Alexander Hamilton Papers

Continental Congress Report on Land for the Army, 4 June 1783

Continental Congress
Report on Land for the Army

[Philadelphia] June 4, 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:1

Congress having by their resolution of the  2 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 respectively intitled, 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 belongs, his rank therein, and the quantity of land to which he is in intitled—the certificates to be signed by the Pay Master General and to be in the form following: (Name and station)   in the   (Regiment or corps) is intitled to   (insert the quantity)   acres of land as a gratuity for his services during the war, agreeable to the resolutions of   the   day of   1783

[and that Certificates issue in like manner to the legal representatives of such officers & Soldiers as have been slain by the Enemy on producing proper proofs of the Titles.]3

AD, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.

1See “Motion on Appointment of Committee to Consider Allowances of Land for the Army,” May 30, 1783. A grand committee of Congress was appointed on May 30 to report on H’s motion. Its members were: Samuel Holten, Jonathan Arnold, Oliver Ellsworth, H, Abraham Clark, James Wilson, Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Francis Mercer, Benjamin Hawkins, and John Rutledge.

2Spaces in this and following paragraph left blank in MS. To encourage the enlistment of soldiers “to serve during the present war,” Congress on September 17, 1776, resolved that every private and noncommissioned officer who enlisted for the duration of hostilities was to receive twenty dollars and one hundred acres of land. Officers who engaged to remain in service during the war were also to receive a land bounty, the amount received depending on the rank held (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , V, 762–63).

3The bracketed words are in the writing of Elias Boudinot.

The report, according to the Journals of the Congress, was read on June 4, and the decision on it was deferred. The grand committee, the membership of which changed, was discharged on October 15, 1783 (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXIV, 421, note 2).

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