Thomas Jefferson Papers

VIII. Governor of the Northwest Territory to the Secretary of State, 11 February 1791

VIII. Governor of the Northwest Territory to the Secretary of State

Philadelphia February 11th. 1791


I beg leave to present the enclosed report of my proceedings in the country on the Mississippi1 in the course of the last year, and to request that you will please to lay it before the President of the United States.2 A part, if not the whole of them, has no doubt been transmitted by the secretary of the territory from time to time; but as I was directed to report them to Congress,3 they are now collected into one view. I am sensible Sir, that it may have been expected to have been done earlier, but the situation4 I have been in ever since last June during which time I have been obliged to travel near upon five thousand miles, either upon horseback, or in an open boat and separated from my papers prevented it.5—I have the honor to be with great respect Sir, Your most obedient servant

Ar. St. Clair

Tr (DNA: RG 59, NWT, M/470); clerical omission in text supplied as indicated in note 4 below. 1st Dft (O: St. Clair Papers); mutilated but containing some deletions in phraseology proving that it was the composition draft. 2d. Dft (O: St. Clair Papers); differing slightly from 1st Dft and from Tr as indicated in notes below. Not recorded in SJL or SJPL.

12d. Dft reads “… proceedings in the Illinois country.”

22d. Dft reads: “… request that you will lay it before Congress.”

32d. Dft reads: “… as I am directed by the Resolution of Congress of the 28th. of August 1788 to report specially they are now collected into one View.”

4Preceding two words omitted by clerk and supplied from 2d. Dft.

52d. Dft contains the following passage amended in part or deleted from (missing) RC: “… near upon five thousand Miles, either in an open Boat or upon Horseback, and often separated from my Papers rendered it impossible. The enquiring into the Claims and Titles of the People of that Country which are all in french and the necessity of translating every public communication into that Language, without any Person to assist me, for no Person that had a competent knowledge of both was to be found, was a very laborious Business will account for some of the Papers which accompany the Report appearing in that language, and that I had not always Leisure to make the translations into English will be an excuse for that impropriety.”

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