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those already ordered to be drawn on doctor Franklin
Resolved, That the honourable John Adams be in-
NOVEMBER 28, 1780.
DECEMBER 1, 1780.
Resolved, That the order of the day to-morrow for
DECEMBER 15, 1780.
To follow proceedings of December 15, 1780. Page 358.
from the 15th day of December, 1776, to the 25th day of March, 1780.
DECEMBER 21, 1780.
To follow proceedings of December 21, 1780. Page 360. On motion of Mr. Duane, seconded by Mr. Witherspoon,
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to take into consideration the case of the honourable Henry Laurens, made a prisoner on his passage to Europe, and said to be committed to the tower of London, on suspicion of high treason, and to report thereon.
The members Mr. Duane, Mr. Witherspoon, Mr: Burke.
On motion of Mr. S. Adams, seconded by Mr. Bee,
Ordered, That the President write to our ministers plenipotentiary at the courts of Versailles and Madrid, desiring them to apply to the courts at which they respectively reside, to use means for obtaining the release and exchange of the honourable Henry Laurens.
JANUARY 10, 1781. To follow proceedings of January 10, 1781. Page 393. The committee, appointed to consider and report a plan for the department of foreign affairs, report,
That the extent and the rising power of these United States entitle them to a place among the great polentates of Europe, while our political and commercial interests point out the propriety of cultivating with them a friendly correspondence and connexion,
That, to render such an intercourse advantageous, the necessity of a competent knowledge of the interests, views, relations and systems of those potentates, is obvious.
That a knowledge, in its nature so comprehensive, is only to be acquired by a constant attention to the state of Europe, and an unremitted application to the means of acquiring well grounded information.
That Congress are moreover called upon to maintain with our ministers at foreign courts a regular corres. pondence, and to keep them fully informed of every circumstance and event which regards the publick honour, interest and safety.
That to answer those essential purposes, the committee are of opinion, that a fixed and permanent office for the department of foreign affairs ought forth with to be established, as a remedy against the fluctuation, the delay and indecision to which the present mode of managing our foreign affairs must be exposed : Whereupon,
Resolved, That an office be forth with established for the department of foreign affairs, to be kept always in the place where Congress shall reside.
That there shall be a secretary for the despatch of business of the said office, to be styled “secretary for “foreign affairs.”
That it shall be the duty of the said secretary to keep and preserve all the books and papers belonging to the department of foreign affairs : to receive and report the applications of all foreigners : to correspond with the ministers of the United States at foreign courts, and with the ministers of foreign powers and other persons, for the purpose of obtaining the most extensive and useful information relative to foreign affairs, to be laid before Congress when required : also to transmit such communications as Congress shall direct, to the ministers of these United States and others at foreign courts, and in foreign countries : the said secretary shall have liberty to attend Congress, that he may be better in. formed of the affairs of the United States, and have an opportunity of explaining his reports respecting his department: he shall also be authorized to employ one or if necessary more clerks to assist him in the business of his office : and the secretary, as well as such clerks, shall, before the President of Congress, take an oath or fidelity to the United States, and an oath for the faith. ful execution of their respective trusts.
MARCH 26, 1781.
To follow proceedings of March 24, 1781. Page 402.
On motion of Mr. Madison, seconded by Mr. M.
Ordered, That authenticated copies of the said me. morial, protests and affidavits be transmitted to the honourable John Adams; and that he be instructed to represent the case to which they relate to their high
mightinesses the states general of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and to claim such redress for the memorialists, as justice and the law of nations require.
MAY 24, 1781.
Resolved, That a copy of the said petition be transmitted to the minister plenipotentiary of these United States at the court of Spain ; and that he be directed to represent the matter to the said court, and take such measures as he may judge expedient to obtain an order to the judge of the admiralty of Teneriffe, to deliver the whole amount of the sales of the prize therein mention. ed, to the owners of the brigantine Brilliant, their agent or attorney, for the use of the said owners and the captors.
MAY 29, 1781. To be inserted in proceedings of May 29, 1781. Page 408. Ordered, That in the settlement of Mr. A. Lee's ac. counts, the board of treasury admit as vouchers, bills of lading and invoices, which show that merchants of character have shipped the contents: where such cannot be produced, that they admit receipts, or other papers which charge the consignee or other competent person at the port of delivery: that they admit the bankers accounts which charge the bank with the cres