Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Arthur Fenner, 31 August 1790

From Arthur Fenner

State of Rhode Island. Providence Augt. 31 1790


Having been informed that it was in contemplation to procure the Laws of the United States to be printed, in one of the Newspapers in each of the States, I therefore take the liberty to recommend the Paper published by Mr. Bennet Wheeler entitled The United States Chronicle political commercial and Historical as suitable to be employed for the purpose, should such a measure be Adopted.

This paper has been published to general satisfaction nearly six Years and I believe has a more extensive Circulation in this State than any other paper published in it. The Publication of the Laws therefore in this paper would cause a Knowledge of them to be more generally diffused and would give perhaps as much or more satisfaction than if published in any other Paper in this State. I have the Honour to be Sir with the Highest sentiments of Esteem & Regard your most Obedient & humble Servt,

Arthur Fenner Govr.

RC (DNA: RG 59, LGS). Recorded in SJL as received 26 Sep. 1790.

On 26 Aug. 1790 Bennett Wheeler wrote TJ that he had received information that the laws of the United States “are published in the Newspapers of some of the States by your Order at the Expence of Government, and that it was in Contemplation to have it done in each State”; he thereupon offered “the United States Chronicle for that Purpose, upon the same Terms as are allowed to others. Our Paper has the most extensive Circulation of any in the State, and no Attention of mine shall be wanting to have the Work well done” (same; also endorsed and recorded in SJL as received 26 Sep. 1790). Jabez Bowen wrote TJ also, 3 Sep. 1790, saying that Wheeler’s paper had as large a circulation and was “as Correctly Printed as any one in the State”; he hoped Wheeler would be given the business “if ‘tis not pre-engaged” (same; endorsed by TJ as received 26 Sep. 1790 and so recorded in SJL).

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