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That the officers of each company be chosen by the respective companies.
That each soldier be furnished with a good musket, that will carry an ounce ball, with a bayonet, steel ramrod, worm, priming wire and brush fitted thereto, a cutting sword or tomahawk, a cartridge-box, that will contain twenty-three rounds of cartridges, twelve flints and a knapsack.
That the companies be formed into regiments or battalions, officered with a colone;, lieutenant-colonel, two majors, an adjutant, or quarter-master.
That all officers above the rank of a captain, be appointed by the respective provincial assemblies or conventions, or in their recess, by the committees of safety appointed by said assemblies or conventions.
That a|l officers be commissioned by the provincial assemblies or conventions, or in their recess by the committees of safety appointed by said assemblies or. conventions.
That all the militia take proper care to acquire military skill, and be well prepared for defence by being each man provided with one pound of good gunpowder, and four pounds of ball, fitted to his gun.
That one fourth part of the militia in every colony, be selected for minute men, of such persons as are willing to enter into this necessary service, formed into companies and battalions, and their officers chosen and commissioned as aforesaid, to be ready on the shortest notice, to march to any place where their assistance may be required, for thcjlefence of their own oi*a neighboring colony; and as these minute men may eventually be called to action before the whole body of the militia are sufficiently trained, it is recommended that a more particular and diligent attention be paid to their instruction in military discipline.
That such of the minute men, as desire it, be relieved by new draughts as aforesaid, from the whole body of the militia, once in four months.
As there are some people, who, from religious principles, cannot bear arms in any case, this Congress intend no violence to their consciences, but earnestly recommend it to them, to contribute liberally in this time of universal calamity, to the relief of their distressed brethren in the several colonies, and to do all other services to their oppressed country, which they can consistently with their religious*principles.
That it be recommended to the assemblies or conventions in the respective colonies to provide, as soon as possible, sufficient stores of ammunition for their colonies; also that they devise proper means for furnishing with arms, such efectivemen as are poor and unable to furnish themselves.
That it be recommended to each colony to appoint a committee of safety, to superintend and direct all matters necessary for the security and defence of their respective colonies, in the recess of their assemblies and conventions.
That each colony, at their own expense, make such provision by armed vessels or otherwise, as their respective assemblies, conventions, or committees of safety shall judge expedient and suitable to their circumstances and situations, for the protection of their harbours and navigation on their sea coasts, against all unlawful invasions, attacks, and depredations, from cutlers and ships of war.
That it be recommended to the makers of arms for the use of the militia, that they make good substantial muskets, with barrels three feet and a half in length, that will carry an ounce ball, and fitted with a good bayonet and steel ram-rod, and that the making such arms be encouraged in these United Colonies.
Where in any colony a militia is already formed under regulations approved of by the convention of such colony, or by such assemblies as are annually elective, we refer to the discretion of such convention or assembly, either to adopt the foregoing regulations in the whole or in part, or to continue their former, as they, on consideration of all circumstances, shall think best*
Adjourned till to-morrow &t cigbt o'clock.
WEDNESDAY, July 19, 1775.
Met according to adjournment.
The president laid before the Congress a letter from the general, with sundry papers enclosed, which were read and considered : whereupon,
Ordered, That Mr. Wilson apply to the committee of the city and liberties of Philadelphia, and request them to make diligent enquiry what quantity of duck, Russia sheeting, tow-cloth, ozanaburgs and ticklenburgs can be procured in this city, and make return as soon as possible to this Congress.
Resolved, That Joseph Trumbull be commissary-general of stores and provisions for the army of the United Colonies.
Resolved,That the appointment of a quarter-master general, a commissary of musters, and a commissary of artillery, be left to general Washington.
That general Thomas be appointed first brigadier-general in the army of the United Colonies, in the room of general Pomeroy, who never acted under the commission sent to him, and that general Thomas's commission bear the same date that general Pomeroy's did.
That it be left to general Washington, if he thinks fit, to appoint three brigade-majors, and commission them accordingly.
That a committee of three be appointed to report the method of establishing an hospital.
The committee chosen are, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Paine, and Mr. Middle ton.
That it be recommended to the colonies of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, to complete the deficiencies in the regiments belonging to their respective colonies, retained by the general in the continental army before Boston.
That it be recommended to the colony of Rhode-Island, to complete and send forward to the camp before Boston, as soon as possible, the three hundred and sixty men, lately voted by their general assembly.
That it be recommended to the colony of Connecticut, to complete and send forward to the camp before Boston, as soon as possible, the fourteen hundred men lately voted by their general assembly.
On motion made, Resolved, That a committee be appointed t» bring in an estimate of the expenses, incurred by the votes and resolves of this Congress.
Mr. Deane, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Cushing chosen.
Agreed, That the Congress meet at this place to-morrow, and from this place go in a body to attend divine service.
Resolved, That the nomination of three of the commissioners for Indian affairs, in the southern department, be left to the council of safety, appointed by ihe colony of South-Carolina.
That Mr. John Walker, of Virginia, be appointed one of the commissioners for Indian affairs in the southern department.
Adjourned till to-morrow at half past nine o'clock.
THURSDAY, July 20, 1775, half after nine, A.M.
An express arriving with despatches from general Schuyler, the same were read.
A letter was also received from the convention of Georgia, anil read, setting forth, that that colony had acceded to the general association, and appointed delegates to attend this Congress.
Adjourned till one o'clock, P. M.
P. M. met according to adjournment. , The despatches from general Schuyler being taken into consideration,
Resolved, That general Schuyler be empowered to dispose of and employ all the troops in the New-York department, in such manner as he may think best for the protection and defence of these colonies, the tribes of Indians in friendship and amity with us, and most effectually to promote the general interest, still pursuing, if in his power, the former orders from this Congress' and subject to the future orders of the commander in chief. Adjourned till to-morrow at eight o'clock.
FRIDAY, July 21, 1775.
Met according to adjournment.
The committee appointed to prepare an address to the inhabitants of Jamaica, having brought in a draught, the same was read.
Ordered, To lie on the table.
The committee appointed to prepare an address to the people of Ireland, brought in a draught:
Ordered, To lie on the table.
Resolved, That Mr. R. Bache, Mr. Stephen Paschall, and Mr. M. Hillegas, be appointed to superintend the press, and to have the oversight and care of printing the bills of credit ordered to be struck by this Congress.
Resolved, That Mr. Willie Jones, of North-Carolina, be the fifth commissioner of Indian affairs in the southern department.
Agreeable to order, the Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole, to take into consideration the state of America, and after some time spent therein, the president resumed the chair, and Mr. Ward reported, that they had come to certain resolutions, which he read, and then desired lea-ve to sit again.
The committee appointed to devise ways and means to protect the trade of these colonies, brought in their report, which was read.
Ordered, That the same be taken into consideration to-morrow morning.
The Congress then entered upon the consideration of the report from the committee of the whole, and after some debate,
Resolved, That such a body of troops be kept up in the Massachusetts-Bay, as general Washington shall think necessary, provided they do not exceed twenty-two thousand men.
Adjourned till to-morrow at eight o'clock.
SATURDAY, July 22, 1775.
Met according to adjournment.
Agreeable to the order of yesterday, the Congress took into consideration the report of the committee appointed to devise ways and means to protect the trade of these colonies, and after some debate, the farther consideration of it was postponed to a future day.
On motion, Resolved, That Dr. Franklin, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. J. Adams, and Mr. Lee, be a committee to take into consideration, and report on the resolution of the house of commons; Feb. 20, 1775, commonly called lord North's motion.
Adjourned till Monday at eight o'clock.
Monday being spent in a committee of the whole.
TUESDAY, July 25,1775.
Met according to adjournment.
The committee for that purpose appointed, brought in their report for establishing an hospital, which was read.
The committee appointed to consider the ways and means of establishing a post, brought in their report, which was read, and ordered to be considered to-morrow.
The committee appointed to consider and report their opinion of the resolution of the house of commons, brought in their report, which was read, and •rdered to lie on the table for the perusal of the members. Vol. I. 16
The Congress then resumed the consideration of the address to the assembly of Jamaica, and the same being debated by paragraphs, was agreed to as follows:
Mr. Speaker, And Gentlemen Of The Assembly Of Jamaica,
We would-think ourselves deficient in our duty, if we suffered this Congress to" pass over, without expressing our esteem for the assembly of Jamaica.
Whoever attends to the conduct of those who have been entrusted with the administration of British affairs, during these last twelve years, will discover in it, a deliberate plan to destroy, in every part of the empire, the free constitution, for which Britain has been so long and so justly famed. With a dexterity, artful and wicked, they have varied the modes of attack, according to the different characters and circumstances of those whom they meant to reduce. In the East-Indies, where the effeminacy of the inhabitants promised an easy conquest, they thought it unnecessary to veil their tyrannic principles under the thinnest disguise. Without deigning even to pretend a justification of their conduct, they sacrificed the lives of millions to the gratification of their insatiable avarice and lust of power. In Britain, where the maxims of freedom were still known, but where luxury and dissipation had diminished the wonted reverence for them, the attack has been carried on in a more secret and indirect manner: Corruption has been employed to undermine them. The Americans are not enervated by effeminacy, like the inhabitants of India; nor debauched by luxury, like those of Great-Britain: It was, therefore, judged improper to assail them by bribery, or by undisguised force. Plausible systems were formed; specious pretences were made: All the arts of sophistry were tried to shew that the British ministry had by law a right to enslave us. The first and best maxims of the constitution, venerable to Britons and to Americans, were perverted and profaned. The power of parliament, derived from the people, to bind the people, was extended over those from whom it was never derived. It is asserted, that a standing army may be constitutionally kept among us, without our consent. Those principles, dishonorable to those who adopted them, and destructive to those to whom they were applied, were nevertheless carried into execution by the foes of liberty and of mankind. Acts of parliament, ruinous to America, and unserviceable to Britain, were made to bind us; armies, maintained by the parliament, were sent over to secure their operation. The power, however, and the cunning of our adversaries, were alike unsuccessful. We refused to their parliaments an obedience, which our judgments disapproved of: We refused to their armies* a submission, which spirits unaccustomed to slavery, could not brook.
But while we spurned a disgraceful subjection, we were far from running into rash or seditious measures of opposition. Filled with sentiments of loyalty to our sovereign, and of affection and respect for our fellow-subjects in Britain, we petitioned, we supplicated, we expostulated: Our prayers were rejected;— our remonstrances were disregarded ;—our grievances were accumulated." All this did not provoke us to violence.
An appeal to the justice and humanity of those who had injured us, and who were bound to redress our injuries, was ineffectual: we next resolved to make an appeal to their interest, though by doing so, we knew we must sacrifice our own, and (which gave us equal uneasiness) that of our friends, who had never offended us, and who were connected with us by a sympathy of feelings, under oppressions similar to our own. We resolved to give up our commerce that we might preserve our liberty. We flattered ourselves, that when, by withdrawing our commercial intercourse with Britain, which we had an undoubted right either to withdraw or continue, her trade should be diminished, her revenues impaired, and her manufactures unemployed, our ministerial foes would be induced by interest, or compelled by necessity, to depart from the plan of tyranny which they had so long pursued, and to substitute in its place, a system more compatible with the freedom of America, and justice of Britain. That this scheme of non-importation and non-exportation might be productive of the desired effects, we were obliged to include the islands in it. From this necessity, and from this necessity alone, has our conduct towards them proceeded. By converting your sugar plantations into ..fields of grain, you can supply yourselves, with the necessaries of life: While the present unhappy struggle shall continue, we cannot do more.
But why should we make any apology to the patriotic assembly of Jamaica, who know so well the value of liberty; who are so sensible of the extreme danger to which ours is exposed; and who foresee how certainly the destruction of ours must be followed by the destruction of their own?
We receive uncommon pleasure from observing the principles of our righteous opposition distinguished by your approbation: We feel the warmest gratitude for your pathetic mediation in our behalf with the crown. It was indeed unavailing—but are you to blame? Mournful experience tells us that petitions are often rejected, while the sentiments and conduct of the petitioners entitle. what they offer to a happier fate.
That our petitions have been treated with disdain, is now become the smallest part of our complaint: Ministerial insolence is lost in ministerial barbarity. It has, by an exertion peculiarly ingenious, procured those very measures, which it laid us under the hard necessity of pursuing, to be stigmatized in parliament as rebellious: It has employed additional fleets and armies for the infamous purpose of compelling us to abandon them: It has plunged us in all the horrors and calamities of civil war: It has caused the treasure and blood of Britons (formerly shed and expended for far other ends) to be spilt and wasted in the execrable design of spreading slavery over British America: It will not, however-, accomplish its aim: In the worst of contingencies, a choice will still be left, which it never can prevent us from making.
The peculiar situation of your island forbids your assistance. But we have your good wishes. From the good wishes of the friends of liberty and mankind, we shall always derive consolation.
Ordered, That a/air copy be made out, to be signed by the president, and transmitted by the first opportunity.
The Congress then, resuming the report of the committee of the whole, came to the following resolutions:
Resolved, That a body of forces not exceeding five thousand, be keptup in the Xew-York department, for the purpose of defending that part of America, and lor securing the lakes, and protecting the frontiers from incursions or'invasions.
That a farther sum, amounting to the value of one million of Spanish milled dollars.be struck in bills of thirty dollars each.
As the signing so great a number of bills as has been directed to be issued by this Congress, will require more time than the members can possibly devote to that business, consistent with the attention due to the public service,
Resolved, That the following gentlemen be appointed and fully authorized to sign the same, viz. Luke Morris, Samuel Meredith, Judah Fotilke, Samuel Morris, Frederick Kuhl, Robert Strettle Jones, Thomas Coombe, Ellis Lewis, John Mease, Thomas Lawrence,Daniel Clymer, John Maxwell Nesbit, Thomas Barclay,!John Bayard, William Craig, Thomas Bartow, John Shee, Isaac Hazlehurst, Robert Roberts, Anthony Morris, Mordecai Lewis, George Mifflin, 'Robert Tuckniss, Andrew Bunner, William Jackson, Joseph Sims, James Milligan, and James Reed.
That each of the continental bills be numbered and signed by two of the above gentlemen.
That each gentleman who signs the continental bills, be allowed and paid out of the continental treasury, one dollar and one-third of a dollar for each and every thousand bills signed, and numbered by him.