Reports of the Board of Treasury

Collection Data

Description
The Board of Treasury, established by the Continental Congress in 1776, was a standing committee of five members responsible for superintending the Treasury and finances of the United States. In 1781, its duties were assumed by Robert Morris as Superintendent of Finance. Congress re-established the Board of Treasury as a committee of three members in 1784 to replace the position of Superintendent. The new Board existed until the creation of the Department of the Treasury in September, 1789. Board commissioners during the period represented in this volume were Arthur Lee (1740-1792), Walter Livingston (1740-1797), and Samuel Osgood (1748-1813). The Reports of the Board of Treasury are the Board's copies of reports and advisements submitted to Congress, dated 1785 April 25 to 1787 September 28, as maintained in one bound volume (488 pages) labelled "A." Many reports are in the handwriting of Commissioner Walter Livingston. The reports advise Congress on financial matters at the national level, and on monetary claims against the United States, sent to the Board for review. Claims were petitioned by military personnel, government employees, diplomatic agents and civilians, seeking payment of salaries or debt, compensation for losses, or other reimbursements. Most claims originated from the Revolutionary War.
Names
United States. Board of Treasury (Creator)
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792 (Associated name)
Livingston, Walter, 1740-1797 (Associated name)
Osgood, Samuel, 1748-1813 (Associated name)
United States. Continental Congress (Associated name)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1785 - 1787
Library locations
Manuscripts and Archives Division
Shelf locator: MssCol 3105
Topics
Debts, External -- United States
Debts, Public -- United States
Finance, Public -- United States
Public officers
Statesmen
United States -- Appropriations and expenditures
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Claims
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Prizes, etc.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1783-1789
Genres
official reports
Notes
Biographical/historical: The Board of Treasury, established by the Continental Congress in 1776, was a standing committee of five members responsible for superintending the Treasury and finances of the United States. In 1781, its duties were assumed by Robert Morris as Superintendent of Finance. Congress re-established the Board of Treasury as a committee of three members in 1784 to replace the position of Superintendent. The new Board existed until the creation of the Department of the Treasury in September, 1789. Board commissioners during the period represented in this volume were Arthur Lee (1740-1792), Walter Livingston (1740-1797), and Samuel Osgood (1748-1813).
Content: The Reports of the Board of Treasury are the Board's copies of reports and advisements submitted to Congress, dated 1785 April 25 to 1787 September 28, as maintained in one bound volume (488 pages) labelled "A." Many reports are in the handwriting of Commissioner Walter Livingston. The reports advise Congress on financial matters at the national level, and on monetary claims against the United States, sent to the Board for review. Claims were petitioned by military personnel, government employees, diplomatic agents and civilians, seeking payment of salaries or debt, compensation for losses, or other reimbursements. Most claims originated from the Revolutionary War. Prominent claimants include Philip Schuyler (page 158) and Abraham Yates (page 327). Reports highlight the precarious state of Federal finances in the months leading up to the Constitutional Convention, focusing on the depreciation of paper currency, deficiencies in revenues from the states to fund the government, meeting payments on domestic and foreign debt, especially to France, and matters concerning Continental Loan Offices. There are proposals for establishing new coinage and a mint for the United States, and the efficient settling of accounts between individual states and the federal government, as well as reports on current and proposed requisitions to meet revenue needs. The Board also reviewed Dutch loan arrangements proffered by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, U.S. ministers abroad. The volume concludes with two extensive reports for 1787 September 28, the first submitting proposed requisitions to meet certain expenses for the current and ensuing year (page 436). Section B of the report cites resolutions of Congress in assembly October 11, 1787. It is followed by a report on Captain John Paul Jones' management of prize money for U.S. Navy ships Bonhomme Richard and Alliance (page 463), a matter mentioned elsewhere in the volume.
Funding: Digitization was made possible by a lead gift from The Polonsky Foundation
Physical Description
Extent: .2 linear feet 1 volume
Type of Resource
Text
Identifiers
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19589775
MSS Unit ID: 3105
Archives collections id: archives_collections_3105
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): d52484f0-e1b9-0134-eb56-0f5348c9e6e9
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