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Ordinance from the Continental Congress concerning public accounts
United States. Continental Congress
May 07, 1787
Volume 20, Pages 694-697

ORDINANCE FOR SETTLING ACCOUNTS.
(From Executive Letter Book.)

By the United States in Congress Assembled,
May 7th, 1787.

An Ordinance for settling the accounts between the United States & Individual States.

Be it ordained by the United States in Congress Assembled, that five Commissioners be appointed by the Board of Treasury whose duty it shall be to go to the several States in the districts hereafter mentioned, for which they may be respectively appointed, for the Purpose of Stating the accounts of the State within those Districts, against the United States.

That the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island form one District. That the States of New York & New Jersey form one District. That the States of Pennsylvania, Delaware & Maryland form one District. That the States of Virginia and North Carolina form one District. And that the States

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of South Carolina & Georgia form one District. That it shall be the duty of the said Commissioners respectively to receive of the State for which they are appointed, all their Accounts & Vouchers for Payment made on account of Bounties, pay & depreciation of pay, to the late Army of the United States, and for advances to the Militia, called out under the Authority of the United States and Actually in their Service, and to give descriptive acknowledgments thereof to the States from which they may be received, which accounts & Vouchers shall be immediately forwarded to the Commissioners of Army Accounts whose duty it shall be to examine and pass such as are Authorized by the Resolves of Congress and supported by proper Vouchers; and to State such as may not fall under the above description, together with such remarks as may tend to elucidate the nature of these claims. That it shall further be the duty of the Commissioners to receive in like manner the accounts and Vouchers for monies paid and supplies furnished on the requisitions of Congress, made previously to Oct. 1781, and to forward the same to the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury. That it shall also be the duty of the said Commissioners to receive and examine all the Claims of the States to which they are appointed, against the United States for advances or disbursements by them made for the use of the late commissary, Quarter Master, cloathing, marine and hospital departments, or under any other description whatsoever; to pass upon all such as are authorized by the Resolves of Congress, and supported by proper Vouchers, so far as it respects the evidence offered in the support of the said Claims, and to State such as are not thus Warranted or supported, together with such remarks as may explain the Nature of these Accounts, and the reasons offered for the Deficiency of Vouchers.

And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That on all the Accounts aforesaid Interest shall be allowed at the rate of six per cent. per Annum, Agreeably to the resolves of Congress; And Whereas, it is essential to the Welfare of the Confederacy that the Accounts of the several States should be speedily adjusted, that this adjustment should be effected on uniform principles, and that provision should be made for allowing such advances or disbursements as may have been made by the Respective States for the use of the Union, although the Same be not Sanctioned by the resolves of Congress or supported by regular Vouchers.

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Be it therefore ordained, That the several States be, and they are hereby Limited to the space of six months for Exhibiting to the proper Commissioner, their Claims against the United States, of whatsoever Nature the Same may be, and that such States as may neglect to exhibit the Same within that period of time, after the Commissioner has notified to the Supreme executive thereof that he is ready to proceed on the business of his Commission, shall be precluded from any future allowance; but shall nevertheless stand chargeable with all the advances of Money or other Articles which may have been made to them respectively by the United States, and with whatever balance may be yet due on their Several quotas of the General Requisitions.

And be it further Ordained, That the said Commissioners of Districts shall within twelve months after they enter on the duty of their several appointments, repair to the place where the United States in Congress may hold their Sessions with such Accounts and Vouchers as they may have in possession and deliver the same to the Comptroller of the Treasury, on which their Commission shall terminate.

Be it further Ordained, That a Board Consisting of three Commissioners be appointed by the United States in Congress Assembled, whose duty it shall be to receive from the Comptroller of the Treasury, and from the Commissioner of Army Accounts, all the Accounts and Claims of the Several States deposited in their respective Offices, and to examine such of the said accounts as shall have been passed by the Commissioners of the several districts, in order that the same may be finally adjusted on uniform and equitable principles having reference to the Settlements of Accounts heretofore made by the Commissioners of the different States: Provided, that such revision of the Accounts above mentioned shall not in any wise affect the Validity of the Vouchers admitted by the Commissioners of the respective Districts.

And be it further Ordained, That wherever it shall appear to the said Board of Commissioners that advances or disbursements, payments or Supplies, of the description aforesaid, have been made by any of the States, Subsequent to the 18th April, 1785, for articles of service for the use of the United States, that said Commissioners be, and they are hereby vested with full power & authority to make such allowance for the same as they shall think consistent with the

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principles of general equity, although such advances or disbursements may not be Sanctioned by the Resolves of Congress or Supported by regular Vouchers, so as to enable the said Commissioners to make a final adjustment of all the Accounts subsisting between the United States & the several members thereof, agreeable to such quota as Congress shall herafter determine.

And be it further Ordained, That the Determination of a Majority of the aforesaid board of Commissioners on the claims submitted to them shall be final and Conclusive, and their commission shall continue in force for one year and a half from the time of their entering on the duties of their office, unless sooner revoked by Congress.

And be it further Ordained, That the pay of the Commissioners of districts, shall be at the rate of twelve hundred & fifty dollars Per Annum; and that of their clerks at the rate not exceeding four hundred & fifty dollars per annum, each.

And be it further Ordained, That every person employed, or to be employed in pursuance of this Ordinance, shall previous to the entering on the duties of his office take and subscribe an Oath faithfully & impartially to perform the duties of the office to which he is appointed, Certificates of which shall be deposited with the Secretary of Congress.

And be it further Ordained, That the Ordinance of the 13th Oct., 1786, entitled “An ordinance for establishing a board to liquidate and settle all Acc’ts between the United States & Individual States,” be, and it is hereby repealed.

Attest: R. ALDEN, Dept. Sect’y.