James Monroe

Special Message

February 28, 1821

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

I herewith transmit to Congress certain extracts and a copy of letters received by the Secretary of State from the marshal of the United States for the eastern district of Virginia, in relation to the execution of the act of the 14th of March, 1820, to provide for taking the Fourth Census, together with the answers returned to that marshal by the Secretary of State. As the time within which the assistants of the marshals can legally make their returns expired on the first Monday of the present month, it would appear by the information from the marshal at Richmond that the completion of the Fourth Census as it respects the eastern district of Virginia will have been defeated not only as it regards the period contemplated by law, but during the whole of the current year, unless Congress, to whom the case is submitted, should by an act of the present session allow further time for making the returns in question.

As connected with this subject, it is also submitted for the consideration of Congress how far the marshals ought to be liable to the payment of postage on the conveyance of the papers concerning the census and manufactures by the mail. In one instance it has been already ascertained that this item of contingent expense will amount to nearly a moiety of the compensation of the marshal for the whole of his services. If the marshals are to be relieved from this charge, provision will be necessary by law either for the admission of it in their accounts or the refunding of it by the respective postmasters.


James Monroe, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206608

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