Thomas Jefferson Papers
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George Washington to the Commissioners of Accounts for the States, [22 June 1793]

George Washington to the Commissioners of Accounts for the States

[22 June 1793]1

Gentlemen

Having considered the two questions referred to me in your letters of yesterday, I am of opinion that the Report of your proceedings may be made to the President of the US. and that your books and papers will be most properly deposited in the Treasury department. You will therefore be pleased to deliver them to the order of the Secretary of the Treasury.2

Dft (DNA: RG 59, MLR); in TJ’s hand, undated, with additions by Washington and Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr. (see notes below); at foot of text in Dandridge’s hand: “Wm. Irvine Jno. Kean & W: Langdon Comers.”; endorsed by Dandridge as a letter of 22 June 1793.

The two letters of 21 June 1793 from the Commissioners to the President posed the questions answered here (DNA: RG 59, MLR; see also Fitzpatrick, Writings description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, Washington, D.C., 1931–44, 39 vols. description ends , xxxii, 508). The President and the Cabinet agreed to the substance of this response in a meeting on 22 June 1793 (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 187). The letter as sent by Washington under this date followed the emended draft (Fitzpatrick, Writings description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, Washington, D.C., 1931–44, 39 vols. description ends , xxxii, 509).

On 29 June 1793 the Commissioners sent TJ their Report of that date in a brief covering letter asking him to transmit it to the President (RC in DNA: RG 59, MLR; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Irvine, Kean, and Langdon; at foot of text: “The Secretary of State”; endorsed by TJ as received 29 June 1793 and so recorded in SJL). The report announced the final settlement of state accounts with the United States for the cost of the Revolutionary War, listing seven creditor states and six debtor states, Virginia being among the latter (MS in RG 53, Records of the Bureau of the Public Debt, signed by Irvine, Kean, and Langdon, and subjoined to minutes of the Commissioners’ meeting of 27 June 1793; Tr in Lb in DLC: Washington Papers; printed in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Miscellaneous, i, 69). TJ listed the balances due to the creditor states and owed by the debtor states on a sheet for his own files (MS in DLC; entirely in TJ’s hand, with subtotals for each group added in pencil; recorded in SJPL: “balances of the several states as settld by the Commrs.”). For the commissioners’ work, see E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776–1790 (Chapel Hill, 1961), 332–3.

1Washington here added “Phila. June 22d 1793.”

2After Washington initialed the text below this sentence, Dandridge subsequently wrote the following words over the initials: “Should there be any thing in this business, requiring, in your opinions, my further agency, I shall be ready at any time to give the necessary attention thereto either personally or in writing. Go:W.”

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