To James Duane1
[New York, March 3, 1789]2
It is in my opinion intirely necessary that the Common Council should be convened this day in order to pass an act for appropriating the City Hall to the use of Congress. This act should be published in the papers & notified by yourself, or if you are not well enough by a committee or member of your board to the senators & representatives as they arrive. The Philadelphians are endeavouring to raise some cavils on this point. The thing must not pass to day.3 For propriety absolutely requires that the Members should be offered a place by tomorrow which is the day for assembling.
ALS, facsimile in Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, V, 1166. According to Stokes, the letter was reproduced from “the original in the collection of J. Pierpont Morgan, Esq., formerly in the collection of the late John D. Crimmins” (ibid., 1235).
1. Duane was mayor of New York City.
2. The letter is undated except for “Tuesday” which appears at the bottom of the page.
3. The Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York description begins Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York (New York, 1917). description ends , I, 432, for March 3, 1789, record the following:
“Whereas this Board did on the 17th Day of September last Resolve that the whole of the City Hall of this City be appropriated for the accommodation of the General Government of the United States And whereas the said Building hath been improved & repaired for the purpose Resolved that Mr Recorder be requested on behalf of this Board to communicate to the Congress of the United States the Substance of the said Resolution of the 17th September last in such manner as he shall deem most respectful & proper.”