George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 3 January 1791

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States January 3d 1791.

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives.

I lay before you a copy of an exemplified Copy of an Act passed by the Legislature of the State of New Jersey, for vesting in the United States of America the jurisdiction of a Lot of Land at Sandy Hook in the County of Monmouth; and a Copy of the letter which accompanied said Act, from the Governor of the State of New Jersey to the President of the United States.1

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The beacon on Sandy Hook, N J., owned by the state of New York, was destroyed by a storm in November 1789 and was rebuilt at federal expense in 1790 (see Hamilton to GW, 21 June 1790). On 5 April 1790 GW transmitted to Congress an act of the New York legislature transferring title to the lighthouse property to the United States (see GW to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 5 April 1790). By an act of the New Jersey legislature, that state ceded jurisdiction over the property to the United States. The act was transmitted to GW by Gov. William Paterson and was laid before Congress by Tobias Lear on 3 Jan. 1791 (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 3:652). Lear transmitted a copy of the act and Paterson’s letter of transmittal to Jefferson the same day (Lear to Jefferson, 3 Jan. 1791, DLC:GW).

1The enclosed copy of the act has not been found.

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