Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the Senate and the House of Representatives, 18 January 1803

To the Senate and the House of Representatives

Gentlemen of the Senate and
of the House of Representatives

I now lay before Congress the annual account of the fund established for defraying the contingent charges of government. a single article of 1440. Dollars, paid for bringing home 72. seamen discharged in foreign ports from vessels sold abroad, is the only expenditure from that fund, leaving an unexpended balance of 18,560. Dollars in the treasury.

Th: Jefferson

[Jan. 18. 1803.]

RC (DNA: RG 46, LPPM, 7th Cong., 2d sess.); undated, with date supplied from PrC; endorsed by a Senate clerk as received 19 Jan. PrC (DLC) of letter, now missing, to the House of Representatives; date added by TJ in ink. Recorded in SJL as letters to the Senate and the House of Representatives of 18 Jan. with notation “Contingent account.” Enclosure: “Account of the Grant of Twenty thousand Dollars for the Contingent Charges of Government by ‘An Act making Appropriations for the support of Government for the year 1802,’” dated Register’s Office, 17 Jan. 1803, stating the single payment of $1,440 on 26 Oct. 1802, by order of the president, to “Daniel Cutter & Brothers, Owners of the ship Jefferson, being for the passage of 72 American Seamen in the said ship from Bourdeaux to Norfolk, per Treasury Settlement No. 13,876—and Warrant No. 3859,” leaving an unexpended balance on 31 Dec. 1802 of $18,560, to be accounted for in the next annual statement (MS in DNA: RG 233, PM, 7th Cong., 2d sess., in a clerk’s hand, signed by Joseph Nourse, endorsed by a House clerk; MS in DNA: RG 46, LPPM, 7th Cong., 2d sess., in same clerk’s hand, signed by Nourse, endorsed by a Senate clerk).

Gallatin had forwarded the account from the register’s office to the president on 17 Jan., stating: “The Secretary of the Treasury, has the honor to transmit to the President of the United States, triplicates of a statement of Expenditures, upon the Funds heretofore appropriated for defraying the Contingent expenses of Government, up to the 31:st of December last. All which is respectfully submitted” (RC in DLC; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Gallatin; at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 18 Jan. and “Contingent account” and so recorded in SJL). Regarding the payment for bringing home discharged seamen, see Vol. 38:531, 564.

The document printed above is recorded in the House and Senate journals as a letter of 19 Jan., the date Meriwether Lewis delivered it to the two chambers. The letter to the House (now missing) was presumably undated, as was the one to the Senate. The Senate read the letter and accompanying statement on the 19th and referred it to Gouverneur Morris, Stevens Thomson Mason, and Jonathan Dayton. On 19 Jan., the House read and ordered the message and statement to lie on the table (JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820-21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:254; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:293–4).

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