Report and Resolution on Accounts between
Virginia and the United States
It appears from the enquiries of your Committee, that no progress has yet been made in the settlement of the said Accounts.
It appears from the representation of the said Commissioner that he arrived at this place in September last & has been since in readiness to receive & examine, both the Debits of the State & the demands of its Citizens against the United States, but that neither the former nor the latter have been presented to him for that purpose.1
It appears from the representation of the Solicitor, who was instructed to prepare a state of the Debits of this CommonWealth against the United States2—that he has executed the task, but has foreborne to present the Accounts for settlement—alledging principally as his reason therefor, that as the powers of the Commissioner were restrained to the Debits which are allowed by the existing Resolutions of Congress, he was apprehensive that a partial settlement disallowing so great a proportion of the expences for which Virginia expects reimbursement might detract from her future Claim of reimbursement.
It further appears to your Committee, that the non-settlement of the Accounts between the United States & individuals, within this State, so far as the Claims of the latter are authorized by Resolutions of Congress, has been owing to the provision made by Law for liquidating such Accounts in common with others, in a mode which makes the CommonWealth Debtor to such Individuals, and invests it with the Claims of the latter against the United States
Whereupon Resolved that it is the opinion of your Committee that the Solicitor be instructed to submit forthwith to the Commissioner aforesaid, all the Accounts & Claims whatever of this CommonWealth against the United States which he may be authorized by Resolutions of Congress to liquidate—that the said Solicitor support the same by the best proofs & Vouchers, which the cases may respectively admit, and that he prepare a statement under proper heads and descriptions, of all such Claims as are not yet allowed by Resolutions of Congress, and lay the same before the General Assembly at their next Session.3
Ms (Vi). In a clerk’s hand. Docketed, “Mr. Madison.” For the background of the report, see Motion on Settlement of National Accounts, 22 May 1784.
1. The Confederation commissioner was Zephaniah Turner (1734–1794), the auditor general of Maryland from Feb. 1781 until his resignation in Aug. 1783 (Mrs. Willetta Baylis Blum et al., comps., The Baylis Family of Virginia [Washington, 1958], pp. 425–26; Archives of Maryland, XLV, 307; XLVIII, 449).
2. The solicitor general was Leighton Wood. His instructions are in the Executive Letter Book description begins Executive Letter Book, 1783–1786, manuscript in Virginia State Library. description ends , pp. 202, 206, 250, 289, and 319.
3. Instead of the report requested, Wood sent the Oct. 1784 session of the General Assembly a message dwelling on “some of the obstacles” impeding his progress in disentangling the confusion of claims (Executive Letter Book description begins Executive Letter Book, 1783–1786, manuscript in Virginia State Library. description ends , p. 437; JHDV description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in either 1827 or 1828 and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , Oct. 1784, p. 72).