Thomas Jefferson Papers

I. Categories of Powers Appropriate to the Committee of the States, 30 January 1784

I. Categories of Powers Appropriate to the Committee of the States

Powers from which the Committee of the States are excluded

  • Engaging in war

  • Granting letters of Marque in time of peace

  • Entering into treaties or alliances

  • Coining money

  • Regulating it’s value

  • Ascertaining sums necessary for defence or welfare

  • Emitting bills

  • Borrowing money

  • Appropriating money

  • Agreeing on number of vessels of war or number of land or sea forces

  • Appointing Commander in chief of army or navy

Powers from which they should be excluded

  • Sending and receiving Ambassadors

  • Establishing rules of decision in cases of captures

  • Establishing courts of Appeals in cases of captures

  • Deciding disputes between states

  • Fixing standard of weights and measures

Powers which they may exercise

  • Appointing courts for trial of piracies1

  • Deciding private rights of soil after decision of the General right

  • Regulating Indian trade

  • Regulating post office

  • Appointing military officers and commissioning them

  • Making rules for government of forces

  • Directing operations of forces

  • Build, buy or equip vessels agreed on by Congress

  • Make requisitions on the states for quotas of men

Powers which should be given them

  • To Execute whatever Congress has determined on

  • To Superintend all the offices

  • To apply Definite sums of money to Definite purposes e.g. expresses, fuel, paper and other contingencies

  • To Supply all vacant offices till meeting of Congress

  • To convoke Congress

MS (DLC); entirely in TJ’s hand.

1The first two words of this line have a line drawn through them, indicating possibly that the entire line was intended to be deleted. If this was the intent, then it would suggest that the present document was drawn up in advance of Document ii in this series, since the permissible powers listed there do not include “Appointing courts for trial of piracies” and do parallel in sequence the powers named under this and the following category.

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