Thomas Jefferson Papers

Resolution of Secrecy concerning Letters of Ministers, [3 May 1784]

Resolution of Secrecy concerning Letters of Ministers

[3 May 1784]

Ordered that all letters from the Ministers of these states in Europe be considered at all times as under an injunction of secrecy, except as to such parts of them as Congress shall by special permission allow to be published or communicated.

MS (DNA: PCC, No. 36, ii); entirely in TJ’s hand; below the text in Charles Thomson’s hand: “Mr Jefferson Mr Spaight. Yeas & Nays” on verso, also in Thomson’s hand, is a record of the vote of 24 members.

This motion was made by TJ and seconded by Richard Dobbs Spaight on 3 May, the latter requesting a roll call. All members voted in the affirmative except John F. Mercer of Virginia and David Howell of Rhode Island. Both the motion and the record of the vote are printed in JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends , xxvi, 33 1–2.

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