Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Brown Cutting, 15 September 1789

From John Brown Cutting

London 15 Sepr. 1789

My Dear Sir

By some accident the inclosed did not get into the post office timely enough on friday evening to be forwarded.

I have not heard of any more recent arrivals from America. The Legislature of New York have chosen General Schuyler and Mr. Rufus King to represent them in the senate of Congress. The appointment of the latter to so high an office is the most signal instance of disregard to local attachments and prejudices that I have known any state in the Union manifest. The house of representatives of which [Mr.] King was a member it seems had first nominated Ph. Schuyler [and] James Duane and sent up their names to the senate. The senate agreed to the nomination of Mr. Schuyler but non concur’d in that of Mr. Duane, whereupon Mr. King being nominated was immediately elected by the unanimous suffrages of the representatives and a large majority of the senate.

By the return of the next post I hope to hear that you have the prospect of a commodious cabbin in some good ship at Havre. Mr. Trumbull intends to embark in a vessel that sails for New York about the 11th of October. Mr. Payne breakfasted with Mr. Rutledge and myself this morning. His most beautiful iron bridge is to be brought piece meal to town in a few days. I am told that as soon as he had put together what he calls one rib of it the iron master said if he woud let it remain at the forge that was the only compensation he wish’d for the labour and expence of the experiment. Mr. Rumsey is proceeding with sanguine alacrity to finish his steam sloop. I have the honor to be with great respect and attachment Your Most Obed Sert,

John Brown Cutting

RC (DLC); endorsed. Recorded in SJL as received 19 Sep. 1789. Enclosure: Cutting to TJ, 11 Sep. 1789. The enclosure may also have included a cover addressed by Cutting to “Hon. Thomas Jefferson Esquire” which contained, in Cutting’s hand, a copy of “An Act for establishing an Executive Department to be denominated the department of Foreign Affairs” as enacted 27 July 1789—evidently the first glimpse provided TJ of the statutory regulations governing his next office—and the following extract from the proceedings in the House of Representatives, also in Cutting’s hand:

“Mr. Boudinot in the Chair July 27. 1789

The report of the committee appointed to confer with a committee of the Senate in preparing joint rules to be established between the two houses for the enrollment, preservation, attestation and publication of the acts of Congress, and to regulate the mode of presenting addresses and other acts to the President of the United States was taken up.—On motion of Mr. Sedgwick the following resolution was agreed to, vizt. That it is the opinion of this committee a select committee ought to be appointed to prepare and report a bill, to provide, without establishing a new department, for the safe keeping of the acts, records and great seal of the United States—for the publication, preservation, and authentication of the acts of Congress—for establishing the fees of office, and prescribing the forms of Commissions, &c. This resolution being added to the report, and the discussion being finished, the committee arose and the Chairman reported the same with amendments which were acceded to by the house: a committee consisting of Mr. Sedgwick, Mr. Matthews and Mr. Wynkoop was agreeably to the said resolution appointed” (DLC: TJ Papers, 50: 8585–6). Cutting’s information arrived in London early in Sep.: on Monday, 7 Sep. 1789, Gouverneur Morris, then in London, recorded in his diary: “Mr. Cutting, Mr. Rutledge and a young Mr. Smith of Carolina come in. They give … a very pleasing Account of the Affairs of America. … They have it seems Accounts as late as the 29th. of July; which is ten Days later than my last Letters. The Act for organizing the Department of Foreign Affairs had then been passed and in the right Form, that is, rendering the Chief removable at the Pleasure of the President” (Morris, Diary, i, 207–8).

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