Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Harry Innes, 3 January 1793

To Harry Innes

Philadelphia January 3rd. 1793.


No list of the Votes of the Electors of your district for a President and Vice President at the last election having yet been received by the President of the Senate, I do, in obedience to the law, send the Bearer hereof   as special messenger, to desire that you will be pleased to transmit by him to the Seat of Government the list of the said Votes lodged in your hands by the Electors of your District. I have the honor to be with the most perfect respect Sir, Your most obedient and most humble servant

PrC (DLC); in the hand of George Taylor, Jr., unsigned; at foot of text: “The Judge of the District of Kentucky.” FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL).

A statute of March 1792 stipulated that each state’s presidential and vice presidential electors meet and vote on the first Wednesday in December. The electors were to sign three certificates listing all the votes cast, two to be sent to the President of the Senate (one delivered in person, the other by the Post Office) and the third to be deposited with the state’s District Judge. The Secretary of State was to send a special messenger to obtain the judge’s copy when any state’s tally had not reached the national capital by the first Wednesday in January. Congress was to open the certificates and count the votes on the second Wednesday in February (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The first two volumes of the set cited here have “Compiled … by Joseph Gales, Senior” on the title page and bear the caption “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. The remaining volumes bear the caption “History of Congress” on both recto and verso pages. Those using the first two volumes with the latter caption will need to employ the date of the debate or the indexes of debates and speakers. description ends , iii, 1341–3). John Adams, the President of the Senate, informed TJ on Wednesday, 3 Jan. 1793, that he had not received the votes from the electors of Kentucky, but no letter to that effect has been found or is recorded in SJL (see TJ to Adams, 1 Mch. 1793).

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