Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from the District of Columbia Commissioners, 19 December 1801

From the District of Columbia Commissioners

Commissioners Office, 19th. December 1801


Agreeably to the information given in our memorial of the 4th. Instant we have held a sale of Lots for ready money which we kept open ten days—It has produced by actual sales $4234, and by payments made by Debtors to prevent their property from being sold $7613, making together $11,847—yet our expenditures have been such as to leave at this time no more than $5,880 in our hands—. During the sale we pursued our general policy of not selling any property for less than the sum due on it to the public thinking it improper to change that system till it should be known what measures Government will take with respect to it; although (besides the interest due to the State of Maryland) the Commissioners note for $5000 discounted at the Bank of Columbia will become due 22/25th January next, and we estimate the Sums due for Operations on the roads and buildings, expenses of the Commissioners Office, and other contingencies to the end of the year at $1870, demands to which our present means are very inadequate.—

We are with sentiments of the highest respect Sir, Yr mo Ob Servts

William Thornton

Alex White

Tristram Dalton

RC (DLC); in Thomas Munroe’s hand, signed by Thornton, White, and Dalton; at foot of text: “President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 20 Dec. and so recorded in SJL. FC (DNA: RG 42, DCLB); with statement of account at foot of text. Tr (DNA: RG 233, PM, 7th Cong., 1st sess.); in Meriwether Lewis’s hand; in TJ’s hand on verso: “President of the United States” and the names of the commissioners. Transmitted to Congress with TJ’s message of 11 Jan. 1802.

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