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Organic law .....
Facing page Executive offices of the Department of ('ommerce and Labor...... Temporary office of the Secretary, White House, February 18 to March 15, 1903. Temporary offices, Builders' Exchange Building, March 16 to June 16, 1903.. Temporary office of the Secretary, Builders' Exchange Building... Temporary office of the Chief Clerk, Builders' Exchange Building........... 21 Temporary office of the Disbursing Clerk, Builders' Exchange Building...... Temporary quarters of the Bureau of Corporations, Builders' Exchange Building.........
................. Building occupied by the Bureau of Labor......
.... Building occupied by the Light-Hlouse Board, the Bureau of Navigation, and
the Steamboat Inspection Service...... Bureau of the Census. Coast and Geodetic Survey.....
97 Building occupied by the Bureau of Statistics
103 Bureau of Fisheries.. Bureau of Standards...
ORIGIN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND LABOR
The preamble to the Constitution lays down broadly two great aims of government—(1) the defense of the life, liberty, and property of the citizen, and (2) the promotion of his general welfare.
In the year following the adoption of the Constitution, three of the executive branches of Government, with Secretaries, were established: First, the Department of Foreign Affairs, by act approved July 27, 1789 (name changed to Department of State by act approved September 15, of the same year); second, the War Department, created by the act of August 7, 1789 (then embracing naval affairs); and third, the Treasury Department, established by act of September 2, 1789. From its beginning the Treasury Department has been the principal agency of government through which a limited supervision of the commercial and industrial life of the nation has been administered, and the designation sought to be given its chief officer in the constitutional convenvention was that of “Secretary of Commerce and Finance.” a
The record of events, from the close of the Revolution to the constitutional convention at Philadelphia in 1787, shows that the desire to foster the commerce and trade of the States was the paramount and controlling argument which made the Union possible.
The constitutional convention of the thirteen States was the direct outcome of the Annapolis convention of five States, and this convention, in turn, was born of the Mount Vernon convention of delegates from the States of Virginia and Maryland, assembled to adjust and promote commerce and trade between these two States. The commissioners from Virginia and Maryland met at Alexandria, in the former State, in the spring of 1785, but General Washington extended to them the hospitality of his home, which they accepted, and the delegates—all prominent men of their day, and friends of Washington-conducted their deliberations at Mount Vernon, aided, no doubt, by the counsel of their host, whose interest in and knowledge of the subject under discussion had long been manifest, and who, two years later, presided at the constitutional convention at Philadelphia. The sole subject of this meeting at the home of Washington was the commerce and trade between the two States; but in reality, these men
a Documentary History of the Constitution.