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Ordered, That Governor Jefferson be informed, in answer to his letter of the 26 March last, that it is incompatible with the rules established by the United States in Congress assembled, for Colonel Davis to exercise a civil appointment whilst he retains his rank in the army, but that he is permitted-in-case-it be his option to resign the latter without forfeiting any of the other provisionsoremoluments reserved to officers of equal rank redueed by the late assignment.'
Adjourned to 10 o'clock to Morrow.
TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 1781
Ordered, That extracts from the same and also from the letter, of 12, be sent to the supreme executive council of Pensylvania.
A letter, of 30 March, from Major General Greene, was read: 2
Ordered, That the memorial from Doctor F. Allison, read 13, be referred to the Board of Treasury.
A motion was made by Mr. [Theodorick] Bland, seconded by Mr. (John] Sullivan:
Suppose the Minister of France will agree to vest Congress with the amount of two hundred thousand dollars in specie, and to the same amount in Bills of Exchange on the Treasury of France drawn by their Paymaster General what would be the best mode of disposing of those sums for the advantage of our Ally, and for the service of the United States, to give a spring to the credit of our money and to restore public credit in general.
I would propose the following mode:
Let two one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in Bills of Exchange be immediately appropriated to the payment of bread, flower, beef, pork and other articles of grain, provision and forage according to an estimate to be delivered to Congress by the Commander in Chief of the French army; and fifty thousand dollars in specie be appropriated
· This report, in the writing of John Sullivan, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 20, II, folio 259.
* A copy of Washington's letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 169, VIII, page 94; the draft is in the Washington Papers, A. VI, pt. I, 55. Greene's letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 155, II, folio 17.
to the same purpose; the other fifty thousand dollars in bills to be lodged in the Treasury of the United States; and one hundred and fifty thousand dollars specie to be likewise lodged in the Treasury as aforesaid. Let the 150,000 in bills and the 50,000 in cash be apportioned and sent on to the different States, whose Executives shall contract with certain persons for the delivery of double the quantity of all the articles which their respective sums would purchase, agreeing to pay for one half immediately on the delivery thereof, and for the other half in six months afterwards, the first payment to be made 4 in Bills of Exchange and ; in specie, the second payment in Bills of the new Emission at their current value when paid.
The money remaining in the Treasury to be applied to the payment of the interest of Loan Office certificates, or the interest due on the new bills already emitted, and a loan immediately opened for the new money."
Ordered, That it be referred to a committee of three:
The members, Mr. [Theodorick] Bland, Mr. [Daniel] Carroll, Mr. [William Churchill] Houston.
A report from the Board of Treasury on the orders, of 22 March and 11th instant, was read:
TREASURY OFFICE, April 16, 1781. Upon the two Orders of Congress, one of the 22d of March last, to provide 500,000 dollars, and the other of the 11th instant, the additional sum of 285,816 19/90 dollars of the New Emission, for the use of the Quarter Master General's department, the Board beg leave to report,
That the War to the former part of the last year was carried on by Emissions of paper money, and by Loans, when the monies emitted amounting to two hundred millions of dollars and the Certificates given for those loaned, got into such a current of depreciation that farther Emissions became unadvisable, and therefore were determined against. On the 18 of March, 1780, the old Emissions were consolidated, and new Paper was to issue, upon which the War on the part of the United States was to be supported, and in the mean Time monthly Quotas of 15,000,000 old dollars, and specific Articles to supply the Army were demanded of the States; and the Certificates for monies loaned were not only put upon an equitable, but a generous footing.
1 This motion, in the writing of Theodorick Bland, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 36, I, folio 161.
The system of the 18 of March not meeting with general Approbation, either among the foreign or home Merchants and Traders, or with the Legislatures of the States, it never has, or can be pushed into efficient Operation; some of the States have not issued the New Paper, and the Board are of Opinion never intend to do it. That which has been issued has a partial Circulation and is of different Value in different states, and has already depreciated at least one hundred per cent.
Neither the Monthly Quotas or specific Articles demanded of the States have been supplied, except in part, and no prospect of farther Compliance, or more punctuality in future—the special Calls of Congress of the 26 of August and 4 of November last having been entirely unattended to.
The Loan Offices feeling these Effects, have not produced money sufficient to discharge the Interest of Money already loaned. By these means the Army has long been and remains without Pay and frequently has been reduced to a state of Want; and public Credit and Confidence are almost totally expiring; to recover which, and to be enabled to carry on the War, other Funds must be provided, and New Measures adopted; for from every Experience Congress ought not to depend upon punctual supplies from the States. Were the Balances due by the respective States paid, or expected to be paid, the public difficulties would be greatly relieved; but the Board are of Opinion that drawing for them would be a mere delusion. There are or ought to be in the states of Virginia and Maryland seven thousand Hogsheads of Tobacco under the direction of the Commercial Committee as yet unappropriated, as the Board supposes, and which they are of Opinion should be sold for the use of some of the departments of the Army.
The new Money not having yet been brought into the respective Loan Offices in any Quantity, and no prospect of its being so in all, and not at all in some; the Monthly Quotas and the Special Calls of Congress upon the States not having been complied with; and Congress having declined drawing Bills of Exchange, the Board have it not in their power to report the Ways and Means of furnishing the 785, 816 19/90 dollars of the New Emission for the Use of the Quarter Master General's Department.
Ordered, That it be referred to the before mentioned committee.
This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 136, V, folio 241.
A report of the Board of Treasury, on an application of Wm. Paulding, was read:
TREASURY OFFICE April 10h 1781' The Board of Treasury beg leave to report,
That Col Wm Paulding late a Deputy Commissary under the late Commissary Gen! Joseph Trumbull (deceased) has exhibited to this Board an account against the United States which has been settled by Jonathan Trumbull Commissioner for settling the accounts of the late Commissary Gen' aforesaid who certifies that the sum of two thousand nine hundred and eighty eight pounds seventeen shillings, and seven pence lawful money equal to nine thousand nine hundred and sixty two dollars and 8 of a dollar is due to the said Wm Paulding as far back as Sep! 1777. Whereupon the following order is submitted:
Ordered, That at the instance of the said Wm Paulding the Board of Treasury pass to his credit the sum of £2988 17 7 specie value equal to nine thousand nine hundred and sixty two dollars and $} of a dollar being a balance due to him as late D: Commis' General under the late Commissary Gen' Joseph Trumbull (deceased): the balance aforesaid having been ascertained by Jonathan Trumbull Commissioner for settling the accounts of the late Commissary General
Joseph Trumbull: and that the sum aforesaid bear
an interest of 6 per cent per annum from the first of September, 1777, -day when the account was settled until it shall be more convenient to pay the same.'
Ordered, That the same, together with their reports respecting J. Lloyd, be re-committed.
A representation from Coulaux la Vigne, agent for Penet de Costa Freres & Co., was read:
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee of Commerce.
On motion of Mr. (Theodorick] Bland, seconded by Mr. [Thomas] Bee:
Resolved, That the cloathier-general, before he enters into office, shall give bond in such sum as the Board of Treasury shall think sufficient, with two or more sufficient sureties, for the due performance of his office, which bond shall be lodged in the treasury office.
* This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 136, V, folio 227.
Congress proceeded to the election of a cloathier general; and, the ballots being taken, Mr. John Moylan was elected, having been previously nominated by Mr. [Thomas] Burke.
Ordered, That Monday next be assigned for electing a Secretary of Marine.
Adjourned to 10 o'clock to Morrow.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 1781 A report from the Board of Treasury was read; Whereupon,
TREASURY OFFICE April 16! 1781 Upon the motion of Mr Root in Congress seconded by Mr Woolcot, and referred to the Board of Treasury the following information and resolution is submitted:
The sum of 2935 8f dollars in specie value was due to Eleazer Wales of Hartford a late Commissioner of accounts on the 14th of June 1780 the time he resigned his Office, and Whereas it appears that the said Eleazer Wales will loan the money aforesaid due to him with interest from the time the same became due.
Ordered, That the Board of Treasury direct William Imlay, commissioner of the continental loan office for the State of Connecticut, to issue loan office certificates of specie value in favour of Eleazer Wales, late a commissioner of accounts, for two thousand nine hundred and thirty-five dollars and eighty-eight ninetieths, in discharge of his account of salary due the 14 of June, 1780. | The committee || consisting of Mr. Duane, Mr. Sharpe, Mr. Wolcott|| appointed “ to estimate and state the amount of the debts due from the United States, with the necessary estimates for the current year as near as can be done, in order that the same may be laid before the respective legislatures' brought in a report;
That they have attended to this business; but from the unsettled condition of the publick accounts they
can only give a general view of the publick debts. This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 136, V, folio 245. A marginal note says: The principal sum 2935%. The sum with interest to this day 3111 dollars.