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~~ ~ FRIDAY, April 12, 1776. ~
A letter of the 21st March, from W. H. Drayton, president of the convention of South-Carolina, with a copy of the act of parliament prohibiting all trade and commerce with the American colonies: also,
A letter of the 10th instant, from col. John Haslet, enclosing an account of the engagement between the detachment of the Delaware battalion at Lewis, and a tender of the Roebuck; also informing that another company is wanted at Lewistown, and that he has ordered one to march thither, were laid before -Congress, and read:
Resolved, That the conduct of colonel Haslet, in ordering another company to Lewistown, be approved.
The committee on qualifications having recommended James Hunter as a fit person to fill the oldest vacancy of second lieutenant, and Joel Westcoat as a suitable person to fill the second oldest vacancy of second lieutenant in the third Pennsylvania battalion,
Resolved, That commissions be granted to them accordingly.
Resolved, That the treasurers be directed to pay Mr. Price, the sum of 16,000 dollars in specie, in part of the sum ordered to be advanced to him and Mr. Haywood.
A petition from colonel James Easton was presented to Congress and read:
Resolved, That it be referred to a committee of three.
The members chosen, Mr. Braxton, Mr. Duane, and Mr. Alexander.
Resolved, That the assemblies, conventions, and committees or councils of safety of the colonies respectively, in which prisoners are or shall choose, or be appointed to reside, be empowered to remove such prisoners from place to place within the same colonies, as often as to such assemblies, conventions, or committees or councils of safety, respectively, it shall seem proper, having regard to the former resolutions of Congress concerning prisoners.
Resolved, That Mr. Alexander be appointed a member of the marine committee, in the room of Mr. Chase, who is absent. .
A memorial from the Scotch hostages was presented to Congress and read:
Resolved, That it be referred to the committee of claims.
The committee of claims reported, that there is due,
To Henry Holler, for rifles and cash furnished to captain Nelson's company of rifle-men, the sum of 364.8 dollars, to be charged to said company; and for provisions for said company, the sum of 171.3 dollars; and for necessaries provided for prisoners at Reading, 1203 dollars; and for his pay as quartermaster in procuring provisions, 59 dollars; for provisions made for receiving the prisoners from Johnstown, the sum of 240 dollars; for expresses and incidental charges, the sum of 62.9 dollars; the whole amounting to 2101 dollars:
Ordered, That the same be paid.
Adjourned to ten o'clock to-morrow.
SATURDAY, April 13, 1776.
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.
Mr. Mease having applied to Congress for advice how to conduct himself in paying the sixth Pennsylvania battalion,
Resolved, That the queries propounded by Mr. Mease, be referred to the committee for procuring fire-arms.
The committee of claims reported, that there is due,
To Robert Erwin, the balance of his account for wagon-hire, the sum of 436 .dollars.
Ordered, That the same be paid.
A petition from the committees of the townships of Walpack, Sandystone, and Montague, in the county of Sussex, in New Jersey, was presented to Congress and read:
Resolved, That the same be referred to the commissioners for Indian affairs, who are members of Congress.
The committee appointed to prepare a resolution for the sale and consumption of the teas now in these colonies, brought in the same, which was read and agreed to as follows:
Whereas, by the third article of the association entered into by the late Continental Congress, at Philadelphia, on the 24th day of October, in the year of our Lord, 1774, it was agreed, that, from that day, the inhabitants of the United Colonies "would not purchase nor use any tea imported on account of the East-India company, or any on which a duty had been or should be paid, and from and after the first day of March then next following, they would not purchase or use any East-India tea whatever:" And whereas, it has been represented to this Congress, that the time, as aforesaid limited for the consumption of the tea then on hand, was too short; whereby many zealous friends to the American cause, who had imported large1 quantities of that commodity, with design not merely to advance their fortunes, but to counteract the plan then pursued by the ministry, and India company, to introduce and sell in these colonies tea subject to duty, are likely to become great sufferers; the greater part of the estates of many of them being vested in that article, and they, by that means, rendered incapable not only of paying their debts and maintaining their families, but also of vigorously exerting themselves in the service of their country: And whereas, it was originally the design of Congress, that all India tea, which had been imported agreeable to the tenor of the said association, might be sold and consumed, but the time limited for that purpose proving too short;
Resolved, That all India tea, imported as aforesaid, expressly excepting all teas imported by or on account of the East-India company, now remaining on hand in these colonies, be sold and used:
And whereas, from the future importation of tea being prohibited, some teaholders may be tempted to avail themselves of the scarcity which will be occasioned by it, and exact exorbitant prices for an article of little real value in itself, and which owes its worth to a habit, in many respects, pernicious to the inhabitants of these colonies,
Resolved, therefore, That Bohea tea ought not to be sold by retail in the smallest quantities, at a higher price, in any colony, than at the rate of threefourth parts of a dollar per pound ; and other teas at such a price as shall be regulated by the committees of the town or county where the tea is sold; and that all persons who shall either give or take a greater price for it, ought to be considered as enemies to the American cause, and treated accordingly. And it is earnestly recommended to all committees of inspection and observation, as well to be vigilant in carrying this resolve into execution, as those which prohibit the importation of India tea from any part of the world, it being the desire of Congress to exclude all teas, except such as may make part of the cargoes of prizes taken by ships of war or privateers belonging to these colonies.
Resolved, That the secret committee be directed to deliver to lieutenant-colonel Hartley one quarter cask of powder, to repay so much by him borrowed for the use of the continent.
The committee appointed to prepare a letter to the committee of safety of New-Jersey, brought in a draught, which being read, was agreed to:
Ordered, That the same be transcribed, signed by the president, and transmitted.
The committee appointed to consider the representation and queries of James Mease, respecting the sixth battalion of troops commanded by colonel Irvine, brought in their report, which was read: Whereupon,
Resolved, That the certificates of magistrates, or other respectable inhabitants of the county of Cumberland, who have inspected and examined the companies of the said battalion, shall, in this instance, justify the pay-master in paving such companies, agreeable to the said certificates, the muster-master beiug absent:
That the supernumerary privates that have been inlisted, and are armed and clothed, be continued and paid: •
That the officers in the said battalion be paid for their subsistence since the recruiting service has been over, at the rates used in other battalions:
That the claim of the ensign in captain Wilson's company to pay and subsistence from the time of entering into actual service, be allowed. *
Resolved, That the marine committee be empowered to build two gallies, capable of carrying each two 36 or 42 pounders, to oppose the enemy's vessels in Days and harbors.
Resolved, That the committee for casting cannon be directed to contract for the casting forty howitzers, with a sufficient quantity of shells.
The committee appointed to take into consideration the application of James Hughes, late town-major of Montreal, and now one of the prisoners of the thirteen United Colonies, brought in their report, wherein they represent,
"That it appears to them that Mrs. Hughes, the wife of the said James Hughes, on or about the 5th of February last, bargained with a certain Jabez West, for divers goods and merchandise, in her possession, at Montreal, for which the said West, as the said J. Hughes alleges, agreed to pay -£905 11 9j, sterling money of Great-Britain, and *151 1 9, Halifax currency, m gold and silver, to said Hughes, within eighteen days from that time ; upon which payment being made, the goods were to be delivered at Albany, to the said West, by a certain John Stevenson, at Albany, to whom they were to be sent at the expense of the said West: that the said West paid to the said Hughes 240 dollars, in part; but it was, as the said Hughes alleges, agreed, that if the residue of the money was not paid within the time limited, then the 240 dollars were to be forfeited, and the goods not to be delivered ; that the goods arrived at Albany, and were in the possession of Mr. Stevenson, who, on the 11th ofMarcli last, by some means or other, was induced to deliver the goods to West, though he paid no money ; that the said West gave a bond to the said Stevenson, payable to the said Hughes, for -gl609 18 8, continental currency, on the 9th of April, instant, without any authority from the said Hughes, as he alleges; that the said West proceeded with the goods, immediately on the receipt of them, to some of the eastern colonies, and, it is apprehended, to Connecticut. Upon the whole, the committee are of opinion, that the said Hughes may probably lose his debt from West, without the interposition of Congress, or their permission to him to go in pursuit of the said West:" Whereupon,
Resolved, That governor Trumbull, of the colony of Connecticut, be desired to direct the most effectual method, according to law, to be taken, for securing; the person of Jabez West, or his effects, to the value of the debt due to James Hughes, if either can be found in his government; and to see that justice be done in the premises.
Adjourned to ten o'clock on Monday next.
MONDAY, April 15,1776. A letter of the 4th from general Washington, enclosing a letter from go*" ernor Cooke, and an account of the powder supplied the army at Cambridge! by the colony of Massachusetts-Bay, from the 10th of June last; also, a letter of the 2d from general Schuyler, with eight papers enclosed, being laid before Congress, and read,
Resolved, That the said letters, with the papers enclosed, be referred to Mr. Wythe, Mr. Harrison, and Mr. S. Adams.
The committee to whom the petition from the committees of Walpack, &c. ■was referred, brought in their report, which was agreed to: Whereupon,
Resolved, That an order be drawn, by the chairman of the secret committee, upon Henry Wisner, esq. in favor of the petitioners, for 2001b. of powder, they paying for the same:
That 1000 flints be delivered to the petitioners:
That the petitioners be desired to send Garret Broadhead, esq. to the nearest Indian settlement, in order to discover whether any uneasiness subsists ainmii; the Indians in that part of the country; and, if it subsists, from what cause it arises:
That a letter be written by the president of the Congress to general Schuyler, to inform him of the apprehension of the inhabitants on the western boundaries of New-Jersey from the Indians, to request him to direct proper enquiries to be made, whether there be any foundation for such apprehensions.
The Congress, taking into consideration the report of the committee on the petition of John Secord,
Resolved, That a certified copy of the said petition be transmitted to the governor of Connecticut; that he be requested to cause enquiry to be made into the truth of the facts therein stated; and, if found true, that it be recommended to him to cause restitution to be made to the petitioner.
Resolved, That it be again recommended to the settlers at Wyoming and the Susquehanna river,as well those under Pennsylvania as those under Connecticut, to cultivate harmony, to consider themselves as jointly interested in the event of the American cause, and not, by mutual acts of violence or oppression, to injure that union that happily subsists between all the colonies, and on which their welfare so much depends.
Resolved, That the secret committee be directed to supply the inhabitants of Monmouth county, in New-Jersey, with SOOlb. of powder, they paying for the same.
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to bring in a resolution, whereby persons resident, having property in America, who assist any of the enemies of the United Colonies in the capture of vessels or goods, may be made liable to make good the damages to the sufferers: The members chosen, Mr. Braxton, Mr. Jay, and Mr. Wythe. A petition from Moses Kirkland, a prisoner, was presented to Congress, and read:
Resolved, That it be referred to the committee on prisoners. The Congress resumed the consideration of the report of the committee on the ways and means of supplying the troops in Canada;
Whereupon, Resolved, That Mr. R. Morris be directed to purchase bills of exchange to the amount of three thousand pounds stealing, and deliver the same to Mr. Price; and that Mr. Morris be indemnified for any loss that may arise from endorsing them:
That the sum of 13,333.3 dollars be advanced to Mr. Price, to be employed by him in the service of the continent, in Canada, he to be accountable.
Resolved, That the officers of the rifle battalion, and independent rifle companies, be authorized and directed to recruit the said battalion and companies, and inlist the men as speedily as possible; and that their re-inlistment be for two years from the expiration of their present term, liable to be discharged sooner, if Congress shall think proper, upon receiving a month's pay advance. A petition from Thomas Learning, jun. in behalf of the committee of inspection for the county of Cape-May, was presented to Congress and read, setting forth the defenceless state of that part of the country, and praying for a supply of powder and lead, and that two companies of the continental forces may he stationed there.
Resolved, That the prayer of the petition be granted.
TUESDAY, April 16, 1776.
A letter of the 9th from commodore E. Hopkins, enclosing a list of the cannon and stores brought from Providence; and a letter of the 14th from the committee of Baltimore, enclosing copies of intercepted letters from the secretary of state to governor Eden; also, a letter of the 8th from general Thomas, •were laid before Congress, and read.
Ordered, That the secretary publish an extract of the letter from commodore Hopkins.
The Congress, taking into consideration the letter from the committee of Baltimore, and the papers enclosed, came to the following resolutions:
Whereas information has been this day laid before Congress, from which there is great reason to believe, that Robert Eden, esq. governor of Maryland, has lately carried on a correspondence with the British ministry, highly dangerous to the liberties of America;
Resolved, therefore, That the council of safety of Maryland be earnestly requested, immediately to cause the person and papers of governor Eden to be seized and secured, and such of the papers as relate to the American dispute, without delay, conveyed safely to Congress; and that copies of the intercepted letters from the secretary of state, be enclosed to the said council of safety.
Resolved, That the eouncil of safety of Maryland be requested to cause the personand papers of Alexander Ross to be immediately seized and secured, and that the papers be sent safely to Congress.
And to prevent the said Alexander Ross having any opportunity to escape,
Resolved, That the like request be made to the committees of observation for Baltimore and Frederick counties in Maryland, in one of which counties the said Alexander Ross probably now is.
The committee of claims reported, that there is due, •
To Isaac Melchior, for expenses from Montreal to Philadelphia, including a part of St. Luke La Corne's expenses to Albany, the sum of 34.7 dollars:
To Leonard Melchior, for boarding M'Donald twenty days, the sum of 16 dollars:
To William Chew, for riding express to North-Carolina and back, including ferriages, the sum of 90 dollars, and that the same ought to be paid to J. Hughes, esq.
To Samuel Purviance, jun. the sum of 133.3 dollars, money advanced by colonel Charles Beaty to captain James Grier, and that the same ought to be paid, and charged to the said James Grier:
To Anthony Tricker for boarding Donald M'Donald, and others of the Scots prisoners,taken by general Schuyler,near Johnstown, the sum of 150dollars:
To Peletiah Webster, for purchasing goods for the continent, including some incidental charges, the sum of 66.3 dollars:
Ordered, That the said accounts be paid.
Resolved, That the secret committee be directed to supply the inhabitants of Monmouth county with 500 flints.
The Congress proceeded to the election of a clerk or assistant to the auditor-general:
Mr. William Webb was elected.
A letter of the 15th from H. Beaumont, surgeon of the 26th regiment, was laid before Congress, and read:
Resolved, That it be referred to the committee on prisoners.
Resolved, That the sum of 1000 dollars be paid to Messrs. Price and Haywood, in consideration of their extraordinary services in Canada.
Whereas much inconvenience may be derived to the public from «ommit