The First Federal Congress Project
Documentary History of the First Federal Congress

Madison Resolution

 May 19, 1789 
Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee there should be established for the aid of the chief magistrate in executing the duties of his station,14 the following15 departments,16 to wit: a department for foreign affairs, at the head of which shall be an officer called the Secretary of the United States for foreign affairs;17 that there should be a department of the Treasury, at the head of which shall be, & c.18 and a department of war, at the head of which & c.19 To be nominated by the President, and appointed by him, with the advice and consent of the senate20• and removable by the President.21
The [New York] Daily Advertiser, May 20.
    14. On May 21 the House struck from "for the aid" through "station." (Gazette of the United States, May 23)
    15. On May 21 the House inserted "executive" at this point. (Ibid.)
    16. On May 19, the Committee of the Whole House agreed to consider each department separately. On the same day, Vining made and withdrew a motion to create a department for domestic affairs. (The [New York] Daily Advertiser, May 20; The Congressional Register, May 19) Motions relating to the establishment of a domestic or home department are calendared with the Records Bill [HR-19].
    17. On May 19 the Committee of the Whole House agreed to a department of foreign affairs. (The [New York] Daily Advertiser, May 20)
    18. On May 20, a motion by Gerry to substitute a board of three commissioners, to be known as the Board of Treasury, for a secretary of the treasury was disagreed to. On the same day, the Committee of the Whole House disagreed to a motion by Bland to institute a board of treasury under the secretary. (The [New York] Daily Advertiser, May 20; The Congressional Register, May 20) The clause was then agreed to.
    19. On May 20 the Committee of the Whole House agreed to this clause. (The [New York] Daily Advertiser, May 21)
    20. On May 19 a motion by Smith (S.C.) to strike out the method of nomination of the secretary for foreign affairs was agreed to. (The Congressional Register, May 19)
    21. On May 19 a motion, probably by Smith (S.C.), to strike out the method of removal of the secretary of foreign affairs, was disagreed to. On the same date a motion by Bland to insert "by and with The advice and consent of the Senate," was disagreed to. (The Congressional Register, May 19) On May 20 the Committee of the Whole House adopted a motion that the secretaries of the treasury and war be removable by the president. (The [New York] Daily Advertiser, May 21; Gazette of the United States, May 23)

Recommended citation: Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, ed. Charlene Bickford, et al. (Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 2002). XML version based on the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, ed. Charlene Bickford, et al. (Baltimore, Md.: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1994) Vol. 4, pp. 689-697. http://adh.sc.edu [Accessed (supply date here)]

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