Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 25 February 1803

To James Monroe

Washington Feb. 25. 1803.

Dear Sir

I inclose you another letter for mr Cepede keeper of the National cabinet. I have not superscribed the titles of the gentlemen on my letters, because I know them not. perhaps some apology may be necessary for this omission.   Congress having passed the two million bill, you will recieve by this mail your last dispatches. others will follow you about the 2d. week of April, before which time I shall be returned from Monticello. I set out for that place on the 6th. of March. Congress has given authority for exploring the Missisipi, which however is ordered to be secret. this will employ about 10. persons two years. present my friendly respects to mrs Monroe & Eliza, and accept my best wishes for a pleasant voyage, happy result, and assurances of my constant & affectionate attachment

Th: Jefferson

RC (Thornton H. Brooks, Greensboro, North Carolina, 1947); addressed: “James Monroe Min. Extr. & Plenipo. to France at New York.” PrC (DLC); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Enclosure: TJ to Lacépède, 24 Feb.

two million bill: on 22 Feb. the Senate passed a bill “making further provision for the expenses attending the intercourse between the United States and foreign nations.” The bill, which became law on 26 Feb., appropriated $2,000,000 “for the purpose of defraying any extraordinary expenses which may be incurred in the intercourse between the United States and foreign nations.” It authorized the president to borrow part or all of the sum at six percent interest, allowed the Bank of the United States to lend the money, and provided for the application of surpluses of duties on imports and tonnage as necessary to pay the interest and principal of the loan. The Senate on 22 Feb. also passed the appropriation of $2,500 for “extending the external commerce of the United States”—the funds for exploring beyond the Mississippi that TJ requested in his confidential message to Congress on 18 Jan. The House of Representatives had prepared and passed both bills in closed sessions under the injunction of secrecy on its proceedings relating to TJ’s confidential message. The House conveyed the two bills to the Senate on 15 Feb. with an explanation that the appropriation for foreign intercourse expenditures was “to enable the President of the United States to commence, with more effect, a negotiation with the French and Spanish governments, relative to the purchase of the Island of New Orleans, and the provinces of East and West Florida. The nature and importance of the measure contemplated, have induced us to act upon the subject with closed doors.” An amendment that would have designated the appropriation for “the cession of the island of New Orleans, or other territories, to the United States, as may be stipulated by the President of the United States, by treaty with foreign nations claiming the jurisdiction and sovereignty thereof,” rather than for unspecified “extraordinary expenses,” failed in the Senate on 21 Feb. (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States…1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855-56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:202, 206; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States…to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:443–5; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:269; TJ to the Senate and the House of Representatives, 18 Jan., first message).

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