Resolution by the Continental Congress concerning lawsuits against government and military officials, including circular letter from Robert Morris to the state governors
United States. Continental Congress
Volume 16, Pages 396-397
FROM HON. ROBT. MARRIS TO GOV. MARTIN.
[From Executive Letter Book]
Office of Finance,
17th August, 1782.
Having some reason to believe that the enclosed Resolution has not hitherto been transmitted to all the State, I do myself the honor to forward it to your Excellency from this Office, and pray that it may meet with the due attention.
With great repect,
I have the honor to be, &c.,
RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
By the United States
In Congress Assembled,
March 19th, 1782.
On a report of a Committee to whom was committed a report on a Letter of 25th of February from Colonel Timothy Pickering, Quarter Master General. It being represented to Congress that in
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consequence of an opinion entertained by individuals with whom Debts have contracted by Officers and Servants of the United States for supplies furnished and services rendered to the said States that the said Officers and Servants were personally liable therefor, divers Suits have been and others probably will be instituted whereby such Officers and Servant may be exposed to great trouble and expence in cases where the failure to discharge their Contracts hath proceeded from the deficiency of the advances received by them from the Public Treasury; and Congress having by their Resolution of the 2nd November last provided for the redemption of Certificates for supplies and services afforded to the United States by resolving to accept the same from the States producing them in payment of Balances due on former Requisitions and by subsequent Resolutions, having directed the appointment of Commissioners for liquidating and settling all such Certificates and other demands against the United States as also Commissioners for settling finally the accounts of the aforesaid Officers and Servants, and whereby it will appear in what cases non-payment of the debts contracted by them hath proceeded from misapplication of public Monies advanced to them; and Congress have moreover recommended to the several Legislatures to make the necessary provision for the speedy and effectual recovery in behalf of the United States of all balances which shall be found due from such Officers and Servants.
That it be and hereby is recommended to the Legislatures of the several States to make provision for staying all suits which have been brought and preventing future Suits by individuals against the aforesaid Officers & Servants for debts contracted by them for supplies furnished or services rendered to the United States; provided, always that nothing in this Resolution contained shall be construed to imply an Opinion in Congress that the aforesaid Officers and Servants of these United States are personally liable for any debts contracted by them for the use and benefit of the said State.