James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Simon Snyder, 20 June 1809

From Simon Snyder

Lancaster June 20th. 1809


In obedience to the directions of the legislature of Pennsylvania—I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a resolution, instructing the Senators, and requesting the Representatives of this state in Congress to use their influence, to procure the passing of a law establishing weights and measures, with a request that you will be pleased to lay the same before Congress.1 I have the honor to be with respect your most obt servt

Simon Snyder


Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, That our Senators in Congress be instructed, and our Representatives requested, and they are hereby so instructed and requested to use their influence to procure the passing a law establishing weights and measures.

Resolved That the Governor be and he is hereby requested to transmit a copy of this Resolution to the Executive of the United States, in order that it may be presented to Congress at their next Session.2

James Engle.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.

P. C. Lane.
Speaker of the Senate.

Approved the twenty-ninth day of March, one thousand, eight hundred and nine.


Simon Snyder.

RC and enclosure (DLC); letterbook copy (PHarH). RC docketed by JM, who noted: “Recd. June 30. 1809.” Enclosure in a clerk’s hand.

1Despite Jefferson’s 1790 report on weights and measures (made in collaboration with JM) and the efforts to obtain passage of a standardizing act in Congress, the required legislation had never passed both houses. For all his interest in the subject while serving as secretary of state, Jefferson did not seek the legislation during his presidency, even though Pennsylvania Republicans urged him to remind Congress that the matter required its attention (PJM description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (1st ser., vols. 1–10, Chicago, 1962–77, vols. 11–, Charlottesville, Va., 1977—). description ends , 13:226–27; Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (20 vols. to date; Princeton, N.J., 1950—). description ends , 16:605–10, 616, 617; John Dorsey to Jefferson, 20 Dec. 1807 [DLC: Jefferson Papers]).

2JM received this letter two days after the Eleventh Congress had adjourned its first session. No evidence has been found that he submitted the enclosure to Congress during the next session.

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