Report on Gerry’s Motion respecting Papers in the Office of Foreign Affairs
[29 December 1783]
The Committee to whom was referred the motion of Mr. Gherry for procuring access to the papers of the office for foreign affairs have agreed to the following <resolution>
Resolved that a deputy Secretary for foreign affairs should be appointed at some early day.
MS (DLC: PCC, No. 25, II); in TJ’s hand. Endorsed by Thomson: “Report of Mr Jefferson Mr Osgood Mr Lee On Motion of Mr Gerry respectg papers of forn Affairs. Delivered Decr. 29. 1783. Entd. Read Jany. 26. 1784 Referred to Mr Sherman Mr Osgood Mr Read.”
Gerry’s motion, 24 Dec., proposed that the books and documents of the late secretary for foreign affairs (R. R. Livingston) be deposited in the office of the secretary of Congress and be made available for the perusal of members of Congress (PCC, No. 25, ii; not in JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends ). The present Report was evidently not discussed until 26 Jan. 1784, when it was referred to another committee of which TJ was not a member (see endorsement as quoted above, and JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , xxvi, 49–50).