Front Page Titles (by Subject) DRAFT OF REPORT ON A COMMITTEE OF THE STATES 1 - The Works, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786)
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DRAFT OF REPORT ON A COMMITTEE OF THE STATES 1 - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 4.
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DRAFT OF REPORT ON A COMMITTEE OF THE STATES1
[January 30, 1784.]
The Commee to whom was referred a report on the powers with which a Commee of the States should be vested during the recess of Congress and a Motion on the same subject have agreed to the following resolutions.
Resolved that the Commee of the states which shall be appointed pursuant to the 9th article of Confederation to sit in the recess of Congress for conducting the business of the United States shall be invested with the powers of directing the determination of controversies concerning the private right of soil in the cases & according to the mode pointed out by the 9th article of the Confederation, regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians not members of any of the states:
Regulating the post offices from one state to another throughout all the United States, appointing officers of the land forces in the service of the United States, except only the commander in chief and regimental officers:
Appointing the officers of the naval forces:
Commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the United States:
Making rules for the governmt. & regulation of the sd land and naval forces, not inconsistent with the articles of war established by Congress: directing the operations of the said land and naval forces:
Building, buying & equipping vessels previously agreed by Congress to be built, bought & equipped:
Making requisitions from the states for their quotas of men & money proportioned on them by Congress.
Superintending all offices appertaining to the United States.
Directing and controuling the application of money in the detail according to the general appropriation previously made by Congress:
Supplying all vacancies by new appointments to continue in force only until Congress shall make the final appointments.
Executing in general the resolutions, orders, and Ordinances of Congress:
[torn] bling Congress at an earlier day than that to which they shall stand adjourned, if the public exigencies shall in their opinion require it.
Provided that in none of these instances they repeal or contravene any Ordinance passed by Congress.
Resolved that nine members shall be requisite to proceed to business: and that no question except for adjourning from day to day, shall be determined without the concurrence of seven votes:
That the President of Congress, if a member of the said Commee, and if not a member, or if absent at any time, then a Chairman to be chosen by themselves shall preside; the President or chairman retaining a right to vote:
That the Secretary & other officers of Congress shall attend the sd. Commee.
That they shall keep an accurate journal of their proceedings to be laid before Congress:
And that in these journals shall be entered the yeas and nays of the members when any one of them shall have desired it before the question be put.
POWERS FROM WHICH THE COMMEE OF THE STATES ARE EXCLUDED.
Engaging in war.
Grantg lres of Marque in time of Peace.
Entering into treaties or alliances.
Regulating its value.
Ascertaing sums necessary for defence or welfare.
Agreeg on number of vessels of war or number of land or sea forces.
Appointing Commander in chief of army or navy.
POWERS FROM WHICH THEY SHOULD BE EXCLUDED.
Sending and receiving Ambassadors.
Establishing rules of decision in cases of captures.
Establishing courts of Appeals in cases of captures.
Deciding disputes between states.
Fixing standard of weights & measures.
POWERS WHICH THEY MAY EXERCISE.
Appointg courts for trial of piracies.
Decidg private right of soil after decision of y General right.
Regulating Indian trade.
Regulating post office.
Appointg military officers & commissioning them.
Making rules for governmt of forces.
Directing operations of forces.
Build, buy or equip vessels agreed on by Congress.
Make requisitions on the States for quotas of men.
POWERS WHICH SHOULD BE GIVEN THEM.
To Execute whatever Congress has determind on.
To superintend all the offices.
To apply Definite sums of money to Definite purposes e. g. expresses, fuel, paper & other contingencies.
To supply all vacant offices till meet of Congress.
To Convoke Congress.
That the Commee of the States be authorized & instructed
To appoint proper persons to enquire into the quantity of pure silver in the Spanish milled dollars of different dates in circulation with us: from the best assays which have been made.
To enquire in like manner into the fineness of all other the coins which may be found in circulation within these States.
To report to the Commee the result of these enquiries by them to be laid before Congress
To appoint also proper persons to enquire what are the proportions between the values of fine gold & fine silver at the markets of the several countries with which we are or probably may be connected in commerce, & what would be a proper proportion here, having regard to the average of their values at those markets & to other circumstances, & to report the same to the Commee by them to be laid before Congress.
To prepare an Ordinance for establishing the Unit of money within these states, for subdividing it, & for striking coins of gold, silver, & copper on the following principles.
That the money Unit of these states shall be equal in value to a Spanish milled dollar containing so much fine silver as the enquiry before directed shall shew to be contained on an average in dollars of the several dates in circulation with us.
That the Unit shall be divided into fractions decimally expressed.
That there shall be a coin of silver of the value of an Unit.
one other of the same metal of the value of one tenth of an Unit.
one other of copper of the value of the Hundredth of an Unit.
That there shall be a coin of gold of the value of ten Units, according to the report before directed & the judgment of the Commee thereon.
That for the convenience of paiment there shall also be a gold coin of 5. Units & silver coins of ½ 2/10 & 5/100 &c.
That the alloy of the sd coins of gold & silver shall be equal in weight to one eleventh part of the fine metal.
That there be proper devices for these coins.
That measures be proposed for preventing their diminution & also their currency & that of any others when diminished.
That the several foreign coins be described & classed in the sd Ordinance, the fineness of each class stated, & it’s value by weight estimated in Units & fractions of Units decimally expressed.
And that the sd draught of an Ordinance be reported to Congress at their next meeting for their consideration & determination.
[1 ]Congress being the executive of the United States, the continuous administration of the government required that it should always be in session. To avoid this latter necessity, it had been proposed, even as early as December 1775 (see ante, ii., 149), to constitute a committee of that body to act in its stead for certain purposes. During the war, however, the sessions were so lengthy that the need was not a pressing one, but with the termination of that, the difficulties of obtaining a Congress, and the needlessness of long sessions, once more brought the question to the front. Soon after the Congress met in Dec., 1783, a committee, consisting of Jefferson, Osgood, and Sherman, were appointed to report on the subject. For this committee Jefferson drafted the above paper, but before it was presented it was greatly curtailed and changed, as will be seen by comparing it with the report that immediately follows it.