Treasury Department, January 6, 1791. Alexander HAMILTON.

Treasury Department, January 6, 1791.

Item #80159

HAMILTON, Alexander. Treasury Department, January 6, 1791. Sir I Have the Honor to Transmit to You a Report to the House of Representatives, Relative to Appropriations of Money, for Certain Purposes Therein Mentioned.... [Philadelphia: Childs and Swaine], 1791. 12pp. Folio. Dbd. Lightly tanned. Near fine. Evans 23925. ESTC W28258. The first regular federal budget for the United States of America. For 1789 and 1790 no such documents were created, and the Treasury ran public business without an official budget approved by Congress. Here, Hamilton institutes another of his landmark ideas: the submission by the executive of a budget for the federal government's annual operation. This first budget was submitted on Jan. 6, 1791, proposing an expenditure of $740,232.14. Only twelve pages long, it inspired no debate. George Washington's salary was then $25,000, or more than 3% of the total Federal expenditure, and five times as much as John Adams' $5000. In the civil sector, the salaries of every government position are listed, including a chaplain to the House of Representatives (two dollars per day) and a doorkeeper (earning three). The Treasury has by far the most employees, budgeted for fifty-eight separate clerks (with room to hire three more if necessary). The Department of War has only seven employees with a total budget of $6500 (soldiers and military provisions are outlined in a different section), and the State Department has the same number (the Secretary of State, five clerks including one "for foreign languages," and a messenger) and is budgeted for a total of $6250. Some other interesting items on this first budget include a section for a "Special Grant to Baron Steuben," featuring a $2500 allowance for the man himself and pensions for fifteen individually named Revolutionary War veterans, $2000 appropriated to build and equip ten cutters (plus over twenty thousand to crew and stock them), funds "for converting the beacon of Georgia into a light-house," and $100,000 "extra expence" to fund Brigadier-General Harmar's disastrous campaign against the Shawnee and Miami in the Northwest Territory. In reality, Harmar's campaign departed with fewer troops than Hamilton had budgeted for, and the $10,000 for "contingencies" likely did not adequately cover what was then the worst United States military defeat on the frontie.

Price: $37,500.00

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