James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Tench Coxe, 3 May 1804

To Tench Coxe

Department of State 3 May 1804.


I enclose a copy of the Secretary of the Treasury’s letter to me respecting the laws to be purchased from Mr. Cary.1 It results from the opinion therein expressed that more than two thousand dollars cannot be expended for that purpose, and if Mr. Cary cannot conveniently wait for the balance until an additional appropriation is made, he must be at liberty to sell the number of copies which that sum will not pay for. I am very respectfully, Sir, Your most obed. servt.

James Madison

PS. The Act of Congress provides that 100 copies shall be distributed in the two new territories into which Louisiana has been divided.2 You will therefore be pleased to detain that number at Philadelphia and send the rest hither.

RC (MH-H); letterbook copy (DNA: RG 59, DL, vol. 14). RC in Wagner’s hand, signed and franked by JM. Docketed by Coxe: “149 copies shipt May 5. per Hand. Advised Secy State per Monday’s mail of 7th.”

1JM presumably enclosed a copy of Gallatin’s letter to him dated 30 Apr. 1804.

2JM referred to “An Act to provide for a more extensive distribution of the Laws of the United States,” 27 Mar. 1804 (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 2:302–3).

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