"An Act making further Provision for the Payment of the Debts of the United States."Thomas Jefferson Printed Act of Congress Signed "Th:Jefferson." Four pages, 9.75" x 15.25", New York City, August 10, 1790. The heading of the act reads, "Congress of the United States: At the Second Session. Begun and held at the City of New-York, on Monday the Fourth of January, one thousand seven hundred and ninety" and the act is entitled, "An Act making further Provision for the Payment of the Debts of the United States." The act was approved by Congress on August 10, 1790.
Jefferson, as President George Washington's secretary of state, has signed on page four under the printed "(True Copy)." Docketing also appears on page four in another hand. Above Jefferson's bold signature are the printed signatures of "Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House of Representatives," "John Adams, Vice-President of the United States, and President of the Senate," and "George Washington, President of the United States."
The First U.S. Congress met during the first two years of George Washington's presidency. Important legislation was passed during the Congress' three sessions, including this particular act which was passed during the second session held at Federal Hall in New York beginning on January 4 and ending on August 12, 1790.
This act, containing seven sections, was intended to provide revenue to pay the numerous debts accumulated during the American revolution. New duties were levied on Madeira wine, sherry, distilled spirits, molasses, beer, ale, porter, "Teas from China and India . . . Europe . . . [and] any other place," coffee, cocoa, sugar, candles, cheese, soap, pepper, pimento, tobacco, snuff, hemp, and more. According to the final section, "the several duties imposed by this act shall continue to be collected and paid, until the debts and purposes for which they are pledged and appropriated, shall be fully discharged: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the legislature of the United States from substituting other duties or taxes of equal value to any or all of the said duties and imposts." The document is age-toned with some repairs to weakened folds. Minor soiling on pages one and four.
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