George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 7 November 1792

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States [Philadelphia] November 7th 1792.

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

In pursuance of the law, I now lay before you a statement of the administration of the funds appropriated to certain foreign purposes, together with a letter from the Secretary of State, explaining the same.1

I also lay before you

A Copy of a letter and representation from the Chief Justice and Associate Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, stating the difficulties and inconveniencies which attend the discharge of their duties according to the present Judiciary System.2

A Copy of a letter from the Judges attending the Circuit Court of the United States for the North Carolina District in June last, containing their observations on an act passed during the last Session of Congress, entitled “An Act to provide for the settlement of the claims of Widows and Orphans, barred by the limitations heretofore established, and to regulate the claims to Invalid Pensions”3—and

A Copy of the Constitution formed for the State of Kentucky.4

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–93, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; copy, DNA: RG 233, Second Congress, 1791–93, House Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals; LB, DLC:GW.

1See Thomas Jefferson to GW, 3 Nov. (first letter), and notes 1 and 3. For Jefferson’s draft of this introductory paragraph, see Jefferson to GW, 5 Nov., n.2.

2See the Supreme Court Justices to GW, 9 Aug. 1792, and note 1. For the attorney general’s suggestion that GW bring the “necessity of reforming our judicial system” to Congress’s attention, see Edmund Randolph to GW, 28 October.

3See James Iredell and John Sitgreaves to GW, 8 June 1792. For the earlier legislation of 23 Mar. 1792 concerning the “the Claims of Widows and Orphans” and “the Claims to Invalid Pensions,” see 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 243–45. This act was modified by Congress in “An Act to regulate the Claims to Invalid Pensions,” which GW signed on 28 Feb. 1793 (ibid., 324–25). Randolph also had suggested in his letter to GW of 28 Oct. that the problem of providing “some temporary mode” for “the relief of many crippled soldiers” merited GW mentioning the subject to Congress.

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