Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from the Commissioners of Accounts for the States, 13 March 1793

From the Commissioners of Accounts for the States

Office of Accounts March 13th. 1793


We have to Request that we may be furnished with an authenticated Copy of the last enumeration in Conformity to the Sixth Section of the act of Congress pass’d the 5th: Augst: 1790, entitled An Act to provide more effectually for the settlement of the Accounts between the United States and the Individual States. We have the Honor to be sir Your Obedt: hble: servts

Wm. Irvine

John Kean

Wry: Langdon

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Irvine, Kean, and Langdon; at foot of text: “The Honorable The Secy. of State”; endorsed by George Taylor, Jr., in part: “requesting a Census.”

Section 6 of the 5 Aug. 1790 ACT for settling the accounts of the states with the United States prescribed that each state’s share of the common charges of the Revolutionary War was to be apportioned by the Commissioners of Accounts on the basis of population, as determined by the first enumeration, or census, the same rule specified in Article I, section 2, of the Constitution for apportioning direct taxes and representation in the House of Representatives (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 , ii, 2357–9). According to a memorandum book kept by the Department of State, the Commissioners were furnished with a certified copy of the 1790 census on 14 Mch. 1793 (DNA: PCC, No. 187). The Commissioners made their final report on 29 June 1793, and President Washington submitted it to Congress on 5 Dec. 1793 (Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , xv, 252–3n, xix, 37–8n; Ferguson, Power of the Purse description begins E. James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776–1790, Chapel Hill, 1961 description ends , 322, 332–3).

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