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Early Printing of a Bill to Establish the Treasury Department
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it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, to digest and report plans for the improvement and management of the revenue, and for the support of public credit—To prepare and report estimates of the public revenue, and the public expenditures—To superintend the collection of the revenue—To decide on the forms of keeping and stating accounts, and making returns, and to grant, under the limitations herein established, or to be hereafter provided, all warrants for monies to be issued from the Treasury, in pursuance of appropriations by law—To conduct the sale of the lands belonging to the United States, in such manner as shall be by law directed—To make report, and give information to either branch of the Legislature, in person or writing, (as he may be required) respecting all matters referred to him by the Senate or House of Representatives, or which shall appertain to his office, and generally to do or perform all such services, relative to the finances, as he shall be empowered or directed to do and perform.” (p3/c2)

[ALEXANDER HAMILTON]. The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser. Newspaper, June 11, 1789 (No. 3233), Philadelphia: John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole, including the Bill to establish the Treasury Department, 4 pp., 11 x 18.25 in.

Inventory #25031       Price: $2,000

Historical Background
The First Congress of the United States under the U.S. Constitution convened in New York City on March 4, 1789. In May, the House of Representatives resolved that the new federal government should have a Department of Foreign Affairs, a Treasury Department, and a Department of War, and appointed a committee to prepare bills establishing these departments. In June, Abraham Baldwin of Georgia presented a bill from the committee to establish the Treasury Department, and it is that bill that appears in this issue of the Pennsylvania Packet. After debating the bill for several months, Congress passed “An Act to Establish the Treasury Department,” and President George Washington signed it into law on September 2, 1789.

On September 11, Washington nominated Alexander Hamilton as the first Secretary of the Treasury. The Senate approved the nomination, and Hamilton took the oath of office that very day. Hamilton held the office until January 31, 1795.

Additional Content
This issue also includes a letter reprinted from the Virginia Journal recommending Jedediah Morse’s The American Geography to “my countrymen” and providing an excerpt related to the Potomac River (p2/c1-2); an ordinance for regulating the High Street market in Philadelphia (p2/c2-p3/c2); excerpts from an act “to prevent poor and Impotent persons being imported into the Province of Pennsylvania” (p4/c4); and many notices and advertisements, including one offering a $20 reward for the return of a twenty-four-year-old African American slave from the West Indies (p4/c3).

The Pennsylvania Packet, or the General Advertiser (1771-1800) was founded by John Dunlap (1747-1812) in late 1771 as a weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, though it relocated to Lancaster during the British occupation of Philadelphia in 1777-1778. In 1776, Dunlap became the official printer for the Continental Congress, and he printed the first copies of the Declaration of Independence. On May 30, 1783, Benjamin Towne turned the Pennsylvania Evening Post into the first daily newspaper in the United States. However, with Towne branded a traitor and forced to hawk his own papers on the street, the newspaper collapsed the following year. John Dunlap and David Claypoole (1757-1849) then made their Pennsylvania Packet the first successful daily newspaper beginning on September 21, 1784. It was the first newspaper to print the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and the first to publish George Washington’s Farewell Address in 1796. It underwent numerous name changes in the 1790s until sold in 1800 and renamed Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser.

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