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and a thorough investigation of the system recommended, yet the committee cannot forbear to remark, that this plan has been under reference for nearly three years; that, during that period, numerous changes have taken place in the delegations of every State, but that this system has received the repeated approbation of each successive Congress, and that the urgency of the public engagements at this time, renders it the unquestionable duty of the several States to adopt, without further delay, those measures which alone, in the judgment of the committee, can preserve the sacred faith of this confederacy."

“Thus it is evident that the sum of 2,457,987 25-90ths dollars only, was received in a space of more than four years, when the requisitions, in the most forcible manner, pressed on the States the payment of much larger sums, and for purposes of the highest national importance. It should be here observed, that the receipts of the last fourteen months of the above period, amount only to 432,897 81-90ths dollars, which is at the rate of 371,052 dollars per annum, a sum short of what is essentially necessary for the bare maintenance of the Federal Government on the most economical establishment, and in time of profound peace.

The committee observe, with great concern, that the security of the navigation and commerce of the citizens of these States from the Barbary powers, the protection of the frontier inhabitants from the savages, the immediate establishment of military magazines in different parts of the Union, rendered indispensable by the principles of public safety, the maintenance of the Federal Government at home, and the support of the public servants abroad, each and all, depend upon the contributions of the States under the annual requisitions of Congress. The moneys essentially necessary for these important objects, will so far exceed the sums formerly collected from the States by taxes, that no hope can be indulged of being able, from that source, to make any remittances for the discharge of foreign engagements.

Thus circumstanced, after the most solemn deliberation, and under the fullest conviction that the public embarrassments are such as above represented, and that they are daily increasing, the committee are of opinion that it has become the duty of Congress to declare, most explicitly, that the crisis has arrived when the people of these United States, by whose will, and for whose benefit the Federal Government was instituted, must decide whether they will support their rank as a nation, by maintaining the public faith at home and abroad; or whether, for want of a timely exertion in establishing a general revenue, and thereby giving strength to the confederacy, they will hazard not only the existence of the Union, but of those great and invaluable privileges for which they have so arduously and so honorably contended.”

Resolved, That Congress agree to the said report.

And to the end, that Congress may remain wholly acquitted from every imputation of a want of attention to the interest and welfare of those whom they represent,

Resolved, That the requisitions of Congress of the 27th of April, 1784, and the 27th of September, 1785, cannot be considered as the establishment of a system of general revenue, in opposition to that recommended to the several States by the resolves of Congress of the 18th of April, 1783.

Resolved, That the resolves of Congress of the 18th of April, 1783, recommending a system of general revenue, be again presented to the consideration of the legislatures of the several States, which have not fully complied with the same. That it be earnestly recommended to the legislatures of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina, which have complied only in part with the said system, completely to adopt the same; and to the legislatures of the States of Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, and Georgia, which have not adopted the said system, either in whole or in part, to pass laws, without further delay, in full conformity with the same. But as it is highly necessary that every possible aid should, in the most expeditious manner, be obtained to the revenue of the United States, it is therefore recommended to the several States, that, in adopting the said system, they enable the United States, in Congress assembled, to carry into effect that part which relates to the impost, so soon as it shall be acceded to.

Resolved, That whilst Congress are denied the means of satisfying those engagements which they have constitutionally entered into for the common benefit of the Union, they hold it their duty to warn their constituents that the most fatal evils will inevitably flow from a breach of public faith, pledged by solemn contract, and a violation of those principles of justice, which are the only solid basis of the honor and prosperity of nations.


In the House of Delegates, January 21st, 1786.

Resolved, That Edmund Randolph, James Madison, junior, Walter Jones, Saint George Tucker, Meriwether Smith, David Ross, William Ronald, and George Mason, esquires, be appointed commissioners, who, or any five of whom, shall meet such commissioners as may be appointed by the other States in the Union, at a time and place to be agreed on, to take into consideration the trade of the United States; to examine the relative situations and trade of the said States; to consider how far an uniform system in their commercial regulations may be necessary to their common interest and their permanent harmony, and to report to the several States such an act relative to this great object, as, when unanimously ratified by them, will enable the United States, in Congress assembled, effectually to provide for the same: that the said commissioners shall immediately transmit to the several States copies of the preceding resolution, with a circular letter requesting their concurrence therein, and proposing a time and place for the meeting aforesaid. Test:

JOHN BECKLEY, C. H. D. 1786, January 21st, Agreed to by the Senate.


By his excellency, Patrick Henry, esquire, governor of the com

monwealth of Virginia, it is hereby certified that John Beckley, the person subscribing the above resolve, is

clerk of the house of delegates, and that due faith and (L. S.) credit is, and ought to be, paid to all things done by him

by virtue of his office. Given under my hand as governor, and under the seal of the commonwealth, at Richmond, the 6th day of July, 1786.


{Certain other of the States came readily into the measure proposed, and a meeting of commissioners took place at Annapolis, whose proceedings are stated in the following report:]


September 11, 1786. At a meeting of commissioners from the States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia:







Alexander Hamilton,

George Read,
Egbert Benson.

John Dickinson,

Richard Bassett.
Abraham Clarke,
William C. Houston,

Edmund Randolph,
James Schureman.

James Madison, jun.,

Saint George Tucker.
Tench Coxe.
Mr. Dickinson was unanimously elected chairman.

The commissioners produced their credentials from their respective States, which were read.

After a full communication of sentiments, and deliberate consideration of what would be proper to be done by the commissioners now assembled, it was unanimously agreed, that a committee be appointed to prepare a draught of a report to be made to the States having commissioners attending at this meeting.

Adjourned till Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, September 13, 1786. Met agreeable to adjournment.

The committee appointed for that purpose, reported the draught of the report, which being read, the meeting proceeded to the consideration thereof; and after some time spent therein, adjourned till to-morrow morning.

Thursday, September 14, 1786. Met agreeable to adjournment.

The meeting resumed the consideration of the draught of the report, and after some time spent therein, and amendments made, the same was unanimously agreed to, and is as follows, to wit: To the honorable the legislatures of Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylva

nia, New Jersey, and New York, the commissioners from the said States, respectively, assembled at Annapolis, humbly beg leave to report:

That, pursuant to their several appointments, they met at Annapolis, in the State of Maryland, on the 11th day of September instant, and having proceeded to a communication of their powers, they found that the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Vir ginia, had, in substance, and nearly in the same terms, authorized their respective commissioners “to meet such commissioners as were or might be appointed by the other States in the Union, at such time and place as should be agreed upon by the said commissioners, to take into consideration the trade and commerce of the United States, to consider how far an uniform system in their commercial intercourse and regulations might be necessary to their common interest and permanent harmony, and to report to the several states such an act relative to this great object, as, when unanimously ratified by them, would enable the United States in congress assembled effectually to provide for the same.”

That the State of Delaware had given similar powers to their commissioners, with this difference only, that the act to be framed in virtue of these powers, is required to be reported “ to the United States in congress assembled, to be agreed to by them, and con firmed by the legislatures of every State.”

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