It is now generally conceded that high school and normal school students should do some work with the source method in the study of U.S. history. With rare exceptions but little has been accomplished in this line below collegiate courses, owing to the difficulty in placing material within reach of the pupils. It is next to impossible to have all pupils in a class use the source material at the command of most high schools, without the loss of a great amount of time which must be taken from a course of study already crowded to the limit. A few pupils in all classes can readily find access to original documents, the majority cannot.
This pamphlet is prepared to afford, at a small cost, an opportunity for any pupil to study in original form a few documents bearing upon the important events of history.
Some prominence has been given to financial documents for the reason that the financial question has been and always will continue to be one of the great problems for solution by nations and individuals, and most school text books treat the subject inadequately or indefinitely.
Selection has been made only of such material as is of vital importance. No pretension is made to give anything new, rare, or, to give a great variety of documents. An acquaintance with a few of the source documents may cultivate a taste or create a desire for a more extended course of study of such material which forms the basis of all sound historical knowledge.
Topeka, Kan., June, 1906.
E. G. FOSTER.
The provisional treaty of peace was signed at Paris, November 30, 1782. A cessation of hostilities was declared January 20, 1783, and the definitive treaty signed September 3, 1783.
In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.
It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Luneberg, Arch-Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &ca., and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore; and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two countries, upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience, as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony: And having for this desirable end already laid the foundation of peace and reconciliation, by the provisional articles, signed at Paris, on the 30th of Nev’r, 1782, by the commissioners empowered on each part, which articles were agreed to be inserted in and to constitute the treaty of peace proposed to be concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and the said United States, but which treaty was not to be concluded until terms of peace should be agreed upon between Great Britain and France, and His Britanic Majesty should be ready to conclude such treaty accordingly; and the treaty between Great Britain and France having since been concluded. His Britanic Majesty and the United States of America, in order to carry into full effect the provisional articles above mentioned, according to the tenor thereof, have constituted and appointed, that is to say, His Britanic Majesty on his part, David Hartley, esqr., member of the Parliament of Great Britain; and the said United States on their part, John Adams, esqr., late a commissioner of the United States of America at the Court of Versailles, late Delegate in Congress from the State of Massachusetts, and chief justice of the said State, and Minister Plenipotentiary of the said United States to their High Mightinesses the States General of the United Netherlands; Benjamin Franklin, esqre, late Delegate in Congress from the State of Pennsylvania, president of the convention of the said State, and Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the Court of Versailles; John Jay, esq’re, late president of Congress, and chief justice of the State of New York, and Minister Plenipotentiary from the said United States at the Court of Madrid, to be the Plenipotentiaries for the concluding and signing the present definitive treaty; who, after having reciprocally communicated their respective full powers, have agreed upon and confirmed the following articles:
ARTICLE I. His Britanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz. New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Deleware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, sovereign and independent States; that he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the Government, propriety and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof.
ARTICLE II. And that all disputes which might arise in future, on the subject of the boundaries of the United States may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that the following are, and shall be their boundaries, viz: From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz. that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of Saint Croix River to the Highlands; along the said High-lands which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River; thence down along the middle of that river, to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude; from thence, by a line due west on said latitude, until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraquy; thence along the middle of said river into Lake Ontario, through the middle of said lake until it strikes the communication by water between that lake and Lake Erie; thence along the middle of said communication into Lake Erie, through the middle of said lake until it arrives at the water communication between that lake and Lake Huron; thence along the middle of said water communication into the Lake Huron; thence through the middle of said lake to the water communication between that lake and Lake Superior; thence through Lake Superior northward of the Isles Royal and Phelipeaux. to the Long Lake, thence through the middle of said Long Lake, and the water communication between it and the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of the Woods; thence through the said lake to the most northwestern point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river Mississippi; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said river Mississippi until it shall intersect the northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of north latitude. South, by a line to be drawn due east from the determination of the line last mentioned, in the latitude of thirty-one degrees north of the Equator, to the middle of the river Apalachicola or Catahouche; thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint River; thence straight to the head of St. Mary’s River; and thence down along the middle of St. Mary’s River to the Atlantic Ocean. East, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the river St. Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its source, and from its source directly north to the aforesaid Highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into the river St. Lawrence; comprehending all islands within twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States, and lying between lines to be drawn due east from the points where the aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one part, and East Florida on the other, shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean; excepting such islands as now are, or heretofore have been, within the limits of the said province of Nova Scotia.
ARTICLE III. It is agreed that the people of the United States shall continue to enjoy unmolested the right to take fish of every kind on the Grand Bank, and on all the other banks of Newfoundland; also in the Gulph of Saint Lawrence, and at all other places in the sea where the inhabitants of both countries used at any time heretofore to fish. And also that the inhabitants of the United States shall have liberty to take fish of every kind on such part of the coast of Newfoundland as British fisherman shall use (but not to dry or cure the same on that island) and also on the coasts, bays, and creeks of all other of His Britanic Majesty’s dminions in America; and that the American fishermen shall have liberty to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbours, and creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen Islands, and Labrador, so long as the same shall remain unsettled; but so soon as the same or either of them shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said fishermen to dry or cure fish at such settlement, without a previous agreement for that purpose with the inhabitants, proprietors, or possessors of the ground.
ARTICLE IV. It is agreed that creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money, of all bona fide debts heretofore contracted.
ARTICLE V. It is agreed that the Congress shall earnestly recommend it to the legislatures of the respective States, to provide for the restitution of all estates, rights, and properties which have been confiscated, belonging to real British subjects, and also of the estates, rights, and properties of persons resident in districts in the possession of His Majesty’s arms, and who have not borne arms against the said United States. And that persons of any other description shall have free liberty to go to any part or parts of any of the thirteen United States, and therein to remain twelve months, unmolested in their endeavours to obtain the restitution of such of their estates, rights, and properties as may have been confiscated; and that Congress shall also earnestly recommend to the several States a reconsideration and revision of all acts or laws regarding the premises, so as to render the said laws or acts perfectly consistent, not only with justice and equity, but with that spirit of conciliation which, on the return of the blessings of peace, should universally prevail. And that Congress shall also earnestly recommend to the several States, that the estates, rights, and properties of such last mentioned persons, shall be restored to them, they refunding to any persons who may be now in possession, the bona fide price (where any has been given) which such persons may have paid on purchasing any of the said lands, rights, or properties, since the confiscation. And it is agreed, that all persons who have any interest in confiscated lands, either by debts, marriage settlements, or otherwise, shall meet with no lawful impediment in the prosecution of their just rights.
ARTICLE VI. That there shall be no future confiscations made, nor any prosecutions commenc’d against any person or persons for, or by reason of the part which he or they may have taken in the present war; and that no person shall, on that account, suffer any future loss or damage, either in his person, liberty, or property; and that those who may be in confinement on such charges, at the time of the ratification of the treaty in America, shall be immediately set at liberty, and the prosecutions so commenced be discontinued.
ARTICLE VII. There shall be a firm and perpetual peace between His Britanic Majesty and the said States, and between the subjects of the one and the citizens of the other, wherefore all hostilities, both by sea and land, shall from henceforth cease: All prisoners on both sides shall be set at liberty, and His Britanic Majesty shall, with all convenient speed, and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any negroes or other property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all his armies, garrisons, and fleets from the said United States, and from every port, place, and harbor within the same; leaving in all fortifications the American artillery that may be therein: And shall also order and cause all archives, records, deeds, and papers, belonging to any of the said States, or their citizens, which, in the course of the war, may have fallen into the hands of his officers, to be forthwith restored and delivered to the proper States and persons to whom they belong.
ARTICLE VIII. The navigation of the river Mississippi, from its source to the ocean, shall forever remain free and open to the subjects of Great Britain, and the citizens of the United States.
ARTICLE IX. In case it should so happen that any place or territory belonging to Great Britain or to the United States, should have been conquered by the arms of either from the other, before the arrival of the said provisional articles in America, it is agreed, that the same shall be restored without difficulty, and without requiring any compensation.
ARTICLE X. The solemn ratifications of the present treaty, expedited in good and due form, shall be exchanged between the contracting parties, in the space of six months, or sooner if possible, to be computed from the day of the signature of the present treaty. In witness whereof, we the undersigned, their Ministers Plenipotentiary, have in their name and in virtue of our full powers, signed with our hands the present definitive treaty, and caused the seals of our arms to be affixed thereto.
Done at Paris, this third day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.
D. HARTLEY. (L. S.)
JOHN ADAMS. (L. S.)
B. FRANKLIN. (L. S.)
JOHN JAY. (L. S.)
The Virginia delegates in Congress executed a deed March 1, 1784, ceding to the United States, all her claims to the northwestern territory. Congress provided a temporary government for the territory, April 23, 1784, and on the 23rd of July, 1787 it passed the Ordinance which has since become famous.
By Act of August 7, 1789, Congress extended its provisions to continue in effect under the constitution. In May 25, 1790, the main provisions of the Ordinance were extended to the “Territory south of the Ohio.”
An Ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio.
SECTION 1. Be it ordained by the United States in Congress assembled, That the said territory, for the purposes of temporary government, be one district, subject, however, to be divided into two districts, as future circumstances may, in the opinion of Congress, make it expedient.
SEC. 14. It is hereby ordained and declared, by the authority aforsaid, that the following articles shall be considered as articles of compact, between the original States and the people and States in the said territory, and forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent, to wit:
ARTICLE I. No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship, or religious sentiments, in the said territories.
ART. II. The inhabitants of the said territory shall always be entitled to the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus, and of the trial by jury; of a proportionate representation of the people in the legislature, and of judicial proceedings according to the course of common law. All persons shall be bailable, unless for capital offences, where the proof shall be evident, or the presumption great. All fines shall be moderate; and no cruel or unusual punishments shall be inflicted. No man shall be deprived of his liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land, and should the public exigencies make it necessary, for the common preservation, to take any person’s property, or to demand his particular services, full compensation shall be made for the same. And, in the just preservation of rights and property, it is understood and declared, that no law ought ever to be made or have force in the said territory, that shall, in any manner whatever, interfere with or affect private contracts, or engagements, bona fide, and without fraud previously formed.
ARTICLE III. Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and in their property, rights, and liberty they never shall be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity shall, from time to time, be made, for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them.
ARTICLE IV. The said territory, and the States which may be formed therein, shall forever remain a part of this confederacy of the United States of America, subject to the Articles of Confederation, and to such alterations therein as shall be constitutionally made; and to all acts and ordinances of the United States in Congress assembled, conformable thereto. The inhabitants and settlers in the said territory shall be subject to pay a part of the Federal debts, contracted, or to be contracted, and a proportional part of the expenses of government to be apportioned on them by Congress, according to the same common rule and measure by which apportionments thereof shall be made on the other States; and the taxes for paying their proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of the district, or districts, or new States, as in the original States, within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress assembled. The legislatures of those districts, or new States, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United States in Congress assembled, nor with any regulations Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bonafide purchasers. No tax shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States; and in no case shall non-resident proprietors be taxed higher than residents. The navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and Saint Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be common highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of the said territory as to the citizens of the United States, and those of any other States that may be admitted into the confederacy, without any tax, impost, or duty therefor.
ARTICLE V. There shall be formed in the said territory not less than three nor more than five States........... (Boundaries for proposed divisions.)
ARTICLE VI. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted: Provided always, That any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully reclaimed, and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid.
Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, That the resolutions of the 23d of April, 1784, relative to the subject of this ordinance, be, and the same are hereby, repealed, and declared null and void.
Done by the United States, in Congress assembled, the 13th day of July, in the year of our Lord 1787, and of their sovereignty and independence the twelfth.
Prior to the passage of this Act, there was no National currency. The fluctuations in the value of state paper and continental currency, and the great variety of foreign coin caused much inconvenience in trade.
The law of 1792, provided for the free and unlimited coinage of both gold and silver. By the Act of 1873 the coinage of the silver dollar was discontinued, but again resumed under the Act of 1878. The Act of 1873 ended the free and unlimited coinage of the silver dollar. There has always been free and unlimited coinage of gold.
SEC. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, and it is hereby enacted and declared, That a Mint for the purpose of a national coinage be, and the same is established; to be situate and carried on at the seat of the Government of the United States, for the time being: And that for the well conducting of the business of the said Mint, there shall be the following officers and persons, namely, — a Director, an assayer, a chief coiner, an engraver, a treasurer.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That there shall be from time to time struck and coined at the said Mint, coins of gold, silver, and copper, of the following denominations, values, and descriptions, viz. EAGLES — each to be of the value of ten dollars or units, and to contain two hundred and forty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of pure, or two hundred and seventy grains of standard gold. HALF EAGLES — each to be of the value of five dollars, and to contain one hundred and twenty-three grains and six eights of a grain of pure, or one hundred and thirty-five grains of standard gold. QUARTER EAGLES — each to be of the value of two dollars and a half dollar, and to contain sixty-one grains and seven eighths of a grain of pure, or sixty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of standard gold. DOLLARS OR UNITS — each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver. HALF DOLLARS — each to be of half the value of the dollar of unit, and to contain one hundred and eighty-five grains and ten sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or two hundred and eight grains of standard silver. QUARTER DOLLARS — each to be of one fourth the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain ninety-two grains and thirteen sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or one hundred and four grains of standard silver. DISMES each to be of the value of one tenth of a dollar or unit, and to contain thirty-seven grains and two sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or forty-one grains and three fifth parts of a grain of standard silver. HALF DISMES — each to be the value of one twentieth of a dollar, and to contain eighteen grains and nine sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or twenty grains and four fifth parts of a grain of standard silver. CENTS — each to be of the value of the one hundredth part of a dollar, and to contain eleven penny-weights of copper. HALF-CENTS — each to be of the value of half a cent, and to contain five penny-weights and half a penny-weight of copper.
SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That the proportional value of gold to silver in all coins which shall by law be current as money within the United States, shall be as fifteen to one, according to quantity in weight, of pure gold or pure silver; that is to say, every fifteen pounds weight of pure silver shall be of equal value in all payments, with one pound weight of pure gold, and to so in proportion as to any greater or less quantities of the respective metals.
SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any person or persons to bring to the said Mint gold and silver bullion, in order to their being coined; and that the bullion so brought shall be there assayed and coined as speedily as may be after the receipt thereof, and that free of expense to the person or persons by whom the same shall have been brought. And as soon as the said bullion shall have been coined, the person or persons by whom the same shall have been delivered, shall upon demand receive in lieu thereof of coins of the same species of bullion which shall have been so delivered, weight for weight, of the pure gold or pure silver therein contained: Provided nevertheless, That it shall be at the mutual option of the party or parties bringing such bullion, and of the Director of the said Mint, to make an immediate exchange of coins for standard bullion, with a deduction of one half per cent. from the weight of the pure gold, or pure silver contained in the said bullion, as an indemnification to the Mint for the time which will necessarily be required for coining the said bullion, and for the advance which shall have been so made in coins. And it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to furnish the said Mint from time to time whenever the state of the Treasury will admit thereof, with such sums as may be necessary for effecting the said exchanges, to be replaced as speedily as may be out of the coins which shall have been made of the bullion for which the monies so furnished shall have been exchanged; and the said deduction of one half per cent, shall constitute a fund towards defraying the expenses of the said Mint.
SEC. 16. And be it further enacted, That all the gold and silver coins which shall have been struck at, and issued from the said Mint, shall be a lawful tender in all payments whatsoever, those of full weight according to the respective values herein before declared, and those of less than full weight at values proportional to their respective weights.
By the treaty of Paris, 1763, France ceded Canada and her possessions east of the Mississippi river, excepting New Orleans, to England, and in 1762 she ceded New Orleans and Louisiana to Spain.
By the secret treaty of San Ildefonso, October I, 1800, Spain ceded Louisiana to France. The transfer from Spanish to French authority was not made until after the sale of Louisiana to the United States. The Spanish Intendant of Louisiana issued a proclamation, October 16, 1802, taking away the right of deposit for merchandise at New Orleans, and the use of free navigation of the Mississippi river, rights which were guaranteed the U. S. by the treaty of 1795. As there were no railways then, the Mississippi river was the only commercial highway for the people living west of the Appalachian mountains. The arbitrary action of the Spanish Intendant created great indignation in the U. S. and led Jefferson to appoint James Monroe as minister extraordinary to aid Livingston, minister to France, to negotiate a treaty, “for the purpose of enlarging, and more effectually securing our rights and interests on the Mississippi river and the territories eastward thereof.”