New Hampshire Treasury account book collection, 1777 - 1868Manuscript MS-1293

Institutional History

On November 22, 1777, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution that recommended that state legislatures encourage subscriptions to be opened for the loan of money to the Continental Treasury to help finance the war effort. Loan Office certificates were first signed by a Continental treasurer and were then sent to loan officers in each state to be sold to investors. Once issued, the certificates could be bought and sold (though they were not used as currency). In 1787, the Continental Loan Offices were renamed United States Loan Offices.

To pay the debts of the Revolutionary War, Congress also levied excise taxes on distilled spirits, tobacco and snuff, refined sugar, carriages, property sold at auctions, and various legal documents. On July 4, 1789, the first Congress of the United States passed the Tariff Act which authorized the collection of tariff duties. During the confrontation with France in the late 1790's, the Federal Government imposed the first direct taxes on the owners of houses, land, slaves, and estates. To raise money for the War of 1812, Congress imposed additional excise taxes, raised certain customs duties, and raised money by issuing Treasury notes. In 1817 Congress repealed these taxes, and for the next 44 years the Federal Government collected no internal revenue. When the Civil War erupted, the Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1861, which restored earlier excises taxes and imposed a tax on personal incomes.

Nicholas Gilman was born on October 21, 1731. He was the Continental loan officer of New Hampshire, as well as the receiver general who issued currency. In addition he was the treasurer of the State of New Hampshire from 1775-1782 and a Councilor of the State from 1777-1783. Gilman died on April 7, 1783.

Finding Aids