George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 15 February 1790

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States [New York] February 15th 1790.

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives.

I have directed my Secretary to lay before you1 the copy of a vote of the Legislature of the State of New Hampshire, to accept the Articles proposed in addition to, and amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of America, except the second Article—At the same time, will be delivered to you, the copy of a letter from His Excellency the President of the State of New Hampshire to the President of the United States.2

The originals of the above-mentioned vote and letter will be lodged in the Office of the Secretary of State.3

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; LB, DLC:GW; copy, DNA: RG 233, First Congress, Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals.

1Tobias Lear delivered GW’s message with its enclosures to Congress on 15 Feb. 1790. The House read the papers after Lear withdrew and ordered them to lie on the table. The Senate also read the president’s message on 15 Feb. but did not report it in its journal of proceedings under that date (DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 1:348–49,3:297–99).

2John Sullivan wrote to GW from Durham, N.H., on 29 Jan. 1790: “I have the honor to enclose you for the Information of Congress a vote of the Assembly of this State to Accept, all the Articles of Amendments to the Constitution of the United States Except the Second, which was rejected!” The enclosed 25 Jan. vote of the New Hampshire legislature is signed by Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas Bartlett and Secretary Joseph Pearson (DNA: RG 46, First Congress, President’s Messages).

On 3 Feb. Sullivan again wrote to GW: “In a former Letter I informed you that, this State had agreed to the amendments proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the United States except the Second Article—I now have the honor to inclose a copy of the vote.” The new enclosure has only minor differences from the one Sullivan apparently forgot he had already sent (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

3Lear transmitted the originals to the office of the secretary of state the next day (Lear to Alden, 16 Feb. 1790, DLC:GW).

Index Entries