George Washington Papers

Circular to the United States Senators, 1 March 1793

Circular to the United States Senators

(Circular)[Philadelphia] March 1st 1793.

The President of the United States to [ ] Senator for the State of [ ].

Certain matters touching the public good, requiring that the Senate shall be convened on Monday the 4th instant, you are desired to attend at the Senate Chamber in Philadelphia on that day, then & there to receive & deliberate on such communications as shall be made to you on my part.1

George Washington

LB, DLC:GW. A number of the letters sent by GW to individual senators have survived. An LS, addressed to Theodore Foster of Rhode Island, was offered for sale in July 1992 in Profiles in History, catalog 16, item 9; an LS, endorsed by and, presumably, addressed to Robert Morris of Pennsylvania, is listed in American Book-Prices Current, 4 (New York, 1898), 483; an LS, addressed to John Rutherford of New Jersey, was owned (1970) by Louis L. Schlosser, Jr., of Detroit, Michigan; and an LS, addressed to Roger Sherman of Connecticut, is at MHi: Miscellaneous Bound Collection.

1GW’s circular was covered by a brief note from Tobias Lear to the U.S. Senate of this date, which reads, “I am directed by the President of the United States to transmit to you the enclosed Summonses for the members of the Senate to meet on the fourth day of march, and to request that you will have them delivered to such of the Gentlemen to whom they are directed, as may be now in Philadelphia” (DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Senate Records of Executive Proceedings, Other Records).

A note following the letter-book copy of the circular letter indicates that the secretary of the Senate, Samuel A. Otis, “had communicated the foregoing Summons to the following members of the Senate”: John Brown, Aaron Burr, George Cabot, John Edwards, Oliver Ellsworth, Theodore Foster, James Gunn, Benjamin Hawkins, John Henry, Ralph Izard, Rufus King, John Langdon, James Monroe, Robert Morris, Richard Potts, George Read, Moses Robinson, John Rutherfurd, Roger Sherman, and John Taylor. The names of Senators Richard Bassett, Stephen R. Bradley, Pierce Butler, Philemon Dickinson, William Few, Samuel Johnston, Joseph Stanton, Jr., Caleb Strong, and Paine Wingate are not on the list. A similar letter was sent to Vice President John Adams in his capacity as president of the Senate (LS, DNA: RG 46, Second Congress, 1791–1793, Senate Records of Executive Proceedings, Other Records). For the communications received and deliberated at this special session, see GW to U.S. Senate, 4 March. The senators also witnessed GW take the oath of office as president and deliver his Second Inaugural Address.

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