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a view of subsisting law at any one period, past or present; but to give the course of legislation, accurately and with sufficient fulness to enable the student to make a thorough examination of it, without the necessity of constant reference to the formidable collection of Statutes at Large.

Besides the acts and resolutions of Congress, treated as above stated, certain vetoed bills and a few other papers of historical importance have been added, in order to facilitate reference to a class of documents which the student of political and economic history often finds as valuable, for purposes of study, as the measures which actually secure a place on the pages of the statute book.






1789, Chap. V.- ·An Act to regulate the Collection of the Duties imposed by law on the tonnage of ships or vessels, and on goods, wares, and merchandises imported into the United States.

SEC. 30. And be it further enacted, That the duties and fees to be collected by virtue of this act, shall be received in gold and silver coin only, at the following rates, that is to say, the gold coins of France, England, Spain and Portugal, and all other gold coin of equal fineness, at eighty-nine cents for every pennyweight. The Mexican dollar at one hundred cents; the crown of France at one dollar and eleven cents; the crown of England at one dollar and eleven cents; and all silver coins of equal fineness at one dollar and eleven cents per ounce.

[Approved, July 31, 1789. 1 Statutes at Large, 45.]

1789, Chap. XII. - An Act to establish the Treasury


SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and Ilouse of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury, in which shall be the following officers, namely: a Secretary of the Treasury, to be deemed head of the department; a Comptroller, an Auditor, a Treasurer, a Register, and an Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, which assistant shall be appointed by the said Secretary.



[1789. SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to digest and prepare plans for the improvement and management of the revenue, and for the support of public credit; to prepare and report estimates of the public revenue, and the public expenditures; to superintend the collection of the revenue; to decide on the forms of keeping and stating accounts and making returns, and to grant under the limitations herein established, or to be hereafter provided, all warrants for monies to be issued from the Treasury, in pursuance of appropriations by law; to execute such services relative to the sale of the lands belonging to the United States, as may be by law required of him; to make report, and give information to either branch of the legislature, in person or in writing (as he may be required), respecting all matters referred to him by the Senate or House of Representatives, or which shall appertain to his office; and generally to perform all such services relative to the finances, as he shall be directed to perform.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Comptroller to superintend the adjustment and preservation of the public accounts; to examine all accounts settled by the Auditor, and certify the balances arising thereon to the Register; to countersign all warrants drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury, which shall be warranted by law; to report to the Secretary the official forms of all papers to be issued in the different offices for collecting the public revenue, and the manner and form of keeping and stating the accounts of the several persons employed therein. He shall moreover provide for the regular and punctual payment of all monies which may be collected, and shall direct prosecutions for all delinquencies of officers of the revenue, and for debts that are, or shall be due to the United States.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and keep the monies of the United States, and to disburse the same upon warrants drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury, countersigned by the Comptroller, recorded by the Register, and not otherwise; he shall take receipts for all monies paid by him, and all receipts for

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