An Ordinance for Establishing a Board to Liquidate and settle all Accounts between the United States and Individual States.
It is hereby Ordained by the United States in Congress Assembled,
That in cases where no written Vouchers can be produced for Claims founded upon existing Resolutions of Congress, and the said Board shall receive satisfactory evidence that such Vouchers have been destroyed or unavoidably lost, or that from the circumstances of the case they have never been obtained, the said Board may receive such other Evidence as shall be satisfactory to them, provided the same be the best that the nature and circumstances of the case will admit of; and at their discretion may examine on Oath, any person or persons they may think fit respecting the Claims exhibited, whether accompanied with written Vouchers or not.
That in cases where the Testimony of a witness not residing within twenty miles of the place where the said Board shall sit shall appear to be essential, the said Board are hereby authorized to issue a Commission to some proper person or persons, to take the Deposition in writing, with the interrogatives and answers, in presence of the Agent or Agents of the party Claimant, his or their Attorney, and the person appointed by the said Board, Agent on the part of the United States. And the said Board are hereby Authorised to appoint some suitable person to be present as Agent of the United States at the taking of such Deposition, to interrogate the Witness, and observe that his Evidence contain the whole truth, and nothing else. And the said Board shall in each Commission notify to the Person or Persons to whom the said Commission may be issued, the name and place of residence of such Agent and the said person or persons shall give due Notice in writing to the party
That it be, and it is hereby recommended to the Legislatures of the several States, to pass laws to enable the said Board and the person, or persons so Commissioned by them, to call before them respectively Witnesses, and examine them on Oath or Affirmation in all matters touching the Claims exhibited to the said Board.
That where any State has Claims against the United States not Authorized or Sanctioned by existing Resolutions of Congress, and the same shall be laid before the said Board within one year after the Organization thereof the Board shall examine the same, and Report the State of such Claims with their opinion thereon to Congress.
That the Commissions of the Board shall continue in force for three years unless sooner Revoked by Congress.
Done by the United States in Congress Assembled, this 13th day of October in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six, and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.