George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 19 June 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] June 19. 1793.

The Secretary of State having received from the Secretary of the territory of the U.S. South of the Ohio a report of the proceedings of that government from Sep. 1. 1792. to the 16th of Feb. 1793.1

Reports to the President of the U.S.

That they do not contain any thing necessary for him to act on: unless, as it is suggested by mister Smith, it should be necessary to lay before Congress the act of their legislature of Nov. 20. 1792.2 that tho’ the Secretary of state knows of no law or circumstance which requires this to be done, yet he thinks it will be safe to consult the Attorney General of the U.S. whether there be any such law, before any conclusion taken.3

Th: Jefferson

ALS DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC: Jefferson Papers; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.

1Daniel Smith enclosed the “Journal of the Proceedings of William Blount Esquire Governor in and over the Territory of the United States of American south of the river Ohio in his executive department” for 10 Sept. 1792 to 16 Feb. 1793 in his letter to Jefferson of 1 Mar. 1793 from Knoxville. Jefferson received Smith’s letter and its enclosures on 15 June (Carter, Territorial Papers description begins Clarence Edwin Carter et al., eds. The Territorial Papers of the United States. 27 vols. Washington, D.C., 1934–69. description ends , 4:240, 451–53).

2In his letter to Jefferson, Smith suggested that the enclosed copy of “An Act authorizing the courts of the several counties in this Territory, to levy a Tax, for repairing or building court-houses, prisons and stocks in the said counties respectively, to pay jurors to the superior courts and defray the contingent charges of the said counties” needed the “approbation of Congress” (ibid., 218–19, 240).

3For Edmund Randolph’s opinion that Congress did not need to see the enclosed legislation, see his letter to Jefferson of 25 July 1793, Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends , 26:568.

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