Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Anna Young, 4 February 1802

To Anna Young

Washington Feb. 4. 1802.


Immediately on reciept of your letter of Jan. 21. I referred it to the Secretary at war, who was best acquainted with the subject of it, desiring him to investigate the nature of your claim, to see whether it could be effected, and to point out the course to be pursued. he accordingly has made a thorough enquiry into it, and assures me that yours is one of a class of cases which have been barred by two or three different laws of the United States, which would render vain any attempt to bring it forward. it would have been more pleasing to me to have been able to assure you that your wishes could be fulfilled. but the laws being opposed to this, I can only relieve you from further useless pursuits, and assure you that my attentions have been duly bestowed on your case.

Accept my best wishes and respects.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); in ink at foot of text: “Mrs. Anna Young Norwich Connecticut.”

Two or three different laws: resolutions of the Confederation Congress, dated 2 Nov. 1785 and 23 July 1787, limited the time for submitting any outstanding claims against the United States. An act of Congress, dated 23 Mch. 1792, declared that those resolutions, as far as they had barred claims by widows and orphans of Revolutionary War officers to seven years of half-pay, were to be suspended for a term of two years from the passage of said act (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , 29:866, 33:392; 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 , 1:243–5).

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