Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Christopher Ellery, 1 November 1803

From Christopher Ellery

Novr. 1st. 1803

C. Ellery has the honor to offer his highest respects to the President, and to request his permission to present a little pamphlet, on a subject to be brought before Congress, extremely interesting to the merchants of R. Island, and worthy of attention in a political point of view—

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 1 Nov. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: William Hunter, Observations on the Petitions from Various Merchants of Rhode-Island, to the Congress of the United States, Praying to be Relieved from the Penalties of Certain Exportation Bonds (Newport, R.I., 1803; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952-59, 5 vols. description ends No. 3308).

On 1 Nov. 1803, Rhode Island merchants Charles D’Wolf, Constant Taber, William Gardner, Simon Davis, and Samuel Martin presented petitions to the House of Representatives praying to be relieved from bonds they entered into as principal and sureties “for the delivery of a quantity of domestic distilled spirits without the limits of the United States.” Certificates to cancel the bonds had been rejected for what the petitioners called “technical difficulties.” After consideration by the Committee of Commerce and Manufactures, the House referred the petitions to the comptroller of the Treasury on 20 Jan. 1804 (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:428-9, 459, 460, 463, 471, 485, 545; Hunter, Observations, 4).

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