To Thomas Munroe
Monticello. Aug. 8. 1802.
The inclosed letter to mr Mason, & that from mr Stoddert will explain themselves. be so good as to peruse & deliver them to mr Mason, and consult with him on their contents. whatever he and you think may be lawfully done, which may be an indulgence to mr Stoddert and not injure the public, I would wish you to do without delaying to consult me. Accept my best wishes & respects.
PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr. Monroe”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Enclosures: (1) TJ to John Thomson Mason, 8 Aug. 1802 (recorded in SJL but not found). (2) Benjamin Stoddert to TJ, 8 Aug. 1802 (recorded in SJL as received from Georgetown on 8 Aug. but not found).
The missing enclosures related to efforts by Benjamin STODDERT to delay the forced sale of his lots in Washington, D.C. As part of the act abolishing the board of commissioners for the city, the superintendent of Washington was directed to dispose of all city lots sold prior to 6 May 1796, but which remained unpaid for, by 1 Nov. 1802. Proceeds were to be applied toward repayment of the $50,000 loan from the state of Maryland. In June, Munroe began advertising the public sale of a sizable number of city lots to take place on 30 Aug. Writing Munroe on 28 Aug., Stoddert forwarded a list of 96 lots that he wished “to be preserved & not offered at Public sale, until 20 October, before which time I hope to pay for them.” After consulting with Mason, Munroe agreed to the postponement (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 , 2:176; Washington Federalist, 9 Aug. 1802; Stoddert to Munroe, 28 Aug. 1802, in DNA: RG 42, LR; TJ to Munroe, 10 Sep. 1802). For background on Stoddert’s landholdings in Washington and his previous efforts to delay their sale, see Vol. 35:97–100, 113, 175–6.