George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to the United States Senate, 7 March 1792

To the United States Senate

United States [Philadelphia]
March 7th 1792.

Gentlemen of the Senate,

I submit to your consideration the report of the Secretary of State which accompanies this,1 stating the reasons for extending the negotiation proposed at Madrid to the subject of commerce, and explaining, under the form of instructions to the Commissioners lately appointed to that Court, the principles on which commercial arrangements with Spain might, if desired on her part, be acceded to on ours: And I have to request your decision, whether you will advise and consent to the extension of the powers of the Commissioners as proposed, and to the ratification of a treaty which shall conform to those instructions, should they enter into such a one with that Court.2

Go: Washington

DS, DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Foreign Relations; LB, DLC:GW; copy, DLC: Jefferson Papers.

1For Jefferson’s accompanying report, see the enclosure to Jefferson to GW, 7 Mar. 1792 (second letter).

2The Senate read this message and its accompanying papers later on this date and referred them for consideration to a committee comprised of George Cabot, Robert Morris, and John Langdon. On 15 Mar., Cabot presented the committee’s report, which the Senate ordered to lie on the table. The next day, after resuming consideration of the report, the Senate resolved “(two-thirds of the Senators concurring therein,) ‘That they advise and consent to the extension of the powers of the Commissioners, as proposed, and that they will advise and consent to the ratification of such treaty as the said Commissioners shall enter into with the Court of Spain, in conformity to those instructions.’” The Senate then ordered its secretary, Samuel A. Otis, to present this resolution to GW (Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:106–10, 115). On 16 Mar., Tobias Lear by GW’s command transmitted to Jefferson a copy of the Senate’s resolution (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

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