To the United States Senate and House of Representatives
United States [Philadelphia] October 27th 1791.
Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives.
I lay before you a copy of a letter and of sundry documents which I have received from the Governor of Pennsylvania, respecting certain persons who are said to have fled from Justice out of the State of Pennsylvania into that of Virginia; together with a Report of the Attorney General of the United States upon the same subject.1
I have received from the Governor of North Carolina a copy of an Act of the General Assembly of that State, authorizing him to convey to the United States, the right and jurisdiction of the said State over one Acre of land in Occacock Island, and ten Acres on the Cape Island within the said State, for the purpose of erecting Light Houses thereon, together with the deed of the Governor in pursuance thereof, and the original conveyances made to the State by the individual proprietors, which original conveyances contain Conditions that the Light house on Occacock shall be built before the 1st day of January 1801, and that on the Cape Island before the 8th day of October 1800. And I have caused these several papers to be deposited in the Office of the Secretary of State.2
A statement of the Returns of the enumeration of the Inhabitants of the United States, which have been received, will at this time be laid before you.3
DS, DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; LB, DLC:GW; copy, DNA: RG 233, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals.
1. For the enclosed letter from the governor of Pennsylvania on a controversial request for the extradition of two fugitives from Virginia and Edmund Randolph’s opinion of 20 July on the matter, see Thomas Mifflin to GW, 18 July, and Randolph to GW, 23 July, n.1.
2. For these documents and their transmittal to the State Department this day, see GW to U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 26 Oct., n.3, and GW to Martin, 14 Nov., n.1.
3. The enclosed “Schedule of the whole Number of Persons within the several Districts of the United States, according to an Act providing for the Enumeration of the Inhabitants of the United States, passed March the 1st: 1790” was signed by Thomas Jefferson on 24 Oct., who noted that it was “Truly stated from the original Returns deposited in the Office of the Secretary of State” (DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages). It reads:
|Districts||Free white Males of sixteen years & upwards, including Heads of Families||Free white Males under sixteen Years||Free white Females including Heads of Families||All other Free Persons||Slaves||Total|
|Free white Males of 21 Years & upwards, including Heads of Families||Free Males under twenty one Years of age||Free white Females including Heads of Families||All other persons||Slaves||Total|
|South West Territory||6,271||10,277||15,365||361||3,417||35,691|
|North West Territory|
The “Act providing for the enumeration of the Inhabitants of the United States” of 1 Mar. 1790 addressed Art. I, sec. 2 of the Federal Constitution, which reads in part: “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct.” The act empowered the marshals of the districts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia to divide their jurisdictions and appoint assistants for each division as they saw fit. Each assistant would be responsible for completing a schedule consisting of the names of heads of families and the numbers of free white males of sixteen years of age and older, free white males under sixteen, free white females, all other free persons, and slaves. The actual enumeration was to commence on 2 Aug. 1790 and close nine months later, and marshals were, by law, to file the returns with the clerks of their respective district courts and to transmit to the president on or before 1 Sept. 1791 “the aggregate amount of each description of persons within their respective districts.” The provisions of the law were extended to Rhode Island and Vermont by congressional acts of 5 July 1790 and 2 Mar. 1791 after those states joined the Union (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 101–3, 129, 197–98). Despite the admonition in the act of 1 Mar. 1790 that the district courts “carefully preserve” the original returns, those of the first census for Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Virginia, and the Southwest Territory were lost or destroyed, and therefore were not published by the federal government in 1907–8 with the returns of the other states.