Alexander Hamilton Papers

Continental Congress Motion on the Establishment of Permanent Funds, [12 February 1783]

Continental Congress
Motion on the Establishment of Permanent Funds

[Philadelphia, February 12, 1783]1

That it is the Opinion of Congress that complete justice cannot be done to the Creditors of the United States nor the restoration of public Credit be effected; nor the future exigencies of the war provided for, but by the establishment of [permanent & adequate funds to operate generally throughout the united States, to be collected by Congress].2

AD, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.

1H’s motion is undated. Although not submitted to Congress, H’s motion probably was intended for introduction on February 12, the date on which James Madison (see note 2) made a similar motion.

2The bracketed material is not in the writing of H. It was substituted for the following phrase, in the writing of H: “of general funds to be collected by Congress and appropriated by Congress.” This phrase was crossed out.

On February 12, Congress considered a proposition, in the writing of James Madison, reported by a committee of the whole. It reads:

“That it is the opinion of Congress that the establishment of permanent and adequate funds on taxes or duties, which shall operate generally and on the whole in just proportion throughout the United States, and to be collected under the authority of the U.S. in Congress assembled are indispensably necessary towards doing complete justice to the public creditors, for restoring public credit, and for providing for the future exigencies of the war.” (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXIV, 126–27.)

For an account of the debate on this proposition in the committee of the whole, see Madison’s “Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress,” MS, James Madison Papers, Library of Congress.

H’s motion was not submitted to Congress, for the rejection of Madison’s similar proposal that taxes be collected by Congress made it apparent that it would be rejected.

Index Entries