James Madison Papers

Circular Letter to Governors, 5 June 1804

Circular Letter to Governors

Department of State June 5th. 1804.


Agreeably to an Act of Congress, entitled “An Act for the more general promulgation of the Laws of the United States,[”] passed 3rd. March 1795,1 and an Act in addition thereto, passed on the 2d. March 1799,2 I have transmitted to the Collector of the Customs at Philadelphia, 653 Copies of the Laws of the United States, 2nd. Session, 7th. Congress, being the proportion for the Mississippi Territory,4 with a request that he would forward them to your Excellency. I have the honor to be, Sir, With great respect Your Obt. Servt.

James Madison

RC, five copies (PPAmP; R-Ar; NhHi; PBL; and CtHi); letterbook copy (DNA: RG 59, DL, vol. 14). Each RC is in a clerk’s hand, signed by JM. First RC addressed to the governor of the Mississippi Territory. Letterbook copy headed: “(Circular) / To the Governors*,” with a footnote: “*of the states hereafter mentioned” (see n. 3).

1U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 1:443.

2Ibid., 1:724–25.

3In place of “65,” the letterbook copy has a blank space. Following the letter in the letterbook, a State Department clerk listed the number of copies of the laws each state and territory would receive: New Hampshire (325), Massachusetts (1,105), Vermont (260), Rhode Island (130), Connecticut (455), New York (1,105), New Jersey (390), Pennsylvania (1,170), Delaware (65), Maryland (585), Virginia (1,430), North Carolina (780), South Carolina (520), Georgia (260), Kentucky (390), Tennessee (195), Ohio (65), Indiana Territory (65), and Mississippi Territory (65).

4In place of “Mississippi Territory,” the letterbook copy reads “State of,” followed by a blank space.

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