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Special Message

March 29, 1802

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

The Secretary of State, charged with the civil affairs of the several Territories of the United States, has received from the marshal of Columbia a statement of the condition, unavoidably distressing, of the persons committed to his custody on civil or criminal process and the urgency for some legislative provisions for their relief. There are other important cases wherein the laws of the adjoining States under which the Territory is placed, though adapted to the purposes of those States, are insufficient for those of the Territory from the dissimilar or defective organization of its authorities. The letter and statement of the marshal and the disquieting state of the Territory generally are now submitted to the wisdom and consideration of the Legislature.


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

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