George Washington Papers
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Tobias Lear to Thomas Jefferson, 23 November 1792

Tobias Lear to Thomas Jefferson

United States [Philadelphia] November 23d 1792

T. Lear has the honor to transmit to the Secretary of State the Commissions which were sent to the President for his signature, which they have received.1

T. Lear begs leave to observe that in the Commission of Mr Joy, it is expressed: “He demanding and receiving no Fees or Perquisites”—which appears to be contrary to the fourth Section of the Act passed during the last Session of Congress, entitled, “An Act concerning Consuls and Vice Consuls.” If the matter should strike the Secretary in the same light as it does T. Lear, it will undoubtedly be rectified.2

AL (letterpress copy), DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB (photocopy), DLC:GW.

1For the commissions returned to Jefferson with GW’s signature, see GW to the U.S. Senate, 19 Nov. 1792 (first letter).

2Jefferson wrote Benjamin Joy on 21 Nov. enclosing his commission as “Consul at Calcutta and other ports and places on the Coast of India” (DLC:

Jefferson Papers). According to section 4 of “An Act concerning Consuls and Vice-Consuls,” 14 April 1792, consuls could charge fees, as established by Congress, for specific consular services, and Joy’s final commission was modified to reflect this privilege (see 1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 255–56; a copy of Joy’s commission of 21 Nov. 1792 is in DNA: RG 59, Inventory No. 15, entry 777, Permanent and Temporary Consular Commissions). For background on Joy’s appointment, see George Cabot to GW, 16 Nov., and notes.

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