242 HAMILTON'S WORKS. [&T. 26.
DEPARTMENT OF FOKEIGN AFFAIRS.
April 2, 1783.
The Committee appointed to consider what arrangements it
will be proper to make relatively to peace, submit the following
Eeport on the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Resolved, That the Ordinances and Kesolutions heretofore
passed relatively to the Department of Foreign Affairs shall
continue in force, subject to the alterations and additions fol
That the Secretary for that department shall be considered
as the Head of the Diplomatic Corps of the United States ; and
to remove any doubts which may have existed respecting the
nature of the office, it is hereby declared to be his duty from
time to time to lay before Congress such plans for conducting the
political and commercial intercourse of the United States with
foreign nations, as may appear to him conducive to the interests
of the said States.
That the said Secretary be entitled to the same allowance for
salary and expenses as is hereinafter specified for a minister at a
foreign court, and that instead of two Under Secretaries, as by
the Eesolve of the first of March, 1782, there be appointed un
der him an Official Secretary, with the same allowance as to a
Secretary of Embassy the said Secretary to be nominated
That each minister shall be allowed eight thousand dollars in
lieu of all salary and expenses, except for the postage of letters
and the purchase of public prints and papers, which shall be a
charge upon the United States.
That the said minister shall be invested with consular powers,
and shall accordingly be at the same time Consul General in the
country where he resides, having the control and superintend
ence of all Yice-Consuls, or inferior commercial agents, but shall
not be at liberty to engage directly or indirectly in any kind of
trade or traffic whatsoever.
That for the more convenient management of the commercial
interests of the United States, there be so many Yice-Consuls
>ET. 26.] RESOLUTIONS IN CONGRESS. 243
appointed to reside in foreign ports with which the trade of the
said States may be carried on, as shall from time to time be found
necessary, and that the said Vice-Consuls shall have free liberty
to trade, but no salary or other emolument, except the usual com
missions on such matters as they may be authorized to transact
on account of the United States, and reimbursement for contin
gent and reasonable expenses incurred in their behalf.
That the Secretary for Foreign Affairs prepare and lay before
Congress an ordinance conformable to the foregoing principles
for regulating the consular powers and privileges, and the plan
of a convention be entered into with foreign nations for that
That whenever Congress shall judge expedient to appoint an
Official Secretary to any Embassy, he shall be entitled to a salary
of one thousand dollars, and to a place in the house and at the
table of the minister with whom he shall reside.
The Committee consider it unnecessary to report concerning
the rank of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs relatively to the
other heads of the executive departments, as this is an object in
another report depending before Congress.
April 7, 1783.
Resolved, That the Secretary at War, in concert with the Com-
mander-in-Chief be and he is hereby directed to consider and re
port to Congress as speedily as may be such measures as it will
be proper to take in the present juncture, for reducing the expenses
of the United States in the War Department.
RATIFICATION OF TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN.
April 15, 178?.
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to prepare and lay
before Congress a draft of a Katification of the articles entered
244 HAMILTON'S WORKS. [JET. 26.
into between the Commissioners of the United States, and the
Commissioners of his Britannic Majesty, at Paris, on the 30th day
of November last.
Resolved, That the Commander-in-Chief be directed to enter
into preparatory arrangements relative to the seventh article of
the said Treaty, with the Commander-in-Chief of the British
Land and Naval forces in America ; and that a committee be
appointed to prepare a letter to him on this subject.*
~* April 21, 1783.
Eeport of a Committee, to whom was committed the letter
from his Excellency, the President of the State of Pennsylvania,
respecting a peace with the Indians.
Whereas, by the ninth article of the Confederation, the
United States in Congress assembled, are vested with the sole
and exclusive right and power, among other things, of regulat
ing the trade, and managing all affairs with the Indians, not
members of any of the States,
Resolved, That the general superintendence of Indian affairs
under Congress, be annexed to the Department of War.
That there be a suspension of offensive hostilities against the
Indian nations, and that immediate measures be taken to com
municate the same to the several tribes, preparatory to a final
That there be four agents appointed for the transaction of
affairs with the Indians, in the different districts one for the
Eastern district, comprehending all the tribes under the general
denomination of the Penobscot Indians ; one for the Northern
district, comprehending the Six Nations, and the nations depend
ing on them ; one for the Western district, comprehending all
* The draft of the Ratification is by Hugh Williamson ; corrected in some
particulars by Hamilton.
^ET.26.] RESOLUTIONS IN CONGRESS. 245
the tribes under the general denomination of the "Western In
dians; one for the Southern district, comprehending all the
Southern Indians ; with an allowance, not exceeding
dollars per annum, to each agent.
That measures be taken to procure articles proper for pre
sents to the Indians, to the amount of , to be dis
tributed when their deputies shall assemble for the purpose of a
treaty of peace. That in order to a speedy pacification till the
commissioners aforesaid can be appointed, a special Committee
be appointed, instructed to endeavor to engage one or more re
spectable inhabitants for each district, acquainted with Indian
affairs, to undertake the negotiation of an immediate peace ; and
that the said Committee digest such further measures as it will
be proper for Congress to take in reference thereto.
Provided, That the preceding measures of Congress respect
ing Indian affairs, shall not be construed to affect the territorial
claim of any of the States, or their legislative rights within their
April 22, 1783.
Ordered, That the Secretary lay before Congress on every
Monday, a list of all the Committees which have been appointed
at any time before the preceding week, and have not reported ;
and that such Committees be then called on to state the reasons
why they have not reported.
COMMEECIAL TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN.
May 1, 1783.
Resolved, That a Commission be prepared to Messrs. Benja
min Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay, authorizing them, or
either of them, in the absence of the others, to enter into a Treaty
of Commerce between the United States and Great Britain, sub
ject to the revisal of the contracting parties previous to its final
246 HAMILTON'S WORKS. [JET. 26.
conclusion ; and in the mean time, to enter into a Commercial
Convention, to continue in force one year.
That the Secretary for Foreign Affairs lay before Congress,
without delay, a plan of a Treaty of Commerce, and instructions
relative to the same, to be transmitted to the said Commission
CORPS OF INVALIDS.
May 1, 1783.
Resolved, That the Corps of Invalids be reduced. Such offi
cers as have lost a limb, or been equally disabled in service, to
retire on full pay for life. Such officers as may not be included
in this description, to retire on the same principles, with other
officers of the army.
Such non-commissioned officers and soldiers, as being stran
gers in the country, and, having been disabled in service, are in
capable of providing for their own subsistence, and are proper
objects for a hospital, to be received into some fixed hospital,
to be appropriated for the purpose, and then supplied during life
on such provision as may be hereafter determined ; to be enti
tled, in the mean time, to their usual rations, and clothing. And
such non-commissioned officers and soldiers, disabled in service,
as may have homes to which they can retire, to be discharged
on the principles of the Eesolutions of the third of April last.
That the Secretary at War be directed to take proper mea
sures, previous to the reduction, to ascertain the different classes
That the officers who shall retire on full pay may, at their
option, collectively accept, in lieu of such full pay for life, the
amount of years full pay, in the terms of the Eesolution of
That at the reduction of this corps, all the officers and men
shall receive one month's pay, and shall share in any further pay-
>ET. 26.] RESOLUTIONS IN CONGRESS. 247
ments which may be made to the other parts of the army, when
COLLECTION OF TAXES UKGED.
May 2, 1783.
Whereas it is the desire of Congress, when the reduction
of the army shall take place, to enable the officers and soldiers
to return to their respective homes with convenience and satis
faction ; for which purpose it will be indispensable to advance
them a part of their pay, before they leave the field ; and where
as, at the present juncture, there are many other engagements
for which the public faith is pledged, and the punctual perform
ance of which, is essential to the credit of the United States ;
neither of which important objects can be effected without the
vigorous exertions of the several States in the collection of taxes ;
Resolved, That the respective States be called upon in the
most earnest manner, to make every effort in their power to for
ward the collection of taxes, that such a sum may, without delay,
be paid into the common treasury, as will be adequate to the
public exigencies ; and that Congress confidently rely upon the
disposition of their constituents, not only to do justice to those
brave men, who have suffered and sacrificed so much in the
cause of their country, and whose distresses must be extreme,
should they be sent from the field without the payment of a part
of their well-earned dues, but also to enable Congress to main
tain the faith and reputation of the United States, both which
are seriously concerned, in relieving the necessities of a merito
rious army, and fulfilling the public stipulations.
Resolved, That the Superintendent of Finance be directed to
take the necessary arrangements for carrying the views of Con
gress into execution; and that he be assured of their firm sup
port towards fulfilling the engagements he has already taken, or
may take, on the public account, during his continuance in
248 HAMILTON'S WORKS. [JSi. 26.
May 12, 1783.
Resolved, That the Commander-in-Chief be directed, when
ever the frontier posts of these United States shall be evacuated
pursuant to the articles of peace, to place therein of the troops
under his command, who have enlisted for three years, and
whose term of service may not then have expired, such force as
lie may judge necessary to secure and hold the same, until fur
ther measures can be taken for the security of them, or such of
them as it may be necessary to support, provided it does not ex
ceed the term of nine months ; and that he take measures for
exchanging with the British, or transporting artillery, stores, and
provisions, that he may judge necessary for that purpose ; and
the Superintendent of Finance is directed to afford all the assist
ance in his department which circumstances will permit.
TREATY WITH EUSSIA.
May 21, 1783.
Resolved^ That Mr. Dana be informed that the treaties lately
entered into for restoring peace, have caused such an alteration
in the affairs of these States, as to have removed the primary ob
ject of his mission to Kussia the acquisition of new supports to
their independence that though Congress approve the princi
ples of the armed neutrality founded on the liberal basis of a
maintenance of the rights of neutral nations, and of the privi
leges of commerce ; yet they are unwilling at this juncture to
become a party to a confederacy which may hereafter too far
complicate the interests of the United States, with the politics of
Europe ; and therefore, if such a progress is not yet made in the
business as may make it dishonorable to recede, it is their desire
that no further measures may be taken at present, towards the
admission of the United States into that confederacy.
jEx.26.] RESOLUTIONS IN CONGRESS. 249
That with respect to a commercial treaty with Eussia, they
consider the benefits of it to this country, in any extensive de
gree, as rather remote, and have therefore, little present induce
ment to enter into it, besides the desire of cultivating the friend
ship of that Court and preserving a consistency with the dispo
sition already manifested towards forming a connection there
with, and also of laying the foundation of a future intercourse
between the same, when the circumstances of the two countries
may be more favorable to the same.
That as experience will enable both nations to form a better
judgment hereafter, of the principles upon which that inter
course may be most advantageously conducted, Congress would
wish any treaty now formed to be of temporary duration, and
limited to a fixed period. That in this view, unless Mr. Dana
shall have already formed engagements, or made proposals from
which he cannot easily recede, of a more indefinite or extensive
nature, before this reaches him, he be instructed to confine the du
ration of the proposed treaty of commerce to fifteen years, agree
ably to the term limited for a similar treaty, with the Court of
Sweden ; stipulate expressly that the same shall be subject to
the revisal of Congress, previous to its final conclusion, and that
in all matters, he insist upon exact reciprocity. That so soon as
this object be accomplished, or if he discovers any repugnancy
on the part of the Court of Eussia, to entering into a treaty
with these States on liberal principles, he be permitted to re
turn : That with respect to the money mentioned in his letter of
the to be employed in presents to the ministers of that
Court, he be informed, that as by the Confederation no persons
holding offices under the United States are permitted to receive
presents from foreign powers, so it is not consistent with the sit
uation or policy of these States, in their transactions with other
nations, and that he be instructed to decline paying the same,
unless the steps already taken by him towards forming a treaty,
or treaties, shall, in his judgment, imply an engagement to make
250 HAMILTON'S WORKS. [JET. 26.
DISCHARGE OF AEMY.
May 23, 1783.
The Committee, consisting of Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Peters, and
Mr. Gorham, to whom was referred a letter of the 9th from the
Superintendent of Finance and Secretary at War, in order to
confer with them on the resolutions of the 7th and 28th of April,
and 2d inst., report, " That all the non-commissioned officers and
soldiers in the service of the United States, enlisted to serve
during the war, be discharged ; and that the Secretary at War
and Commander-in-Chief take the proper measures for doing this,
in a manner most convenient to the soldiery and to the inhab
itants, having the men previously conducted, under proper offi
cers, to their respective States, and that they be at the same time
authorized to retain as many officers as they may judge neces
sary to command the men who still continue in service, permit
ting the others to retire.
May 26, 1783.
Resolved, That the Commander-in-Chief be instructed to grant
furloughs to the non-commissioned officers and soldiers in the
service of the United States, enlisted to serve during the war,
who shall be discharged as soon as the definitive treaty of peace
is concluded, together with a proportionable number of commis
sioned officers of the different grades ; and that the Secretary at
War and Commander-in-Chief take the proper measures for con
ducting those troops to their respective homes, in such manner
as may be most convenient to themselves and to the States
through which they may pass ; and that the men thus furloughed
be allowed to take their arms with them.
. 26.] RESOLUTIONS IN CONGRESS. 251
DEPORTATION OF NEGROES.
May 26, 1783.
Whereas by the articles agreed upon on the 30th of Novem
ber last, bj and between the Commissioners of the United States
of America for making peace, and the Commissioner on the part
of his Britannic Majesty, it is stipulated that his Britannic Ma
jesty shall, with all convenient speed, and without causing any
destruction, or carrying away any negroes or other property of
the American inhabitants, withdraw all his armies, garrisons,
and fleets, from the said United States, and from every part,
place, and harbor within the same : and whereas a considerable
number of negroes belonging to the citizens of these States have
been carried off therefrom, contrary to the true intent and mean
ing of said articles, Resolved, that copies of the letters between
the Commander-in-Chief and Sir Guy Carleton, and other papers
on this subject, be transmitted to the Minister Plenipotentiary of
these States for negotiating a peace in Europe ; and that they be
directed to remonstrate thereon to the Court of Great Britain,
and take proper measures for obtaining such reparation as the na
ture of the case will admit. Ordered, that a copy of the forego
ing resolve be transmitted to the Commander-in-Chief; and that
he be directed to continue his remonstrances to Sir Guy Carle-
ton, respecting the permitting negroes belonging to the citizens of
these States to leave New- York, and to insist on the discontinu
ance of that measure.
ALLOWANCES OF LAND TO ARMY.
May 30, 1783.
The Committee appointed to consider of the best manner of
carrying into execution the engagements of the United States
for certain allowances of land to the army at the conclusion of
the war, submit the following resolution.
252 HAMILTON'S WORKS. [MT. 26.
Congress having by their Resolution of the
promised certain allowances of land to all officers and to such
soldiers of the United States engaged to serve during the war,
who should continue in service to the end thereof
Resolved, That till provision can be made by the United
States for locating and surveying to the officers and soldiers
aforesaid the portions of land to which they are respectfully en
titled, certificates be given to them when furloughed or discharged,
as evidences of their claim upon the United States, specifying
the name of each person, the regiment or corps to which he be
longs, his rank therein, and the quantity of land to which he is
entitled, the certificates to be signed by the Paymaster General,
and to be in the form following. [Certificate.']
FULFILMENT OF TKEATY WITH GEEAT BRITAIN.
May 30, 1783.
The Committee, consisting of Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Elsworth,
Mr. Izard, Mr. Madison, and Mr. Hawkins, appointed to take
into consideration and report to Congress what further steps are
proper to be taken by them for carrying into effect the stipula
tions contained in the articles between the United States and
Great Britain, dated the 30th day of November last, having re
ported as follows : Whereas, by the treaty entered into at Paris,
on the 30th day of November last, between the Commissioners
for making peace on the part of the United States, and the Com
missioners for making peace on the part of his Britannic Majesty,
it is stipulated among other things in the 4th, 5th, and 6th arti
cles (here recited) (the first precluding any " lawful impediment
to the recovery of the full value in sterling money of all bona fide
debts heretofore contracted," the 5th "recommending the res
titution of all confiscated estates belonging to real British sub
jects," and the 6th stipulating that there be " no future confisca
tions made" of such estates nor " any prosecutions" commenced
.ET.26.] PEACE ESTABLISHMENT. 253
or " any damage be suffered by reason of the part taken in the
And whereas Congress are desirous of giving speedy and full
effect to all the stipulations in the said treaty on the part of the
United States, and of accelerating thereby the blessings of
peace, in confidence, that the conduct of his Britannic Majesty
will be governed by a like disposition Therefore, Kesolved,
That the several states be required, and they are hereby requir
ed, to remove all obstructions which may interpose in the way of
the entire and faithful execution of the 4th and 6th articles
above recited. And that it be at the same time earnestly recom
mended to them, to take into serious consideration the 5th arti
cle, also above recited, and to conform to the several matters
therein contained, with that spirit of moderation and liberality,
which ought ever to characterize the deliberations and measures
of a free and enlightened nation.
June 4, 1783.
Mr. Livingston having signified to Congress his desire of re
linquishing the exercise of the office of Foreign Affairs, and his
intention of returning to the State of New York,
Resolved unanimously, That the thanks of Congress be pre
sented to Mr. Livingston for his services during his continuance
in office, and that he be assured Congress entertain a high sense
of the ability, zeal, and fidelity with which he has discharged
the important trust reposed in him.
MILITARY PEACE ESTABLISHMENT.
Before any plan can, with propriety, be determined for a mil
itary peace establishment, it is necessary to ascertain what pow
ers exist, for that purpose, in the Confederation.
254 HAMILTON'S WORKS. [&T. 26.
In the fifth clause of the ninth article, the United States, in
Congress assembled, are empowered (without any mention of
peace or war) " to build and equip a navy, to agree upon the
number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each State
for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants
in each State ; which requisition shall be binding ; and there
upon, the Legislature of each State shall appoint the regimental
officers, raise the men, and clothe, arm, and equip them, in a
soldier-like manner, at the expense of the United States ; and
the officers and men, so clothed, armed, and equipped, shall
march to the place appointed, and within the tune agreed on by
the United States in Congress assembled."
By the fourth clause in the same article, the United States
are empowered " to appoint all officers of the land forces in the
service of the United States, excepting regimental officers ; to
appoint all officers of the naval forces ; and to commission all
officers whatever, in the service of the United States, making
rules for the government and regulation of the said land and na
val forces, and directing their operations.
By the fourth clause of the sixth article, it is declared, that
" no vessels of war shall be kept up by any State, in time of
peace, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary
by the United States, in Congress assembled, for the defence of
such State or its trade ; nor shall any body of forces be kept up
by any State, in time of peace, except such number only, as, in
the judgment of the United States, in Congress assembled, shall
be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the de
fence of such State."
The Committee apprehend, that the terms of the last clause,
being rather permissive than directory, do not interfere with the
positive power vested in the United States by the preceding
clauses ; and that they have a discretion in the choice of the
mode of providing for the general safety in time of peace as well
as in time of war.
If this interpretation is just, the Committee are of opinion,
there are conclusive reasons in favor of a Continental, in prefer-
^Ei. 26.] PEACE ESTABLISHMENT. 255
ence to separate State establishments; and that, at all events,
there must be some Continental establishment.
Firstly. There are objects which cannot fall within the pur
view of separate State establishments ; posts within districts, the
jurisdiction and property of which, are covered by opposite and
interfering claims, the possession of which, for the security of
the western country, is of great importance, and for which, pro