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Special Message

January 24, 1803

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

I transmit a report by the superintendent of the city of Washington on the affairs of the city committed to his care. By this you will perceive that the resales of lots prescribed by an act of the last session of Congress did not produce a sufficiency to pay the debt to Maryland to which they are appropriated, and as it was evident that the sums necessary for the interest and installments due to that State could not be produced by a sale of the other public lots without an unwarrantable sacrifice of the property, the deficiencies were of necessity drawn from the Treasury of the United States.

The office of the surveyor for the city, created during the former establishment, being of indispensable necessity, it has been continued, and to that of the superintendent, substituted instead of the board of commissioners at the last session of Congress, no salary was annexed by law. These offices being permanent, I have supposed it more agreeable to principle that their salaries should be fixed by the Legislature, and therefore have assigned them none. Their services to be compensated are from the 1st day of June last.

The marshal of the District of Columbia has, as directed by law, caused a jail to be built in the city of Washington. I inclose his statements of the expenses already incurred and of what remains to be finished. The portion actually completed has rendered the situation of the persons confined much more comfortable and secure the it has been heretofore.


Thomas Jefferson, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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