JEFFERSON, Thomas (1743-1826), President. Printed document signed (''Th: Jefferson'') as Secretary of State, New York, 11 August 1790. 1 page, folio. Fine condition.
JEFFERSON, Thomas (1743-1826), President. Printed document signed ("Th: Jefferson") as Secretary of State, New York, 11 August 1790. 1 page, folio. Fine condition.
RECONCILING THE STATE AND FEDERAL POWERS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
An interesting Act of the First Congress, documenting efforts to reconcile laws passed by the states with the powers expressly granted to the Federal government by the Constitution (in effect some 18 months at this date). The Constitution (Art.1, Sect.8) empowered Congress to "lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises," provided that these were uniform throughout the states and barred state legislatures from laying duties or imposts on imports or exports without Congressional approval. Art.1, Sect. 10 stipulated that "all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of Congress." In the present Act, the Federal government declares consent "to the operation of the acts of the several states herein after mentioned, so far as the same relate to levying a duty on the tonnage of ships and vessels." They include an act of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations of January, 1790, entituled "An act to incorporate certain persons by the name of the river machine company, in the town of Providence"; a Maryland act of April 1783 "appointing wardens for the port of Baltimore-town"; "An act appointing wardens for the port of Baltimore-town"; and a Georgia act "for levying and appropriating a duty on tonnage, for the purpose of cleaning the river Savannah, and removing the wrecks and other obstructions therein." The broadside is signed in type at bottom by F. A. Muhlenberg, Speaker, and John Adams, Vice-President and President of the Senate.