George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 20 December 1791

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States [Philadelphia] December the 20th 1791.

Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives.

I lay before you the copy of a letter which I have received from the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and of sundry documents which accompanied it, relative to a contract for the purchase of a certain tract of land bounding on Lake Erie; together with a copy of a report of the Secretary of State on the same subject.1

Go: Washington

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.

For the background to this message, see Thomas Mifflin to GW, 15 Dec., and Thomas Jefferson to GW, 19 Dec. 1791.

1The House of Representatives received GW’s message on 20 Dec. and appointed James Madison, Egbert Benson, and Theodore Sedgwick a committee to bring in a bill to carry into effect the contract with Pennsylvania. The committee reported the next day, and its bill passed the House on 26 Dec. and the Senate on 28 December. The act, which GW signed on 3 Jan. 1792, authorized him to issue letters patent granting the land to Pennsylvania (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 2d Cong., 1st sess., 53, 274–75, 277, 284; 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 229). On 25 Feb. 1792 Mifflin sent GW a certificate, dated 24 Feb., from Oliver Wolcott, comptroller of the United States, stating that the purchase price for the land had been paid and requesting GW to take measures to complete the conveyance (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). At GW’s direction Tobias Lear sent Mifflin’s letter and its enclosure to Attorney General Edmund Randolph on 25 Feb. 1792 with instructions to have letters patent prepared (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

Index Entries