Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 12 November 1792

To George Washington

Nov. 12. 92.

Th: Jefferson has the honor to inclose to the President Judge Turner’s answer.—His office has been thoroughly searched, and no copy exists there of the act of Virginia giving money for the federal buildings: that of Maryland only is there. He is in hopes it may be among the President’s papers.

Dr. Barton, a learned and very ingenious gentleman of this city, mentioning to Th:J. that he had never had the honour of being presented to the President, asked to be presented. If the President has no objections Th:J. will take that liberty tomorrow at three aclock.

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); addressed: “The President of the U.S.”; endorsed by Tobias Lear. Tr (Lb in same, SDC). Not recorded in SJL.

For Judge Turner’s answer, see note to TJ’s letter to him of 9 Nov. 1792. On 10 Dec. 1789 the General Assembly of Virginia adopted a resolution offering to contribute $120,000 toward the erection of public buildings in the Federal District if Congress agreed to locate the capital on the banks of the Potomac, provided that Maryland made a similar donation of at least three-fifths that amount. In the November session of the following year, the Maryland General Assembly agreed by resolution to the Virginia proposal and appropriated $72,000. The Virginia legislature fulfilled its pledge on 27 Dec. 1790 by passing an act which appropriated the $120,000. Each state’s payment was to be made in three equal, annual installments (see Vol. 17: 164; Hening, description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, Richmond, 1809–23, 13 vols. description ends xiii, 125; Laws of Maryland, Made and Passed at a Session of Assemblyin1790 [Annapolis, n.d.]). Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton was professor of natural history and botany at the University of Pennsylvania.

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