Thomas Jefferson Papers

IV. Secretary of State to the Governor of Vermont, 28 February 1791

IV. Secretary of State to the Governor of Vermont

Philadelphia February 28th. 1791.


I have the Honor to transmit to your Excellency an authenticated Copy of the Act of Congress for the admission of the State of Vermont into this Union, and of the Act regulating the Number of Representatives to be chosen by the States of Kentucky and Vermont, also two Copies of the Acts passed at the first and second Sessions of the Congress of the United States.

Permit me at the same time through the Channel of your Excellency, to lay before the Legislature of your State, an authentic Copy of the articles in addition to, and amendment of, the Constitution of the United States, proposed by Congress to the Legislatures of the several States for their Ratification, pursuant to the fifth article of the original Constitution.—I have the Honor to be with great Respect, Your Excellency’s Most obedient & most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson

RC (VtMS); at foot of text: “His Excellency Thomas Chittenden Esquire”; in clerk’s hand except for signature by TJ. FC (DNA: RG 59, PCC No. 120). Not recorded in SJL or SJPL.

In the office of the Secretary of State in Montpelier, Vermont, there is a collection of printed Acts of Congress signed and attested by TJ between 25 Feb. 1791 and 2 Mch. 1793, many in duplicate and one in triplicate. These Acts, numbering forty-three separate titles, constitute perhaps the largest group of Acts attested by TJ as Secretary of State to be found in any state archives. The second of the Acts mentioned above has the seal affixed to a separate sheet and attached by ribbon to the printed text; the attestation in a clerk’s hand and TJ’s signature appear below the seal. Another copy of this printed text bears the statement above TJ’s signature: “Deposited among the Rolls in the Office of the Secretary of State”; beneath this Henry Remsen wrote: “Mr. Childs will please to observe, that since the words ‘Deposited among the rolls &c.’ have been substituted for the words ‘A true copy,’ it will be unnecessary and perhaps improper to continue the use of the latter -from his h’ble Servt. H. R. Junr.” (RC in PHC; addressed “Messrs. Childs & Swaine printers New York”; postmarked 27 Feb. [1791] and franked by TJ).

The amendments to the Constitution that TJ enclosed were the twelve proposed to the states on 25 Sep. 1789. Vermont ratified all of them on 3 Nov. 1791.

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