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John Jay Chapter six by Stanley L. Klos author, President Who? Forgotten Founders

John Jay


 

 3rd President of the Continental Congress
of the United States of America

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The First United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents

Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776

Peyton Randolph

September 5, 1774

October 22, 1774

Henry Middleton

October 22, 1774

October 26, 1774

Peyton Randolph

May 20, 1775

May 24, 1775

John Hancock

May 25, 1775

July 1, 1776

 Commander-in-Chief United Colonies of America
George Washington:  June 15, 1775 - July 1, 1776

 

 

The Second United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781

 John Hancock

July 2, 1776

October 29, 1777

Henry Laurens

November 1, 1777

December 9, 1778

John Jay

December 10, 1778

September 28, 1779

Samuel Huntington

September 29, 1779

February 28, 1781

Commander-in-Chief United Colonies of America
George Washington:  July 2, 1776 - February 28, 1781

 

 


John Jay House - Virtualology.com
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John Jay was born in New York City on December 12th, 1745 and died in Bedford, Westchester County, New York, on May 17th, 1829. He was of Huguenot descent, and was educated in part by Pastor Stoope, of the French church at New Rochelle. He attended Kings College (now Columbia University) in Manhattan, graduating in 1766.

Jay studied law with Benjamin Kissam, having Lindley Murray as his fellow student and was admitted to the bar in 1766. When news of the passage of the Boston port bill reached New York on May 16th, 1776, Jay was appointed a member of a Committee of Correspondence with the other colonies. Their reply to the Boston Committee, attributed to Jay, recommended, as of the utmost moment, "a congress of deputies from the colonies in general."

John Jay's Nomination to the 1st Continental Congress
John Jay's Nomination to the 1st Continental Congress - - Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Jay was a delegate to the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774. As one of a com­mittee of three, he prepared the "Address to the People of Great Britain," which Thomas Jefferson, while ignorant of the authorship, declared to be "a production certainly of the finest pen in America." Jay was an active member of the committee of observation in New York, on whose recommendation the counties elected a provincial congress. He was also active on a committee of association of 100 members, invested by the city of New York with general undefined powers. He was a member of the second congress, which met in Philadelphia, 10 May 1775, and drafted the "Address to the People of Canada and of Ireland". During that period he carried against a strong opposition a petition to the king, which was signed by the members on July 8th. The rejection of this petition, leaving no alternative but submission or resistance opened the way for a general acquiescence in the Declaration of Independence.

Jay was a member of the secret committee appointed by Congress, 29 November 1775, after a confidential interview with a French officer, "to correspond with the friends of America in Great Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world." While he was attending congress at Philadelphia, Jay's presence was requested by the New York convention, which required his counsel. This convention met at White Plains, 9 July 1776, and on Jay's motion unanimously approved the Declaration of Independence, which on that day was received from the Continental Congress.

The passage of a large part of Lord Howe's fleet up the Hudson induced the appointment by the conven­tion of a secret committee vested with extraordinary powers, of which Jay was made chairman. Another committee was formed to defeat conspiracies in the state against the liberties of America. The resolutions guiding this committee were drawn by Jay and its minutes, many of which are in his hand, show the energy with which it exercised its powers through arrests, imprisonments, and banishments, and the vigorous system demanded by the critical condition of the American cause for Independence. The successes of the British in New York; the retreat and needs of Washington's army, had induced a feeling of despondency, throughout the States in 1776. John Jay was the author of an earnest appeal to his countrymen, which by order of the Continental Congress was translated into German and widely circulated.

Jay drafted the state constitution adopted by the convention of New York, which met successively at Harlem, Kingsbridge, Philip's Manor, White Plains, Poughkeepsie and Kingston. He was appointed chief justice of the state, holding his first term at Kingston on 9 September 1777, and acting also on the council of safety, which directed the military occupation of the state and wielded an absolute sovereignty. He was visited at Fishkill, in the autumn of 1778, by General Washington for a confidential conversation on the invasion of Canada by the French and American forces, which they concurred in their disapproval, chiefly on the probability that if conquered it would be retained by France.

Jay was again sent to Congress on a special occasion, the withdrawal of Vermont from the juris­diction of New York. During this period New York was determined to hold the Continental Congress Presidency, and their choice was General Schuyler who was not present at the time. According to Sparks, editor Writings of Washington:

“On the account of his abscense, Mr. Jay was prevailed upon to take the chair, with a resolution on his part to resign in favor of General Schuyler as soon as he attends”

John Jay arrived in Congress on December 5th, 1778 the same day Silas Deane published an appeal "to Free and Virtuous Citizens of America". Deane had been recalled from France for alleged corrupt dealings by Arthur Lee. In the summer of 1778 he attempted to clear himself but Congress sought to resolve the impasse not by calling back Arthur Lee to substantiate his claim but by tabling the matter. In his address (see the previous chapter for a full account of this affair), Deane indicted the conduct of his fellow commissioner Arthur Lee and obliquely challenged the authority of Congress. Samuel Adams, who had led the anti-French faction, with the help of President Henry Laurens, opposed Deane. Supporters of Benjamin Franklin, one of Deane's fel­low foreign commissioners, came to his defense.

Jay stepped right in the middle of the controversy. The NY Delegate had been briefed by Gouverneur and Robert Morris that Deane, despite his exceptional contributions as a commis­sioner in France, was ill-treated by Congress. John Jay who was part of the “constructive party”, in fact, helped secure Deane's appointment. Delegate Jay regarded Deane as honest and patriotic and had little regard for the Lees due to a bitter dispute with Richard Henry Lee in the First Continental Congress. Jay also knew that the Lees-Adam Faction was responsible for General Schuyler's and Arthur St. Clair's loss of favor during Burgoyne's Campaign against Fort Ticonderoga and Saratoga. John Jay ardently supported Deane and therefore became a political opponent of then sitting President Henry Laurens.

President Henry Laurens was livid over Deane's public outcry and the President unsuccessfully attempted to have Congress censure Deane's publication. Laurens, for the third time, quit his office expecting Congress to reject his resignation. To Laurens surprise he was not asked to stay on as President by a majority vote of the delegates. Instead Congress called for a recess until the following day to vote for a new President.

The Continental Congress turned to Laurens adversary, John Jay only three days after taking his Delegate and elected him President of the Continental Congress on December 10, 1778. Eight states voting for Jay and four for Laurens. On December 10th Jay wrote George Clinton of New York:

Dear Sir Philadelphia 10 Dec'r 1778

Many unavoidable Delays prevented my arrival here till Sunday evening last.

Yesterday Mr. Laurens resigned the Chair, & this morning Congress were pleased to appoint me to succeed him. This Circumstance was unexpected. Let your public Letters be public ones. I mean that public & private matters should not be mixed in the same Letters.

Commodore Wynkoop's memorial has been presented & committed. You shall have the earliest Intelligence of its Fate.1 I have heard, tho not from authority, that the Enemy have quitted the River without having accomplished any thing of Importance. God Grant it may be true. We have no Intelligence worth communicating.

The Season for bringing on the affair of Vermont is not yet arrived, nor can I divine what will be the Issue of it. I can only say that my Endeavors shall not be wanting to bring it to a Termination satisfactory to New York. Be pleased to present my best Respects to Mrs. Clinton & believe that I am

very sincerely your Friend & serv't,
John Jay.

Forgotten U.S. Capitols 1774-1789

 

Fellow N.Y. Delegate , James Duane also wrote New York Governor Clinton:

Dear Sir, Philadelphia, 10th Dec'r, 1778.

Mr. President Laurens, who has been in the Chair 13 months yesterday resigned, sated with honor, and worn down with fatigue. A respect as to the Confederacy had an influence on this measure. You remember this grand instrument of our federal union restrains the same member from serving more than a year at one time.

A great majority of Congress immediately determined that one of the New York Delegates should succeed in the Chair. We held up General Schuyler, which seemed to be very agreeable. On account of his absence, Mr. Jay was prevailed on to take the chair with a resolution on his part to resign in favor of General Schuyler as soon as he attends.(1) I hope we shall be able to contrive the means of his executing the particular commission with which he is intrusted.(2) On this subject we have not yet conferred any further than to learn to my utter astonishment that he is not possessed of the Maps and papers reported by a Committee of Convention to justify our claims. I entreat your Excellency to forward one of the Maps and a copy of the minutes of the Committee, or rather of their state of the territorial claim of New York.

All the States except Maryland and Delaware have actually signed the Confederacy. New Jersey without waiting for our offer. I fear it will cost me a jaunt to Maryland to prevail on that State to accede; as I am spoken of as one of a Committee for that purpose.(3) Disengaged as we are from any obligation to New Jersey we propose to hold out the grant of the bounty lands to Maryland The want of ability to gratify their soldiery is a capital if not the material objection.

I write in a hurry after the fatigues of the day. I write in confidence because I have not time to weigh what I write. Your Excellency I wish to see what passes on every important event.

I am with respectful compliments to Mrs. Clinton, Dear Sir, Your Excellency's truly affectionate and most obedient servant,

Jas. Duane

General Schuyler did not attend nor seek John Jay’s office of President. It should be noted that in 1778, John Jay was actually serving in a dual role of Chief Justice of New York and President of the Continental Congress. He did not resign the Chief Justice position until shortly before resigning the Presidency, in order to accept the position of Foreign Secretary to the United States in 1779.

During the Presidency John Jay continued to align himself with the contingent that was against the Adams and Lees, the "constructive party". According to Sanders, "He wrote to Washington that the Marine and Commercial Committees did not and could not amount to much because they were mere tools of the 'Family Compact' who desired to keep them useless and impotent for their own purposes. And of course he was no friend of Gates and the Cabal Crowd." Jay was is described by most Congressional Scholars as an elitist believing that the wealthy, socially connected and men of intellect should govern the country. Delegate William Carmichael's letter to Signer of the Declaration of Independence Charles Carroll of Carrollton on January 16, 1779 gives some indication of the inner workings of congress and John Jay:

"I am much beholden to you for your letter of the 2nd inst. Let me assure you that all will be done-as you wish. In this august Assembly we dawdle and dally-nothing ever gets done as one could wish. I give you an example. There was a spirited discussion on how to reimburse Mo Beaumarchais petition on his behalf by M. France, decided to render payment in tobacco. It was late when Congress was ready to vote. As usual we looked to the President to give his opinion before balloting. Mr. Jay is more judicious than his predecessor in the chair, and less prolix, but I almost despaired of our getting thro' because Mr. Penn, Caro[lina], would not desist. It seems that Maryland tobacco is to be purchased which would be a pretty business."

As with his predecessors Jay was no stranger to prayer. One of John Jay's acts as President was issuing a Proclamation call for a Day of Fasting Humiliation and Prayer:

John Jay - Virtualology.com

"PROCLAMATION

Whereas, in just punishment of our manifold transgressions, it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all events to visit these United States with a destructive calami­tous war, through which His divine Providence hath, hitherto, in a wonderful manner, conducted us, so that we might acknowledge that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong: and whereas, there is but too much Reason to fear that notwith­standing the chastisements received and benefits bestowed, too few have been suffi­ciently awakened to a sense of their guilt, or warmed our Bosoms with gratitude, or taught to amend their lives and turn from their sins, that so He might turn from His wrath. And whereas, from a consciousness of what we have merited at His hands, and an apprehension that the malevolence of our disappointed enemies, like the increduli­ty of Pharaoh, may be used as the scourge of Omnipotence to vindicate his slighted Majesty, there is reason to fear that he may permit much of our land to become the prey of the spoiler, and the Blood of the innocent be poured out that our borders to be ravaged, and our habitations destroyed:

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states to appoint the first Thursday in May next, to be a day of fasting, Thanksgiving humiliation and prayer to Almighty God, that he will be pleased to avert those impending calamities which we have but too well deserved: that he will grant us his grace to repent of our sins, and amend our lives, according to his holy word: that he will continue that wonderful protection which hath led us through the paths of danger and distress: that he will be a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless children, who weep over the barbarities of a savage enemy: that he will grant us patience in suffering, and fortitude in adversity: that he will inspire us with humility and moderation, and gratitude in prosperous cir­cumstances: that he will give wisdom to our councils, firmness to our resolutions, and victory to our arms That he will have Mercy on our Foes, and graciously forgive them, and turn their Hearts from Enmity to Love.

That he will bless the labours of the husbandman, and pour forth abundance, so that we may enjoy the fruits of the earth in due season. That he will cause union, harmony, and mutual confidence to prevail throughout these states: that he will bestow on our great ally all those blessings which may enable him to be gloriously instrumental in protecting the rights of mankind, and promoting the happiness of his subjects and advancing the Peace and Liberty of Nations. That he will give to both Parties to this Alliance, Grace to perform with Honor and Fidelity their National Engagements].1 That he will bountifully continue his paternal care to the commander in chief, and the officers and soldiers of the United States: that he will grant the blessings of peace to all contending nations, freedom to those who are in bondage, and comfort to the afflicted: that he will diffuse useful knowledge, extend the influence of true religion, and give us that peace of mind, which the world cannot give: that he will be our shield in the day of battle, our comforter in the hour of death, and our kind parent and merciful judge through time and through eternity.

Done in Congress, this 20th day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, and in the third year of our independence.

John Jay, President.
Attest, Charles Thomson, Secretary."

John Jay Proclamation - Fast Day

March 20, 1779 Proclamation for a day of Fasting Humiliation and Prayer signed by John Jay
Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

In the spring of 1779 the rival between Horatio Gates and George Washington arrived once again to the doorstep of the President of the Continental Congress. Paul H. Smith Library of Congress editor, Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789 writes

"Gates' March 15 letter to Congress … contained his opinion of possible routes for an expedition into Canada and discussed his correspondence with Washington on the subject, which reflected the strained relations that had long prevailed between the two generals. Jay made the following extract of it, which he sent to Washington under cover of a brief note dated '6th April 1779' and marked 'Private.' 'The enclosed Copy of my Letter to General Washington of the 4th Instant,' Gates explained, 'in answer to his of the 14th Ulto. from Middlebrook, will give Congress a true Idea of my opin­ion, respecting our entering Canada, and the only Route which we can take with rea­sonable Hopes of Success. Individuals and not the public will be benefited by an Expedition into Canada, by either of the routes from Albany. That of Coos alone is practicable, but not without the Co-operation of the allied Fleet.

General Washington's Letter of the 14th Feby is enclosed. It being the only Letter I have received from his Excellency, since December, Congress will immediately judge of the Extent, or Limitations which it is proper to observe in their Instructions to me.'

Jay's covering note to Washington reads simply: 'Mr. Jay presents his Compliments to General Washington, and encloses an Extract from a Letter in a certain Degree inter­esting.' Washington's lengthy April 14 reply to Jay's note reflected great sensitivity over how his correspondence with Gates might be interpreted and the intensity of Washington's feeling against him, which prompted even a sympathetic biographer to observe. 'Was it necessary to employ 3500 words in order to demonstrate that Washington's dislike of Gates was justified and was as deep-seated as Gates's bias against his Commander-in-Chief?' "

Upon Receipt of Washington's April 14th 1779 letter, President John Jay in true patriot fashion composed a warm letter to the Commander-in-Chief:

"Dear Sir, Accept my Thanks for the long & friendly Letter of the 14 Inst. which I have had the Pleasure of receiving from you. It was for many Reasons grateful to me. I value the Esteem of the wise and virtuous, and had wished to know the particulars of Transactions, respecting which only vague and unsatisfactory Reports, had come to my Knowledge. Delicacy forbid my breaking the Subject to you when here. I was sure of your Politeness, but not certain of a more than usual Degree of Confidence. The latter is now become manifest, and permit me to assure you it shall be mutual.

The Impression attempted to be made, has not taken. It passed without a single Remark. Your Friends thought it merited nothing but Silence and Neglect. The same Reason enduced me to take no Notice of it in my Answer.

I have perused the several Papers with which you favored me. The Delicacy, Candor & Temper diffused thro' your Letters, form a strong Contrast to the Evasions & Design observable in some others. Gratitude ought to have attached a certain Gentleman to the Friend who raised him. A spurious Ambition however, has it seems made him your Enemy. This is not uncommon. To the Dishonor of human nature, the History of Mankind has many Pages filled with similar Instances; and we have little Reason to expect that the Annals of the present, or future Times, will present us with fewer Characters of this Class. On the contrary, there is Reason to expect they will multiply in the Course of this Revolution. Seasons of general Heat, Tumult and Fermentation favor the Production & Growth of some great Virtues, and of many great and little Vices. Which will predominate, is a Question which Events not yet produced, nor now to be discerned, can alone determine. What Parties and Factions will arise, to what Objects be directed, what Sacrifices they will require, and who will be the Victims, are matters beyond the Sphere of human Prevision. New Modes of Government not gen­erally understood, nor in certain Instances approved-Want of Moderation and Information in the People-want of Abilities & Rectitude in some of their Rulers-a wide Field open for the Operations of Ambition-Men raised from low Degrees to high Stations, and rendered giddy by Elevation, and the Extent of their Views-Laws dictat­ed by the Spirit of the Times, not the Spirit of Justice and liberal Policy-Latitude in Principles as well as Commerce-Fluctuation in Manners, and public Counsels-Suspension of Education-Indifference to Religion, and moral Obligations &c &c. are Circumstances that portend Evils which much Prudence, vigor and Circumspection are necessary to prevent or controul. To me there appears Reason to expect a long Storm, and difficult Navigation. Calm Repose and the Sweets of undisturbed Retirement, appear more distant than a Peace with Britain.

It gives me Pleasure however to reflect, that the Period is approaching when we shall become Citizens of a better ordered State; and the spending a few troublesome Years of our Eternity in doing good to this and future Generations is not to be avoided or regretted. Things will come Right, and these States will be great and flourishing. The Dissolution of our Governments threw us into a political Chaos. Time, wisdom and Perseverance will reduce it into Form, and give it Strength, Order and Harmony. In this Work you are (in the Stile of one of your Professions) a master builder, and God grant that you may long continue a free and accepted one.

Thus my dear Sir! I have indulged myself in thinking loud in your Hearing-it would be an Hybernicism to say in your Sight tho in one Sense more true. It is more than prob­able that I shall frequently do the like. Your Letter shall be my Apology-and the Pleasure resulting from Converse with those we esteem, my motive."

This letter cemented a relationship of friendship between John Jay and George Washington for the rest of their lives. In fact, John Jay gained Washington's trust and respect when he backed The Commander-in-Chief earlier when General Lafayette proposed to Congress a plan to liberate the French people in Quebec. George Washington opposed the plan and despite some significant support in Congress President Jay opposed it with this letter:

"The Congress have directed me to observe to you, that the Plan for emancipating Canada was conceived at a Time when, from various movements of the Enemy there was the highest Reason to expect a speedy & total Evacuation of all the Posts they held in these States. Those Indications however proved fallacious & the Probability of their quitting this Country in the Course of the Winter is become very slender, nor is it by any Means certain that they will do it in the Spring. Prudence therefore dictates that the arms of America should be employed in expelling the Enemy from her own shores, before the Liberation of a Neighbouring Province is undertaken. As the pro­portion of force necessary for our Defence must be determined by the future Operations & Designs of the Enemy which cannot now be known, and as in Case of another Campaign it may happen to be very inconvenient if not impossible for us to furnish our proposed Quota of Troops for the Emancipation of Canada, Congress think they ought not under such circumstances to draw their good Ally into a Measure the Issue of which depending on a variety of Contingencies would be very uncertain, & might be very ruinous.”

John Jay was faced, throughout his presidency, with few more serious problems then the collapse of the continental paper currency. Jay wrote George Washington in April 1779:

"The state of our currency is really serious. Where or by what means the progress of the depreciation will be prevented is uncertain."

Congress, by September, was so concerned with the collapse of the monetary system that they requested Jay to draw up a letter to explain their resolutions for ceasing further emissions of bills of credit. The following letter was presented to Congress which the unanimously approved ordering a special printing and translation into German.   John Jay transmitted the letter to the Governors of each state - click here to view the Patrick Henry transmittal letter courtesy of Stan Klos and Daniel Western:

"Friends and Fellow-Citizens!

-In governments raised on tile generous principles of equal liberty, where the rulers of the state are the servants of the people, and not the masters of those from whom they derive authority; it is their duty to inform their fellow-citizens of the state of their affairs, and by evincing the propriety of public measures, lead them to unite the influence of inclination to the force of legal obligation in rendering them successful. This duty ceases not, even in times of the most perfect peace, order and tranquillity, when the safety of the commonwealth is neither endangered by force or seduction from abroad, or by faction, treachery or misguided ambition from within. At this season, therefore, we find ourselves in a particular manner impressed with a sense of it, and can no longer forbear calling your attention to a subject much misrepresented, and respect­ing which, dangerous, as well as erroneous opinions have been held and propagat-ed:--we mean your finances.

The ungrateful despotism and inordinate lust of domination, which marked the unnatural designs of the British king and his venal parliament, to enslave tile people of America, reduced you to the necessity of either asserting your rights by arms, or ingloriously passing under the yoke. You nobly preferred war. Armies were then to be raised, paid and supplied: money became necessary for these purposes. Of your own there was but little; and of no nation in the world could you then borrow. The little that was spread among you could be collected only by taxes, and to this end regular governments were essential; of these you were also destitute. So circumstanced, you had no other resource but the natural value and wealth of your fertile country. Bills were issued on the credit of this bank, and your faith was pledged for their redemp­tion. After a considerable number of these had circulated, loans were solicited, and offices for the purpose established. Thus a national debt was unavoidably created, and the amount of it is as follows:

Bills emitted and circulating, 159,948,880 dollars; monies borrowed before tile 1st of March, 1778, the interest of which is payable in France, 7,545,196 67--90ths; monies borrowed since the first of March, 1778, the interest of which is payable here, 26,188,909; money due abroad, not exactly known, the balances not having been transmitted, supposed to be about 4,000,000 dollars. For your further satisfaction we shall order a particular account of the several emissions, with the times limited for their redemption, and also of the several loans, the interest allowed on each, and the terms assigned for their payment, to be prepared and published.

The taxes have as yet brought into the treasury no more than 3,027,560, so that all the monies supplied to Congress by the people of America, amount to no more than 36,761,665 67--90 dollars, that being the sum of the loans and taxes received. Judge, then, of the necessity of emissions, and learn from whom and from whence that neces­sity arose.

We are also to inform you, that on the first day of September inst. we resolved "that we would, on no account whatever, emit more bills of credit than to make the whole amount of such bills 200,000,000 of dollars," and as the sum emitted and in circula­tion amounted to 159,948,880 dollars, and the sum of 40,051,120 dollars remained to complete the 200,000,000 abovementioned, we on the 3d day of September, inst. further resolved, "that we would emit such part only of the said sum of 40,051,120 dol­lars as should be absolutely necessary for public exigencies before adequate supplies could otherwise be obtained, relying for such supplies on the exertions of the several states."

Exclusive of the great and ordinary expenses incident to the war, the depreciation of the currency has so swelled the prices of every necessary article, and of consequence made such additions to the usual amount of expenditures, that very considerable sup­plies must be immediately provided by loans and taxes; and we unanimously declare it to be essential to the welfare of these states, that the taxes already called for be paid into the continental treasury by the time recommended for that purpose. It is also highly proper that you should extend your views beyond that period, and prepare in season, as well for bringing your respective quotas of troops into the field early the next campaign, as for providing the supplies necessary in the course of it. We shall take care to apprize you, from time to time, of the state of the treasury, and to rec­ommend the proper measures for supplying it. To keep your battalions full, to encour­age loans, and to assess your taxes with prudence, collect them with firmness, and pay them with punctuality, is all that will be requisite on your part. Further ways and means of providing for the public exigencies are now under consideration, and will soon be laid before you.

Having thus given you a short and plain state of your debt, and pointed out the neces­sity of punctuality in furnishing the supplies already required, we shall proceed to make a few remarks on the depreciation of the currency, to which we entreat your attention.

The depreciation of bills of credit is always either natural or artificial, or both. The lat­ter is our case. The moment the sum in circulation exceeded what was necessary as a medium in commerce, it began and continued to depreciate in proportion as the amount of the surplus increased; and that proportion would hold good until the sum emitted should become so great as nearly to equal tile value of the capital or stock, on the credit of which the bills were issued. Supposing, therefore, that 30,000,000 was necessary for a circulating medium, and that 160,000,000 had issued, the natural depreciation is but little more than as five to one: but the actual depreciation exceeds that proportion, and that excess is artificial. The natural depreciation is to be removed only by lessening the quantity of money in circulation. It will regain its primitive value whenever it shall be reduced to tile sum necessary for a medium of commerce. This is only to be effected by loans and taxes.

The artificial depreciation is a more serious subject, and merits minute investigation. A distrust (however occasioned) entertained by the mass of the people, either in the ability or inclination of the United States to redeem their bills, is tile cause of it. Let us enquire how far reason will justify a distrust in the ability of the United States.

The ability of the United States must depend on two things; first the success of the present revolution; and secondly, on the sufficiency of tile natural wealth, value and resources of the country.

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    Samuel Johnston
    Elected but declined the office

    Thomas McKean

    John Hanson

    Elias Boudinot

    Thomas Mifflin

    Richard Henry Lee

    John Hancock
    [
    Chairman David Ramsay]

    Nathaniel Gorham

    Arthur St. Clair

    Cyrus Griffin

      

    Constitution of 1787
    U.S. Presidents

    George Washington 

    John Adams
    Federalist Party


    Thomas Jefferson
    Republican* Party

    James Madison 
    Republican* Party

    James Monroe
    Republican* Party

    John Quincy Adams
    Republican* Party
    Whig Party

    Andrew Jackson
    Republican* Party
    Democratic Party


    Martin Van Buren
    Democratic Party

    William H. Harrison
    Whig Party

    John Tyler
    Whig Party

    James K. Polk
    Democratic Party

    David Atchison**
    Democratic Party

    Zachary Taylor
    Whig Party

    Millard Fillmore
    Whig Party

    Franklin Pierce
    Democratic Party

    James Buchanan
    Democratic Party


    Abraham Lincoln 
    Republican Party

    Jefferson Davis***
    Democratic Party

    Andrew Johnson
    Republican Party

    Ulysses S. Grant 
    Republican Party

    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Republican Party

    James A. Garfield
    Republican Party

    Chester Arthur 
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland
    Democratic Party

    Benjamin Harrison
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland 
    Democratic Party

    William McKinley
    Republican Party

    Theodore Roosevelt
    Republican Party

    William H. Taft 
    Republican Party

    Woodrow Wilson
    Democratic Party

    Warren G. Harding 
    Republican Party

    Calvin Coolidge
    Republican Party

    Herbert C. Hoover
    Republican Party

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Democratic Party

    Harry S. Truman
    Democratic Party

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Republican Party

    John F. Kennedy
    Democratic Party

    Lyndon B. Johnson 
    Democratic Party 

    Richard M. Nixon 
    Republican Party

    Gerald R. Ford 
    Republican Party

    James Earl Carter, Jr. 
    Democratic Party

    Ronald Wilson Reagan 
    Republican Party

    George H. W. Bush
    Republican Party 

    William Jefferson Clinton
    Democratic Party

    George W. Bush 
    Republican Party

    Barack H. Obama
    Democratic Party

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