Residence Act of 1790
|An ACT for establishing the Temporary and Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States (1790)|
|The Residence Act of 1790, officially An ACT for establishing the Temporary and Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States, was passed in the summer of 1790, designating the location of the U.S. capital along the Potomac River. The bill, as a compromise, also contained provisions that the Federal government would assume debts that the states incurred during the American Revolutionary War. Source: An ACT for establishing the Temporary and Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States - Library of Congress; Printed by Francis Childs and John Swaine.|
Congreſs of the United States:
AT THE SECOND SESSION,
Begun and held at the City of New-York on Monday the fourth day of January, one thouſand ſeven hundred and ninety.
An ACT for eſtablishing the Temporary and Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States.
BE it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congreſs aſſembled, That a diſtrict of territory, not exceeding ten miles ſquare, to be located as hereafter directed on the river Potomack, at ſome place between the mouths of the Eaſtern-Branch and Connogochegue be, and the ſame is hereby accepted for the permanent ſeat of the government of the United States: Provided nevertheleſs, That the operation of the laws of the ſtate within ſuch diſtrict ſhall not be affected by this acceptance, until the time fixed for the removal of the government thereto, and until Congreſs shall otherwise by law provide.
And be it further enacted, That the Preſident of the United States be authorized to appoint, and by ſupplying vacancies happening from refuſals to act, or other cauſes, to keep in appointment, as long as may be neceſſary, three commiſſioners, who, or any two of whom, ſhall under the direction of the Preſident, ſurvey, and by proper metes and bounds, define and limit a diſtrict of territory, under the limitations above-mentioned; and the diſtrict so defined, limited and located, ſhall be deemed the diſtrict accepted by this act, for the permanent ſeat of the government of the United States.
And be it enacted, That the ſaid commiſſioners, or any two of them ſhall have power to purchaſe or accept such quantity of land on the eaſtern side of the ſaid river within the ſaid diſtrict, as the Preſident ſhall deem proper for the uſe of the United States, and according to ſuch plans as the Preſident ſhall approve, the ſaid commiſſioners, or any two of them ſhall, prior to the first Monday in December, in the year one thouſand eight hundred, provide ſuitable buildings for the accommodation of Congreſs, and of the Preſident, and for the public offices of the government of the United States.
And be it enacted, That for defraying the expence of ſuch purchaſes and buildings, the Preſident of the United States be authorized and requeſted to accept grants of money.
And be it enacted, That prior to the firſt Monday in December next, all offices attached to the ſeat of the government of the United States, ſhall be removed to, and until the ſaid firſt Monday in December, in the year one thouſand eight hundred, shall remain at the city of Philadelphia, in the state of Pennſylvania; at which place the ſeſſion of Congreſs next enſuing the preſent, ſhall be held.
And be it enacted, That on the ſaid firſt Monday in December, in the year one thouſand eight hundred, the ſeat of the government of the United States, shall, by virtue of this act, be transferred to the diſtrict and place aforeſaid: And all offices attached to the ſaid ſeat of government, ſhall accordingly be removed thereto by their respective holders, and ſhall, after the ſaid day, cease to be exercised elſewhere; and that the neceſſary expence of ſuch removal ſhall be defrayed out of the duties on impoſts and tonnage, of which a ſufficient ſum is hereby appropriated.
FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG, Speaker of the Houſe of Representatives.
JOHN ADAMS, Vice-Preſident of the United States, and Preſident of the Senate.
Approved, July the ſixteenth, 1790.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Preſident of the United States.
PRINTED BY FRANCIS CHILDS AND JOHN SWAINE.