HUNTINGTON, Samuel (1731-1796), Signer (Connecticut). Letter signed ("Samuel Huntington President") AS PRESIDENT OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS to "His Excellency President Reed" [Joseph Reed (1741-1785), Governor of Pennsylvania], Philadelphia, 6 June 1781. 1½ pages, 4to, integral blank, marked "Circular" at top left-hand corner of page 1, docketed. In superb original condition.
President Huntington transmits important instructions relating to the issuance and marking of Continental loan certificates. Huntington, named President of Congress in September 1779, was the first person to whom the title "President of the United States" under the Articles of Confederation was applied. Here, he forwards to Reed "a Resolve of Congress...directing, that all Bills which are issued in the respective States in Pursuance of the Resolution of the 18th of March 1780, after the Expiration of One Year, from the Time the Interest on such Bills begins to be completed, be stamped with the Words or Characters Int pd one Year."
And, he further directs that "such of the said Bills as have already been issued, whenever the Interest is paid, be stamped in like Manner, to prevent the Necessity & Expense of exchanging them. It is also the Sense of Congress that the several States suspend as far as possiblethe issuing of such Part of their respective Quotas of said Bills as remain to be issued...."
In 1780, with the war still raging and Continental paper money severely depreciated, Congress directed that new bills (in denominations from one to 20 dollars) be emitted "on the credit of the United States." These bills were "redeemable with specie within seven years" and an annual interest of five per cent was "to be paid to the possessors in specie at the Continental loan office in the respective states" (Journals of the Continental Congress, 26 February 1780, p.206). Each of the 13 states was assigned a quota, as noted here, the bills to be emitted totalling $200 million. The legislation Huntington transmits stipulates that payment of interest should be recorded on the actual bills, so that new bills need not be issued each time the possessor was paid interest.