George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 18 February 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Feb. 18. 1793.

Th: Jefferson has the honor to send to the President the plan of the Federal territory just received by mister Ellicot,1 as also a letter2 & message on the subject.3

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB (photocopy), DLC:GW.

1Surveyor Andrew Ellicott had submitted his original plan for the boundary of the District of Columbia in January 1793 (D.C. Commissioners to GW, 5 Jan. 1793, and note 2). GW ordered Tobias Lear to have Thomas Jefferson evaluate Ellicott’s plat before sending it to Congress (Lear to Jefferson, 11 Jan. 1793). Jefferson returned the plat to the commissioners on 15 January with a cover letter that reads, “The President, thinking it would be better that the outlines at least of the city and perhaps of Georgetown should be laid down in the plat of the Territory, I have the honor now to send it, and to desire that mister Ellicot may do it as soon as convenient that it may be returned in time to be laid before Congress” (DLC: Jefferson Papers). On 8 Feb., Ellicott gave the revised plat, now “amended agreeably to the Presidents directions,” to the commissioners, who forwarded it to Jefferson on 11 Feb. (DNA: RG 42, Records of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, Proceedings; see also Ehrenberg, “Mapping the Nation’s Capital,” description begins Ralph E. Ehrenberg. “Mapping the Nation’s Capital: The Surveyor’s Office, 1791–1818.” Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress 36 (1979): 279–319. description ends 282). The plat has not been identified.

2For the letter, see the enclosure below.

3The message was Jefferson’s draft of GW to U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 18 Feb. 1793.

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