H[enry] C[lay] to MVB, 4 February 1828
Private & Inofficial
4th Feb. 1828.
My dear Sir
After I had made the necessary enquiries and obtained the requisite copies to enable me to answer your letter of the 29th ulto
from < illegible> requesting, at the < illegible> instance of the Judiciary Comee, Copies of the instructions given by the President to Andw Ellicott Esq. respecting ^the running of^ our Southern boundary, and of his report, it occurred to me that there was an irregularity in the form of application for those documents, which was perhaps not adverted to by the Comee. It is in the call being made directly to ^on^ the Dept. of State by a Comee of the Senate, for instructions given by the President, instead of being addressed to the President himself. Although, in the particular case, there might be no public inconvenience or objection to this more compendious mode of arriving at the information or obtaining the papers desired, it is not the customary < illegible> course and if adopted in this instance might ^would^ establish a precedent that would ^might^ operate injuriously in other cases. If you concur in these views, will you have the goodness to obtain the passage in the Senate, of the usual resolution, calling upon the President for the papers? There shall not be one moments’ delay on my part in complying with it.
I am <cordially>
Your obedient Servant
Editorial Note: LS, DNA, RG59, Report Books, 4:218 is printed in PHC, 7:78.