Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to United States Congress, 3 December 1806

Dec. 3. 1806.

To the Senate & House of Representatives of the US. of America

I have the satisfaction to inform you that the negociation depending between the US. and the government of Great Britain is proceeding in a spirit of friendship & accomodation which promises a result of mutual advantage. delays indeed have taken place occasioned by the long illness, and subsequent death of the British minister charged with that duty. but the Commissioners appointed by that government to resume the negociation have shewn every disposition to hasten it’s progress. it is however a work of time; as many arrangements are necessary to place our future harmony on stable grounds. in the mean time we find by the communications of our plenipotentiaries, that a temporary suspension of the act of the last session, prohibiting certain importations, would, as a mark of candid disposition on our part, & of confidence in the temper & views with which they have been met, have a happy effect on it’s course. a step so friendly will afford further evidence that all our proceedings have flowed from views of justice & conciliation, and that we give them willingly that form which may best meet corresponding dispositions.

Add to this that the same motives which produced the postponement of the act till the 15th. of November last, are in favor of it’s further suspension: and as we have reason to hope that it may soon yield to arrangements of mutual consent & convenience, justice seems to require that the same measure may be dealt out to the few cases which may fall within it’s short course, as to all others preceding & following it. I cannot therefore but recommend the suspension of this act for a reasonable time, on considerations of justice, amity, & the public interests.

Th: Jefferson

DNA: RG 233—LRHR—Legislative Records of the House of Representatives.

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