Thomas Jefferson Papers

IX. The Secretary of State to the Commissioners of the Federal District, 29 January 1791

IX. The Secretary of State to the Commissioners of the Federal District

Philadelphia 29th. Jany. 1791.


Mr. Carroll, supposing that Doubts may arise, whether he can act as one of the Commissioners for the federal Seat, while a Member of Congress, has declined, and has returned me the Commission, which had been deposited with him as one of the Members; I have now the Honor to enclose it to Mr. Johnson, first named therein,1 and to observe that two Members suffice for Business. It will be some Time before a Third will be named. The President, having thought Major L’Enfant peculiarly qualified to make such a Draught of the Ground as will enable himself to fix on the Spot for the public Buildings; he has been written to for that Purpose, and will be sent on, if he chuses to undertake it.2—I have the Honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient, & most humble Servant,

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: photostat of unlocated original); in clerk’s hand, signed by TJ. PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Thomas Johnson Esqr.,” this being a clerk’s copy, unsigned, of the letter to Johnson with the single variation indicated in note 1 below. FC (DNA: RG 59, PCC No. 120). Tr of Extract (DLC: Digges-L’Enfant-Morgan Papers); see note 2.

1PrC contains this note at foot of text: “Note. In the Letter to Mr. Stuart these words were comprised in the Brackets instead of [you] viz. Mr. Johnson first named therein.” A similar note is appended to FC.

2The Extract comprises this sentence only.

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