From Edmund Randolph
Philadelphia January 4. 1794.
I have examined the journal of the proceedings of the Executive in the territory North West of the Ohio. It is very little more, than a history of bickerings and discontents, which do not require the attention of the President. I shall therefore forbear to send it to you, unless you should call for it.1
The laws of that territory are now under transcription, that they may be forwarded to Congress. It was for some time doubted, whether they were to be laid before that body, without a special order for that purpose. But the doubt is now removed, by a conversation with Colo. Sargent.2 I have the honor, sir, to be with the highest respect yr mo. ob. serv.
ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB, DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters.
1. On 12 Aug. 1793, Tobias Lear sent the “Copy from the Journal of proceedings in the Executive Department of Government, Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio, commencing January the 1st. 1793 and ending upon the 30th. of June in the same year By Winthrop Sargent Secretary” to former secretary of state Thomas Jefferson for examination, asking him to report “anything that may be found therein requiring the agency of the President.” For this journal, see DNA: RG 59, Territorial Papers, Territory Northwest of the River Ohio; see also 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 , 3:390–411.
2. The transcriptions were being made from “A Copy of Laws passed in the Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio from July to Decr 1792 inclusive,” which Sargent had prepared earlier (DNA: RG 59, Territorial Papers, Territory Northwest of the River Ohio; printed in Pease, Laws of the Northwest Territory description begins Theodore Calvin Pease, ed. The Laws of the Northwest Territory, 1788–1800. Springfield, Ill., 1925. In Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, vol. 17. description ends , 57–119; see also Lear to Jefferson, 26 Feb. 1793). According to “An Ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States North west of the river Ohio,” 13 July 1787, the “governor, and judges or a majority of them shall adopt and publish in the district such laws of the original states criminal and civil as may be necessary and best suited to the circumstances of the district and report them to Congress from time to time, which laws shall be in force in the district until the organization of the general assembly therein, unless disapproved of by Congress” (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 , 2:42–43). For GW’s submission of these laws, see GW to U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 21 Jan. 1794.