James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Wyllys Silliman, 2 September 1801 (Abstract)

§ From Wyllys Silliman

2 September 1801, Marietta. Trusting in his belief that the administration wishes the laws of the national legislature to be generally promulgated, suggests their publication be extended to the Northwest Territory, even though the strict letter of the act of 1798 does not cover territories.1 Owing to expense of importing books, a newspaper is the main source of information for the populace, and it would be advantageous to have the laws in a newspaper. Out of a desire to inculcate knowledge among the people, he has arranged for publication of a newspaper which will have extensive circulation both in the territory and in the western counties of Virginia, but he cannot cover expense without publishing laws. Informs JM that the nearest papers that do publish laws are in Winchester and Lexington.

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