The Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, 1789-1791


The Daily Advertiser

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The house then resolved itself into a committee on the bill to provide for the safe keeping of the acts, records and seal of the United States, for the publication of the acts of Congress, for the authentication of records, the custody of the seal, & c.
Mr. Boudinot in the chair.
Mr. Smith (S.C.) moved to strike out that part of the first clause of the bill, which respects the denomination of the office, that is, which provides that the department of foreign affairs shall henceforth be denominated the department of state and that the principal officer shall be called the secretary of state, and to insert a clause providing for the establishment of an officer to be denominated— He said he should move that the principal in this office should be styled "keeper of the seals."
Mr. Smith was supported by Mr. Vining, Mr. Hartley and Mr. Clymer, and strongly opposed by Mr. Sedgwick, Mr. Gerry and Mr. Laurance.
A doubt was suggested from the chair, whether the above motion was in order; it appearing inconsistent with a rule of the house, that no motion shall be received under colour of amendment, which operates as a substitute for the whole clause.
On this question being referred to the committee, they resolved that the motion was not in order.
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