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title:“A Bill for Settling the Rate of Exchange and Mode of Judgment on Foreign Debts”
authors:George Mason
date written:1779-6-15

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Mason, George. "A Bill for Settling the Rate of Exchange and Mode of Judgment on Foreign Debts." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 2. Ed. Robert A. Rutland. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 517-18. Print.
Manuscript, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Va.

A Bill for Settling the Rate of Exchange and Mode of Judgment on Foreign Debts (June 15, 1779)

[15 June 1779]
Whereas many Merchants in Great Britain and other parts beyond the Seas, having Effects or Property within this Commonwealth, unjustly indebted to the Citizens of this and other of the united American States, in considerable Sums of Sterling Money, and in other Money of the Denomination of forreign Countrys, and have since the Year one thousand seven hundred and seventy five, protested, or may hereafter protest their Bills for the same, with Design to discharge such Debts here, at the nominal Rate of Current Money, in it's depreciated Value; and it is necessary that some just and certain Mode of discharging such Debts shou'd be established, to prevent the Disputes and Difficulties, which may otherwise arise: Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, that in any Suit which shall be commenced and depending, in any Court of Record within this Commonwealth, for the Recovery of Money due upon any Bill of Exchange, which hath been, or shall be drawn and protested, from and after the first Day of January of the Year one thousand seven hundred and seventy six, or for any Debt due from a Merchant or Subject of Great Britain, or any other forreign Country to any Citizen of this or any other of the United States, wherein the Plaintiff or Plaintiffs shall recover, such Court shall have Power, and are hereby directed, to render Judgment for so much Sterling Money, or other Money of the Denomination of any forreign Country (as the Case may be) as shall appear to be justly due, and by Rule, to be entered at the foot of their Judgment, in such Suit, to order such Judgment to be discharged, or levyed in Current Money, at such Difference of Exchange as they shall think just, having regard therein to the true Value or Rate (at the time of such Judgment) of good Bills of Exchange drawn on the Country, or Place, where such Debt became due; any Law, Usuage, or Custom, to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notwithstanding.

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