Lot 115

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George Washington Important Act for Foreign Diplomatic Relations

A bifolium broadside approved and signed in print by George Washington, as President of the United States. Three pages with an attractive heading on the first page, 8" x 13", published as an act on April 14, 1792. Proposed to the House of Representatives and the Senate to let the consuls in government have duties in port authority, as well as handling foreign debt. Very minor marginal wear, slight expected folds, else in very fine condition.

As the first President of the United States, George Washington was concerned with the fledgling of his nation's role in the world. In this "Act, concerning Consuls and Vice Consuls," Washington expressed how these government officials would exercise their duties to promote interests and citizens in foreign countries. Like Thomas Jefferson's circular to the sixteen consuls of the United States in 1790, Washington stressed the importance of these consuls holding port authority, stating "That they shall have right in the ports or places to which they are or may be severally appointed of receiving the protests or declarations, which such captains, masters, crews, passengers and merchants, as are citizens of the United States may respectively choose to make there…". In addition to the consul's primary role in port authority, they were also to be held responsible for collecting debts and transmitting the balance to the Treasury of the United States: "…shall collect the debts due to the deceased in the country where he died, and pay the debts due from his estate as shall be of a perishable nature…and the balance of the estate they shall transmit to the treasury of the United States."

The act was immediately approved by Speaker of the House, Jonathan Trumbull, as well as the Vice President, John Adams.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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February 16, 2022 10:30 AM EST
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

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