Motion on Expenditures by
United States Ministers Abroad
MS (NA: PCC, No. 19, IV, 369). Written by JM.
[14 September 1782]
That the several public Ministers of the U. States in Europe2 be informed that the care & management3 of all monies which have been or may be obtained in Europe by loans or otherwise, having been committed to the Superintendant of Finance, to4 be disposed of by him according to appropriations of the U. States in Congress,5 it is the instruction of Congress that they conform in the strictest manner6 to this arrangement,7 and prevent as far as may depend on them, the disposition or expenditure of any monies belonging to the U. States by any other terms, or in any other manner, than may be expressly authorised by the said Superintendt. of Finance, or be specially directed by Congress.
1. Above this word JM wrote “Madison, Duane” to signify that he introduced the motion and James Duane seconded it. This motion, in its form as finally adopted by Congress (n. 7, below), embodies the same purpose as, but is more clearly expressed than, a motion introduced earlier in the day by Arthur Lee and Theodorick Bland. Both JM and Duane had supported the Lee-Bland motion, but it received a tie vote and hence failed to pass (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIII, 575–76).
3. JM interlineated “care &” and deleted “& disposition” after “management.”
4. Before “to,” JM deleted “according to.”
5. Congress had so empowered Robert Morris on 27 November and 3 December 1781 (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXI, 1142, 1149–50).
6. JM interlineated “conform in” and “manner,” after deleting “pay” and “attention,” respectively.