lots as necessary to make interest payments on the Maryland loan. However, if the president was of the opinion that a sufficient number of lots could not be sold “without an unwarrantable sacrifice of the property,” then any deficiency was to be taken from money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated (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 , 2:176).

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