George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate, 9 August 1790

To the United States Senate

United States [New York]
August 9th 1790.

Gentlemen of the Senate.

I nominate William Irvine of the State of Pennsylvania, John Taylor Gilman of the State of New Hampshire, and John Kean of the State of South Carolina, to be Commissioners for settling the Accounts between the United States and Individual States.

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, 1789–91, Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Executive Nominations; LB, DLC:GW.

“An Act to provide more effectually for the settlement of the Accounts between the United States and the individual States,” which GW signed on 5 Aug. 1790, established a board of three commissioners to serve until 1 July 1792 at individual annual salaries of $2,250. The commissioners were to make the final settlement of the states’ Revolutionary War claims against the United States, and the determination of a majority of the members would be final and conclusive. The board was empowered to examine all claims exhibited to it before 1 July 1791 and determine on them “on the evidence thereof, according to the principles of general equity,” liquidating to specie value the credits and debits of the states already on the books of the Treasury, debiting each state with all the advances already made by the United States, including interest to 31 Dec. 1789, and crediting each state for its disbursements and advances with interest to the same day (1 Stat., description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 178–79). On 10 Aug. 1790 the Senate approved the nominations of Irvine, Gilman, and Kean, who had composed the membership of the corresponding board of commissioners under the Confederation Congress (Commissioners for Settling Accounts to GW, 21 July 1790 and notes; DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 2:92, 93).

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