Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the House of Representatives, 22 December 1802

To the House of Representatives

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives

I now transmit a report from the Secretary of state with the information requested in your resolution of the 17th. instant.

In making this communication, I deem it proper to observe that I was led by the regard due to the rights and interests of the United States and to the just sensibility of the portion of our fellow citizens more immediately affected by the irregular proceeding at New Orleans, to lose not a moment in causing every step to be taken which the occasion claimed from me: being equally aware of the obligation to maintain in all cases the rights of the nation, and to employ for that purpose those just and honorable means, which belong to the character of the United States.

Th: Jefferson

RC (DNA: RG 233, PM, 7th Cong., 2d sess.); endorsed by a clerk. PrC (DLC).

The resolution, passed by the House on 17 Dec., stated: “That the President of the United States be requested to cause to be laid before this House, such information in possession of the Department of State, as relates to the violation, on the part of Spain, of the twenty-second article of the treaty of friendship, limits, and navigation, between the United States and the King of Spain” (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:253).

After Meriwether Lewis delivered the communication and the papers were read, the House ordered that the materials lie on the table. William Duane printed the message and accompanying papers as Message from the President of the United States, Transmitting a Report from the Secretary of State, with the Information Requested in a Resolution of the House, of the 17th Instant, Relative to the Violation on the Part of Spain, of the Twenty-second Article of the Treaty of Friendship, Limits and Navigation, between the United States and the King of Spain (Washington, D.C., 1802).

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