“THE STATE OF OUR FINANCES CONTINUES TO FULFILL OUR EXPECTATIONS”: JEFFERSON’S 1804 MESSAGE TO CONGRESS, ORIGINAL BROADSIDE
JEFFERSON, Thomas. Message to Both Houses of Congress, November 8, 1804. IN: American Citizen, Extra. [New York: James Cheetham, 1804]. Original broadside, measuring 9-1/2 by 19-1/2 inches. $5200.
Early separate printing of Jefferson’s fourth message to Congress, in which he assures the nation that “peace and intercourse with other powers continue on the footing on which they are established by treaty.”
Jefferson’s fourth message focuses primarily on American relations with foreign powers. “In foreign affairs, which Jefferson was always disposed to keep in the hands of the executive, there were important matters of unfinished business, along with some fresh problems. He did not ignore these in his annual message to the legislators, but he appeared to view the world scene with relative complacency… Infringements on American rights and laws in coastal waters and in the country’s own harbors constituted virtually the only development in foreign relations that occasioned a call for congressional action” (Malone IV:441. See Ford VIII:323-32). “He believed that the United States should be neutral and assume a defensive posture with European powers” (Randall, 560). On the domestic side, negotiations with Indian tribes were progressing satisfactorily and the state of the nation’s finances was admirable. This was a highly favorable report, “foreshadowing no fresh executive action of consequence and leaving domestic matters largely to the wisdom of Congress” (Malone). Brigham I:608. Contemporary calculation in pen on verso.
Folds strengthened on verso with archival tape. Inoffensive notations on top margin and bottom corner. A few marginal tears and tiny wormholes. A near-fine copy of a scarce primary source.