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of March last, was referred, brought in their report, which was read: Whereupon,
Resolved, That the sum of 3,400 dollars be advanced by the treasurers to M. BeJletre, on his delivering to them his bills of exchange for the like sum, payable In gold or silver in the province of Canada.
A petition from William Lindsay being presented to Congress and read,
Resolved, That colonel Wayne be directed to discharge Robert, the son of said William Lindsay, inlisted in his battalion.
The matters to this day referred, being postponed,
Adjourned to ten o'clock to-morrow.
WEDNESDAY, April 3, 1776.
Resolved, That the letter from general Washington, of the 24th of March, with the papers enclosed, be referred to a committee of three.
The members chosen, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Jay, and Mr. Wilson.
A memorial and petition from captain John Nelson was presented to Congress and read; also,
A petition from P. Moore, in behalf of the owners of the sloops Congress and Chance privateers, was presented and read:
Resolved, That the secret committee be directed to sell said owners 400 lbs. of powder for the use of their privateers.
The committee of claims, to whom the account of Messrs. Price and Haywood was referred, brought in their report: Whereupon,
Resolved, That there be advanced to Messrs. Price and Haywood, the sura of 64,35&.6 dollars on account of supplies to the army in Canada, to be accounted for on the settlement of their accounts; and that general Wooster be directed to forward the accounts and vouchers lodged in his hands.
The said committee farther reported, that there is due,
To the township of Montague, in the county of Sussex, in New-Jersey, for slay-hire, in forwarding the prisoners from Canada, under the command of captain Brasher, the sum of 45 dollars, and that the same ought to be paid to Nicholas Christopher.
Ordered, That the same be paid.
A letter from H. Fisher, of Lewistown, to the committee of safety of Pennsylvania, together with a resolve of said committee, being laid before CoDgress and read,
Resolved, That the commanding officer of the battalion raised in Delaware government, be directed to send two companies of said battalion to Lewistown, thereto remain in the service of the continent till farther orders.
Resolved, That the marine committee be directed and empowered to fit out, with all expedition, two armed cutters, for the service of the continent.
Resolved, That blank commissions for private ships of war and letters of marque and reprisal, signed by the president, be sent to the general assemblies, conventions, and councils or committees of safety of the United Colonies, to be by them filled up and delivered to the persons intending to fit out such private ships of war, for making captures of British vessels and cargoes, who shall apply for the same, and execute the bonds which shall be sent with the said commissions, which bonds shall be returned to the Congress.
Resolved, That every person intending to set forth and fit out a private ship or vessel of war, and applying for a commission or letters of marque and reprisal for that purpose, shall produce a writing subscribed by him, containing the name and tonnage or burden of the ship or vessel, the number of her guns, with their weight of metal, the name and place of residence of the owner or owners, the names of the commander and other officers, the number of the crew, and the quantity of provisions and war-like stores; which writing shall bo delivered to the secretary of Congres?, or to the clerk of the house of re—.
presentatives, convention, or council, or committee of safety of the colony in which the ship or vessel shall be, to be transmitted to the said secretary, and shall be registered by him; and that the commander of the ship or vessel, before the commission or letters of marque and reprisal may be granted, shall, together with sureties, seal and deliver a bond, in the penalty of five thousand dollars, if the vessel be of one hundred tons or under, or ten thousand dollars, if of a greater burden, payable to the president of the Congress, in trust for the. use of the United Colonies, with condition in the form following, to wit; "The condition of this obligation is such, that if the above bounden , who is commander of the , called , belonging to , of , in the colony of , mounting carriage guns, and navigated by men, and who hath applied for a commission, and letters of marque and reprisal, to arm, equip, and set forth to sea, the said as a private ship of war, and to make captures of British vessels and cargoes, shad not exceed or transgress the powers and authorities which shall be contained in the said commission, but shall, in all things, observe and conduct himself, and govern his crew, by and according to the same, and certain instructions therewith to be delivered, and such other instructions as may hereafter be given to him, and shall make reparation for all damages sustained by any misconduct or unwarrantable proceedings of himself, or the officers or crew of the said ;then this obligation shall be void,' or else remain in force;" which bond shall be lodged with the said secretary of Congress.
The committee to whom the instructions to the commanders of private ship$ or vessels of war, were recommitted, brought in a report, which being taken into consideration, and debated by paragraphs, was agreed to as follows:
Instructions to the commanders of private ships or vessels of war, which shall have commissions or letters of marque and reprisal, authorizing tlicm to make capturesof British vessels and cargoes.
1. You may, by force of arms, attack, subdue, and take all ships and other ■vessels belonging to the inhabitants of Great-Britain, on the high seas, or between high water and low water marks, except ships and vessels bringing persons who intend to settle and reside in the United Colonies; or bringing arms, ammunition, or war-like stores, to the said colonies, for the use of such inhabitants thereof as are friends to the American cause, which you shall suffer to pass unmolested, the commanders thereof permitting a peaceable search, and giving satisfactory information of the contents of the ladings, and destination •> of the voyages.
2. You may, by force of arms, attack, subdue, and take all ships and other vessels whatsoever, carrying soldiers, arms, gunpowder, ammunition, provisions, ffr any other contraband goods, to any of the British armies or ships of war employed against these colonies.
3. You shall bring such ship3 and vessels, as you shall take, with their gunfl, rigging, tackle, apparel, furniture, and ladings, to some convenient port or ports ofthe United Colonies, that proceedings may thereupon be had, in due form, before the courts, which are or shall be there appointed to hear and determine causes civil and maritime.
4. You, or one of your chief officers, shall bring or'send the master and pilot, and one or more principal person or persons of the company of every ship or vessel by you taken, as soon after the capture as may be, to the judge or judges of such court as aforesaid, to be examined upon oath, and make answer to the interrogatories which may be propounded, touchingthe interest or property of the ship or vessel, and her lading; and, at the same time, you shall deliver, or cause to be delivered, to the judge or judges, all passes, sea-briefs, charter-parties, bills of lading, cockets, letters, and other documents and writings found on board, proving the said papers, by the affidavit of yourself, or of some other person present at the capture, to be produced as they were received, without fraud, addition, subduction or embezzlement.
Vol. I. 39
5. You shall keep and preserve every ship or vessel, and cargo, by you taken, until they shall, by a sentence of a court properly authorized, be adjudged lawful prizes; not selling, spoiling, wasting, or diminishing the same, or breaking the bulk thereof, nor suffering any such thing to be clone.
6. If you, or any of your officers or crew, shall, in cold blood, kill or maim, or by torture or otherwise, cruelly, inhumanly, and, contrary to common usage, and the practice of civilized nations in war, treat any person or persons surprized in the ship or vessel you shall take, the offender shall be severely punished.
7. You shall, by all convenient opportunities, send to Congress written accounts of the captures you shall make, with the number and names of the captives, copies of your journal from time to time, and intelligence of what may occur or be discovered concerning the designs of the enemy, and the destination, motions, and operations of their fleets and armies.
8. One-third, at least, of your whole company shall be landsmen.
9. You shall not ransom any prisoners or captives, but shall dispose of them in such manner, as the Congress, or, if that be not sitting, in the colony whither they shall be brought, as the general assembly, convention, or council, or committee of safety, of such colony shall direct.
10. You shall observe all such further instructions as Congress shall hereafter give in the premises, when you shall have notice thereof.
11. If you shall do any thing contrary to these instructions, or to others "hereafter to be given, or willingly suffer such thing to be done, you shall not
only forfeit your commission, and be liable to an action for the breach of the condition of your bond, but be responsible to the party grieved for damages sustained by such malversation.
Resolved, That an order for 20,000 dollars be drawn on the treasurers in favor of James Mease, commissary, for the use of the Pennsylvania battalions, he to be accountable.
Resolved, That the pay of the auditor of accounts be at the rate of one thousand and sixty-six dollars and two-thirds of a dollar per annum.
Resolved, That this Congress will, to-morrow morning, resolve itself into a committee of the whole to take into consideration the trade of the United Colonies.
Adjourned to ten o'clock to-morrow.
THURSDAY, April 4. 1776.
Resolved, That the treasurers be directed to take colonel Belletre': bills jfrawn on some of his friends or correspondents in Canada, and not upon general Carleton.
The committee of claims reported, that there is due,
To John De Hart, for provisions furnished by Archibald Campbell, the sum of 17.9 dollars. r
Ordered, That the said account be paid.
Resolved, That an order for one hundred dollars be drawn on the treasurers in favor of Mons. Le Fontaine, for his services in Canada.
Agreeable to the order of the day, the Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole, to take into consideration the trade of the United Colonies, and, after some time spent thereon, the president resumed the chair, and Mr. Harrison reported, that the committee had taken into consideration the matters referredto them, and had come to sundry resolutions, which he was ordered to deliver in.
The resolutions agreed to by the committee of the whole Congress being read,
Ordered, To lie on the table.
The committee, to whom were referred the memorial from James M'Knight, and the letter from Alexander M'Oonnald, George Gillespie, and J. W. Saunders, brought in their report, which was read: Whereupon,
Resolved, That the committee of inspection and observation of the county of Burlington, be requested to make sale of the sloop Sally, whereof the said James M'Knight was prize-master, and which was lately run ashore by him, within the said county, together with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the cargo on board, at public auction; and after deducting the charges of securing and selling the same, to pay one moiety of the surplus to the said James M'Knight for salvage, and retain the other moiety thereof for the owner or owners.
That Messrs. Alexander M'Donnald, George Gillespie, and J. W. Saunders, who have lately come into the colony of New-Jersey from the British WestIndia islands, where, and in Great-Britain, they have considerable property remaining, be excused from entering into the militia of the said colony, and from signing the association; provided always, that they be, in all other respects, subject to the like taxes and regulations with the other inhabitants of the said colony.
The committee appointed to consider the best ways and means of supplying the army in Canada, brought in a farther report, which was read;
Ordered, To lie on the table.
Resolved, That the sum of 53 dollars be advanced to Mons. St. Aulaire, to be deducted out of his pay.
Adjourned to ten o'clock on Saturday.
SATURDAY, April G, 17"6.
Resolved, That the secret committee be directed to supply captain Romans ■with twenty-four muskets for the use of his company.
That the said committee be directed to deliver to colonel St. Clair six lbs. of powder and four pounds of lead, for the use of the rifle company of his battalion.
The Congress resumed the consideration of the report from the committee of the whole; and the same being twice read, and debated by paragraphs, was agreed to as follows:
Resolved, That any goods, wares, or merchandise, except staves and empty casks, other than shaken or knocked down casks for molasses, may be exported from the thirteen United Colonies, by the inhabitants thereof, and by the people of all such countries as are not subject to the king of Great-Britain, to any parts of the world which are not under the dominion of the said king; provided, that no vessel be permitted to export any greater number of shaken or knocked down molasses casks, than the same vessel is capable of carrying when they shall be filled with molasses.
Jiesolved, That any goods, wares, and merchandises, except such as are of the growth, production, or manufacture of, or brought from any country under the dominion ot the king of Great-Britain, and except East-India tea, may be imported from any other parts of the world to the thirteen United Colonies, by the inhabitants thereof, and by the people of all such countries as are not subject to the said king; liable, however, to all such duties and impositions as now are, or may hereafter be laid by any of the said colonies.
Resolved, That nothing herein contained shall be understood to prevent such future commercial regulations as shall be thought just and necessary by these United Colonies, or their respective legislatures.
Resolved, That no slaves be imported into any of the thirteen United Colonies.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the assemblies and conventions in the several colonies, to appoint proper officers, at convenient places in their respective colonies, to take bonds, in adequate penalties, for observing the regulations made by the Congress, or assemblies, or conventions, concerning trade, and for securing the observation of such parts of the association as are not inconsistent therewith; and that the obligor shall, within eighteen months after the departure of the vessel, produce to such officers a certificate, under the hands and seals of three or more reputable merchants, residing at the port or place where the cargo shall be delivered, that the same was there unladed, and take manifests upon oath, of the cargoes exported and imported, and keep fair accounts and entries-thereof, give bills of health when desired, grant registers shewing the property of the vessels cleared out, and sign certificates that the requisites for qualifying vessels to trade have been complied with: And that the fees of the said officers be stated by the respective assemblies or conventions: Provided always, that no prosecution upon any of the said bonds shall be commenced but within three years after the date thereof.
Resolved, That all goods, wares, and merchandises, except such as are made prize of, whioh shall be imported directly'or indirectly from Great-Britain ot Ireland, into any of these United Colonies, contrary to the regulations established by Congress, shall be forfeited and disposed of, agreeable to such rules as shall be made by the several assemblies or conventions, and shall be liable to
Srosecution and condemnation in any court erected, or to be erected, for the etermination of maritime affairs, in the colony where the seizure shall be made.
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to bring in a resolution fur disposing of and using the tea now in these colonies:
The members chosen, Mr. R. Morris, Mr. Jay, and Mr. M'Kean.
The committee of claims reported, that there is due,
To Robert Erwin, wagon-master, for William M'Carty's and Richard Key's teams, to Virginia, with powder, each thirty days, and ferriages, the sum of 250.5 dollars.
Ordered, That the same be paid.
The committee to whom the letters from general Schuyler, of the 7th and 19th, and from W. Paulding, esq. chairman of a committee of the convention of New-York, of the 26th of March last, were referred, brought in their report, which being taken into consideration,
Resolved, That the committee of inspection and observation of Albany be desired to examine, state and settle the accounts of expenses incurred in the taking of Ticonderoga and Crown-Point, which shall be laid before them by general Schuyler, and report the same to Congress.
Resolved, That the commissioners for Indian affair in the northern department be desired to assure the Indians that Congress will do every thing ro their power to procure goods for them, and hope they shall soon accomplish it.'
Resolved, That Robert Yates be appointed secretary to the commissioners lor Indian affairs in the northern department, and be allowed at the rate of two hundred and fifty dollars by the year.
Resolved, That the remainder of the report be postponed.
A letter from general Washington of the 27th of March, and
A letter from brigadier general Heath, being received and read,
Resolved, That the letter from general Washington, with the papers enclosed, be referred to a committee of the whole Congress.
Resolved, That the sum of 100,000 dollars be sent to New-York, for the use of the army there, in the service of the United Colonies.
The committee for prisoners brought in a report, which was read:
Ordered, To lie on- the table.
Resolved, That the delegates of Virginia be directed to write to their convex tion, or committee or council of safetyrto collect and forward to the treasurers ot the United Colonies, what gold and silver they can procure, and to ^!ff° the president for the amount thereof, at the rate of eight dollars for haU-J06* weighing nine pennyweight.