Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 24 December 1801

From James Madison

Dec. 24. [1801]

J. Madison’s respectful compliments to the President

It appears that the Secy. of State, the Secy. of the Treasury, & the Attorney General were appd. Commissrs. to settle with Georgia, by their names, but with their official titles annexed. On the resignation of Col. Pickering, Mr. Marshal was appd. in his room, No resignation of his Commission for the Georgia business being referred to or implied. It seems to have been understood, that altho’ these public officers were appd. as private individuals, these commissions ceased with their Official characters, and consequently the three commissions are at present vacant.

RC (DLC); partially dated; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 24 Dec. 1801, received from the State Department on the same day, and so recorded in SJL with notation “Georgia Commrs.”; also endorsed by TJ: “Commrs. for settlg. dispute with Georgia.”

Commission for the Georgia Business: authorized by an act passed in April 1798 and amended in May 1800, President John Adams appointed secretaries of state Timothy Pickering and John Marshall, secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, and former Pennsylvania congressman Samuel Sitgreaves (not attorney general Charles Lee) to serve as United States commissioners to settle with Georgia commissioners the conflicting claims in the Yazoo lands (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 1:549–50; 2:69–70; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:331, 356, 400; Vol. 33:678). For the nominations to succeed these commissioners, see TJ to the Senate, 5 Jan. 1802.

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