Tobias Lear to the United States Senate and House of Representatives
Thursday Feby 3d 1791.
I will thank you to send me, from time to time, two copies of such bills as may be printed by order of the Senate, previous to their passing into laws;1 and likewise two copies of your Journals as they are printed.
I am induced to make this request from a wish which the President of the United States often expresses to see the bills in this stage.
If there are any bills of this description now with you I will thank you to send them. I have the honor to be, very respectfully Sir Your most Obedt Servt
LS, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, 1789–1791, Records of the Office of the Secretary, Letters and Related Papers; LB, DLC:GW.
Samuel A. Otis, secretary of the Senate, replied on 3 Feb. 1791: “In answer to your favour of this morning I inform you, that I have invariably sent to the President of the United States copies of all bills printed by order of the Senate and two copies of the Journals monthly: Short and less important bills the Senate do not order to be printed, which is a reason why I send so few printed Copies. I shall in future be punctual in continuing to send the copies” (DLC:GW).
John Beckley, secretary of the House of Representatives, also responded on 3 Feb. 1791: “Until the receipt of your favour of this date, I always supposed that half a dozen of the first impressions of every paper printed by order of the House of Representatives, had been immediately inclosed to you for the use of the President; this being the instruction which the public printer has, long ago, received from me in writing, and which during the present Session, I have several times verbally repeated: the cause of his failure to do this I will immediately enquire into, and endeavour to prevent in future. In the meantime I send two copies of each bill and report now depending” (DLC:GW).
1. In the letter-book copy the words “House of Representatives” are bracketed with “Senate,” indicating the letter was sent to both houses.