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    • Lee, Charles
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    • Adams, John
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    • Adams Presidency

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The Attorney General of the United States having maturely considered the questions submitted to him by the President of the United States, most respectfully reports his opinions as follows, Upon Question 1st. If a nation to whom a Minister Plenipotentiary is sent by another nation, refuse him residence, it is a just cause of displeasure, but if he be refused an audience and the refusal...
In communicating to you a state of the Union at this time when you have been convened by my special direction it is with great satisfaction I inform you that the present meeting has not been occasioned by any occurrences within the United States. An attachment to our system of government has encreased with the experience of its utility, & resting on the most proper and only solid foundation...
In obedience to the letter of the President of the United States to the Attorney General of the United States bearing date the 20th of this month we have maturely considered the original letter signed Wm. Blount dated at Col Kings Ironworks 21st april 1797 addressed to a person of the name of Carey and the several questions propounded by the President and most respectfully report our opinions....
Mr. Charles Hall having declined accepting the office of Agent for the United States respecting british debts under the treaty of 1794, I have in obedience to your direction signified to Mr. John Read your determination to appoint him and have requested him to enter upon the duties of the office, which he has readily agreed to do. A claim has been for some time past before the commissioners...
It being very disagreeable and perhaps attended with a little danger to the health of my family to remain in the city, I have thought it prudent to return to Alexandria for the month of september. Unless some unforeseen circumstances prevent it, I hope to be here again the first week in october. I trust this temporary absence will be occasioned attended with no inconvenience to the public as...
Yesterday I had the honor to receive your letter of the 15th. Supposing the cold of winter in the climate at Philadelphia to be an antidote to the Yellow Fever as the experience of 1793 seems to warrant, I am of opinion that Congress may hold its next session at Philadelphia without danger to the health or lives of the members. But if at this time it may be too hazardous yet a proclamation for...
In compliance with your direction I shall endeavor now to communicate my ideas of the matters proper to be laid before Congress at the ensuing session. Within the United States all has been tranquil & nothing very remarkable seems to have occurred since the adjournment of Congress. From one and to the other of the western Frontier the indians remain at peace and continue to shew to us pacific...
I have attentively considered the letter of the judge of the United States for the district of Pennsylvania, dated the 8th instant, relative to the act of Congress entitled “An act for the relief of persons imprisoned for debt,” which he thinks deficient in many particulars. 1st. He states it as doubtful whether the act vested judicial power in the judge relative to the discharge of...
I have taken into my most serious consideration the important subjects contained in your letter of the 24th. of January last. The opinions I am about to give are predicated upon the supposition that the Legislature of France has passed a decree conformably to the advice of the directory in their message of the 4th. of January last relative to the Commerce of Neutral nations, and that our...
Beleiving it probable that if you communicate to Congress all the dispatches received from Paris they will be soon known to the Directory, and if known there before our envoys shall have left France that they some way or other, I am respectfully of opinion that they ought not to be communicated to Congress at this moment . I cannot suppose our envoys contemplated Pending their endeavours to...
I have the honor to submit to your consideration a copy of a resolution intended to be proposed to the Board of Commissioners for carrying into effect the sixth article of the Treaty of Amity Commerce and Navigation between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America which there is reason to suppose may be adopted by a majority if a question shall be taken upon it. The principle...
The death of Col Innes which happened on the 2d instant has made a vacancy in the commission for carrying into effect the sixth article of the treaty of amity with Great Britain, that should be filled as soon as you can with satisfaction to yourself fix on his Successor. The difference of opinion that prevails on the most important points relative to the construction of the article between the...
I had the honor to receive your letter of the 10th. a few days ago and sympathising with you on account of the tedious illness of Mrs. Adams it is pleasing to learn that her health is in such a state of convalescence as to enable her to undertake a long journey; and I hope and pray your own strength may be restored before the meeting of Congress and that you may be blessed with health at all...
Having for some time past been removed from the secretaris of the departments and therefore being the less acquainted with public affairs I shall offer with great diffidence my sentiments on the particulars proper to be inserted in your speech. It may embrace the following topicks: The malady which has afflicted the three principal cities and some of the Sea port towns. While with deep...
In obedience to the directions of the President of the United-States, the Attorney General has taken into his consideration, the several questions stated by the Commissioners of the City of Washington, relative to the claims of Daniel Carroll of Dudley, together with all the papers accompanying their statement, and the trust Deed to which they refer;—and has come to the following opinions...
Agreeably to your direction I have taken into consideration the memorial of Joseph Barrell Marston Watson and Benjamin Joy Directors of the New England Missisipi Land Company bearing date the 30th October last together with the several documents which accompany it. It does not appear proper that the President should express any opinion upon the merits of the claim or defer on this account the...
The enclosed from my friend Marshall on Wednesday last was received by me, and it is with no small pleasure I find his opinion correspondent with my own respecting the Appointment of Murray. You will perceive from the date that the subsequent modification of the embassy was not known to him when he wrote. His letter being entirely of a private nature I should not have sent to you, but that I...
I have this morning received letters from Virginia which contain very pleasing information concerning the elections in Virginia. that state Gen. Marshall Gen Lee Col Powell, Mr. Robert Page, Mr. Parker are certainly elected into Congress. Of Mr. Evans, Mr. Hancock and Mr. Goode no doubt is entertained, but complete accounts of the votes had not been received—These gentlemen are all...
The trial of Fries for high treason which was commenced on monday the 6th. instant and which from that period has alone occupied the court was concluded yesterday at 10 oclock at night. The prisoner had the assistance of able counsel Dallas Lewis and Ewing and after a fair & patient trial before an impartial court has by an unexceptionable jury been found guilty. During the trial of the...
I had the honor to receive your letter of the 17th. but not having been present at the trial of Fries it was not in my power to give you a minute of Mr. Lewis’s reasons for the opinion that the crime of Fries was not treason, without applying to Mr. Rawle on the subject who has given me a short note of which a copy is enclosed. The reasons were thought by the court insufficient and so they...
At the Board of Commissioners appointed to carry into effect the sixth article of the treaty of Amity with Great Britain differences have proceeded to such a length that the American Commissioners have come to a determination to attend it no more until the nations shall have an opportunity of coming to an explanation. It is now upwards of three months since they sent to the Secretary of State...
The Commissioners named on the part of the United States for carrying into effect the sixth article of the Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation have deemed it their duty to separate from the other members of the Board, by which measure a stop is put to the proceedings of that Board, it being stipulated that to constitute a competent Board one of the Commissioners named on each side and the...
Hoping it will not be deemed improper in me to give my opinion before it is asked relative to the suspension of the mission to France I will take the liberty of expressing it. I have reflected on the subject a good deal and I cannot perceive any sufficient reasons for the suspension. Such a measure would exceedingly disappoint the general expectation of America and exciting the jealousy &...
I have the honor to enclose you my sentiments upon two of the topicks mentioned in your letter of the 28th. They being the most important I have lost no time in bestowing my attention on them. I shall endeavour to obtain some information relative to the insurrection in a part of Pennsylvania and the St. Domingo business, and I shall as soon as possible express to you my ideas on those and...
As the enclosed letter, purporting to be from a member of your house, and received by me on the 11th instant, relates to the Privileges of the House, which cannot, in my opinion, be enquired into, except by the House itself, I have thought proper to submit it to your Consideration But in as much as any no gross impropriety of Conduct on the part of persons holding commissions in the army or...
In obedience to your direction to report my opinion upon the matters contained in the two Letters of his Britannic Majesty’s Minister to the Secretary of State, dated 2d and 4th instant, the following is respectfully submitted to your consideration. In the first mentioned Letter a claim is made by the express order of his Britannic Majesty, that three American Merchant Vessels, namely the...
The articles of household furniture belonging to the United States in the use of the President are to be considered attached to the office of President, and for the removing of them to the city of Washington Congress has already provided by the act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States. Upon this subject I have conversed with the Secretary of...
In acknowledging the honor you have been pleased to confer on me by authorising me to perform the duties of Secretary of State until the present vacancy shall be filled, permit me to express the diffidence with which I undertake even for a short time so great a charge. My abilities and knowledge I am sensible are unequal to it but such as they are I shall diligently employ them in the business...
The Attorney General of the United States most respectfully reports to the President his opinion that the President may reprieve for offences against the United States in all cases except in cases of impeachment. MHi : Adams Papers.
With infinite pleasure I inform you that Genl. Marshall has accepted the office of secretary of state. With perfect respect / I remain Sir your / most obed sert MHi : Adams Papers.
Yesterday morning I had the honor to write to you from Philadelphia that a letter from Genl. Marshall had been received at the office of State expressing his respectful acknowledgements for the honor you had conferred on him in appointing him Secretary of State, which he had accepted. As this letter may not meet overtake you, I now repeat a peice of intelligence very important to the United...
In deferring my answer to the letter which I had the honor to receive relative to your speech to Congress I was induced from the expectation of authentic information relative to the most recent state of the negotiations between this country and the great nations of England & France. These are topicks which every one expects to find embraced in the speech. Though the newspapers last from...