Page images
PDF
EPUB

MONDAY, June, 19, 1775.

Met according to adjournment.

The president laid before the Congress, sundry letters he had received from Massachusetts-Bay and New-York, which were read.

Ordered, That Mr. Henry, Mr. Lynch, and Mr. J. Adams, be a committee to wait upon general Lee, and. to inform him of his appointment, and request his answer, whether he will accept the command.

The committee returned and reported, that they had waited on general Lee, and informed him of hi9 appointment, and that he gave for answer; "That he had the highest sense of the honor conferred upon him by the Congress ; that no effort in his power shall be wanting to serve the American cause."

The letters from Massachusetts-Bay being taken into consideration, the Congress come to the following resolve:

That the governor of Connecticut be requested to direct all the forces raised in that colony, not employed at Ticonderoga and Crown-Point, or recommended by this Congress to be marched towards New-York, to be immediately sent to join the combined army before Boston: And it is earnestly recommended to the colony of Rhode-Island, and to the provincial convention of New-Hampshire, to send immediately to the army before Boston, such of the forces as are already embodied, towards their quotas of the troops agreed to be raised by the New-England colonies.

Resolved, That Mr. Lee, Mr. E. Rutledge, and Mr. J. Adams, be a committee to prepare the form of a commission for the major-generals, also for the brigadier-generals, and other officers in the army.

Resolved, That there be four major-generals.

The Congress then proceeded to cnuse the two remaining major-generals, when Philip Schuyler, esq. was chosen third major-general, and Israel Putnam, esq. was unanimously chosen fourth major-general.

The committee appointed to prepare the form of a commission for the major and brigadier-generals, reported the same, which being agreed to,

Ordered, That a copy thereof be made out, signed by the president, and attested by the secretary, for each of the major-generals and brigadier-generals.

Ordered, That the secretary get a number of commissions, with proper blanks, printed for the other officers.

The committee appointed to prepare a petition to the king, reported a. draught of one, which was read.

Adjourned till to-morrow nine o'clock.

TUESDAY, June 20,1775. Met according to adjournment.

The committee appointed to prepare instructions^ the general, reported the same, which being read and debated, were agreed to. Adjourned till to-morrow at nine o'clock,

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 1775.

Met according to adjournment.

Mr. Thomas Jefferson appeared as a delegate for the colony of Virginia, and produced his credentials, which were read and approved, and are as follows:

At a convention of the delegates, for the counties and corporations in the colony of Virginia, at the town of Richmond, in the county of Henrico, on Monday, 27th March, 1775.

On a motion made, Resolved, That Thomas Jefferson, esq. be appointed a deputy to represent this colony in general Congress, in the room of the honorable Peyton Randolph, esq. in case of the non-attendance of the said Peyton Randolph, esq.

Attest, JOHN TAZEWELL, clerk of convention.

At a general assembly, began and held at the capitol, in the city of Williamsburgh, on Thursday, 1st June, in the fifteenth year of the reign of our lord, George the third, by the grace of God, of Great-Britain, &c. A. D. 1775,

Monday, June 5, I5tk G. III. 1775.

Resolved, JV*. C. D. That this house doth entirely approve of the proceedings and resolutions of the convention of delegates, for the couny and corporations in the colony of Virginia held at Richmond town, in the county of Henrico, the 20th of March, 1775 ; and that it be recommended to all the good people of this colony, strictly to conform to, and observe the same. By the house of burgesses,

PEYTON RANDOLPH, Speaker.

Mr. Henry informed the Congress, that the general had put into his hand sundry queries, to which he desired the Congress would give an answer.

The queries being read and debated,

Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed to prepare proper answers.

The persons chosen, were Mr. Deane, Mr. Henry, Mr. J. Rutledge, Mr. S. Adams, and Mr. Lee.

On a motion made, Resolved, That the general be allowed three aids-decamp.

That each of the major-generals have two aids-de-camp.

That their pay be thirty-three dollars per month each.

Adjourned till to-morrow at nine o'clock. .

THURSDAY, June 22, 1775.

Met according to adjournment.

The committee appointed to prepare answers to the general's queries, reported the same, which were read.

The Congress then came to the following resolutions:

Resolved, That the number of brigadier-generals be augmented to eight: and the same were chosen by ballot, as follows:

Seth Pomeroy, esq. first brigadier-general.
Richard Montgomery, esq. second do.
David Worster, esq. third do,
William Heath, esq. fourth Jo.

Joseph Spencer, esq. fifth do.
John Thomas, esq. sixth do.
John Sullivan, esq. seventh do.
Nathaniel Green, esq. eighth do.

Resolved, That the troops, including the volunteers, be furnished with camp equipage, and blankets, where necessary, at the continental expense.

Resolved, That the officers, now in the army, receive their new commissions through the hands of the general.

Resolved, That a sum not exceeding two millions of Spanish milled dollars be emitted by the Congress in bills of credit, for the defence of America.

Resolved, That the twelve confederated colonies be pledged for the redemption of the bills of credit, now directed to be emitted.

Upon motion made, Resolved, That the colony of Pennsylvania raise two more companies of riflemen, and that these, with the six before ordered to be by them raised, making eight companies, be formed into a battalion, to be commanded by such field officers, captains and lieutenants, as shall be recommended by the assembly or convention of said colony.

Adjourned till to-morrow nine o'clock.

TUESDAY, June 23,1775. Met according to adjournment.

LVII. At every muster the commanding officer of each regiment, troop, or company, then present, shall give to the commissary of musters certificates signed by himself, signifying how long such officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers, who shall not appear at the said muster, have been absent, and the reason of their absence; which reasons, and the time of absence, shall be iuserted in the muster-rolls, opposite to the respective names of such absentees: The said certificates shall, together with the muster-rolls, be by the said commissary transmitted to the general, and to this or any future Congress of the United Colonies, or committee appointed thereby, within twenty days next after such muster being taken; on failure whereof, the commissary so offending shall be discharged from the service.

LV1II. Every officer who shall be convicted before a general court-martial of having signed a false certificate, relating to the absence of either officers, non-commissioned officer, or private soldier, shall be cashiered.

LIX. Every officer, who shall knowingly make a false muster of man or horse, and every officer or commissary who shall willingly sign, direct, or allow the signing of the muster-rolls, wherein such false muster is contained, shall, upon proof made thereof, by two witnesses, before a general court- martial, be cashiered, and moreover forfeit all such pay as may be due to him at the time of conviction for such offence.

LX. Any commissary who shall be convicted of having taken any gift or gratuity on the mustering any regiment, troop or company, or on the signing the muster-rolls, shall be displaced from his office, and forfeit his pay, as in the preceding article.

LXI. Any officer who shall presume to muster any person as a soldier, who is at other times accustomed to wear a livery, or who does not actually do his duty as a soldier, shall be deemed guilty of having made a false muster, and shall sufTer accordingly.

LXII. Every officer who shall knowingly make a false return to the commander in chief of the American forces, or to any his superior officer, authorized to call for such returns, of the state of the regiment, troop, independent company, or garrison under his command, or of arms, ammunition, clothing, or other stores thereunto belonging, shall, by a court-martial, be cashiered.

LXIII. The commanding officer of every regiment, troop, independent company, or garrison, in the service aforesaid, shall, in the beginning of every month, remit to the commander in chief of said forces, an exact return of the state of the regiment, troop, independent company, or garrison under his command, specifying the names of the officers not then residing at their posts, and the reason for, and the time of their absence: whoever shall be convicted of having, through neglect or design, omitted the sending such returns, shall be punished according to the nature of his crime, by the judgment of a general court-martial.

LXIV. No suttler shall be permitted to sell any kind of liquors or victuals, or to keep their houses or shops open, for the entertainment of soldiers, after nine at night, or before the beating of the reveilles, or upon Sundays, during divine service or sermon, on the penalty of being dismissed from all future suttling.

LXV. All officers commanding in the camp, or in any forts, barracks, or garrisons, are hereby required to see that the persons permitted to suttle shall supply the soldiers with good and wholesome provisions at a reasonable price, as tney shall be answerable for their neglect.

LXVI. No officers commanding in any camp, garrisons, forts, or barracks, shall either themselves exact exorbitant prices for houses or stalls let out to suttlers, or shall connive at the like exactions in others, nor lay any duty or impositions upon, or be interested in the sale of such victuals, liquors, or other necessaries 01 life, which are brought into the camp, garrison, fort or barracks, for the use of the soldiers, on the penalty of being discharged from the service.

The members chosen are Mr. Paine, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Flovd, Mr. Gadsden, and Mr. Dickinson.

The committee appointed to prepare a declaration to be published by general Washington, upon his arrival at the camp before Boston, brought in their report, which was read and debated, and after some time referred for farther consideration till Monday next.

Adjourned till Monday at nine o'clock.

MONDAY, June 26, 1775.

Met according to adjournment.

A letter from governor Trumbull was read, and referred to the committee appointed to devise ways and means for introducing the manufacture of saltpetre into these colonies.

The state of North-Carolina being taken into consideration, the Congress came to the following resolutions:

Whereas it is represented to this Congress, that the enemies of the liberties of America are pursuing measures to divide the good people of the colony of North-Carolina, and to defeat the American association;

Resolved, That it be recommended to all in that colony, who wish well to the liberties of America, to associate for the defence of American liberty, and to embody themselves as militia, under proper officers.

Resolved, That in case the assembly or convention of that colony shall think it absolutely necessary, for the support of the American association and safety of the colony, to raise a body of forces not exceeding one thousand men, this Congress will consider them as an American army, and provide for their pay.

The Congress then resumed the consideration of the declaration, and after some debate,

Resolved, That it be re-committed, and that Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Jefferson be added to the committee.

The committee for Indian affairs brought in their report, which was read.

Ordered, That the president write to governor Trumbull, and inform him, and also the conventions of New-Hampshire and Massachusetts-Bay, and the government of Rhode-Island, that the Congress have appointed George Washington, esq. commander in chief of all the forces raised, or to be raised, for the defence of America.

Adjourned till to-morrow at nine o'clock.

TUESDAY, June 27, 1775.

Met according to adjournment.

On motion made, Resolved, That governor Skene be sent under a guard to "Weathersfield, orMiddletown.in the county of Hartford, in Connecticut, there to be confined on his parole, not to go out of the bounds prescribed to him by governor Trumbull.

Ordered, That the. delegates for Pennsylvania take measures to have the above resolve carried into execution.

A letter from the convention of Massachusetts-Bay, received by express, was laid before the Congress and read.

The Congress then resumed the consideration of the state of affairs in the New-York department, and after some time spent therein, came to certain resolutions, which were ordered to be immediately transmitted to general Schuyler for his direction.

The committee appointed to draw up an address to the inhabitants of GreatBritain, reported the same, which was read.

Adjourned till to-morrow at nine o'clock.
Vol. I. 12

Ordered, That Mr. Deane, Mr. Cushing and Mr. Hewes, be a committee to revise them for the press, and to get them printed.

Resolved, That the Congress will, on Monday next, resolve itself into a committee of the whole, to consider the trade of these colonies.

A number of letters and speeches from the Stockbridge Indians were laid before the Congress and read:

Resolved, That the committee for Indian affairs, do prepare proper talks to the several tribes of Indians, for engaging the continuance of their friendship to us, and neutrality in our present unhappy dispute with Great-Britain.

Adjourned till to-morrow at nine o'clock.

SATURDAY, July 1,1775.

Met according to adjournment.

On motion made, Resolved, That in case any agent of the ministry, shall induce the Indian tribes, or any of them, to commit actual hostilities against these colonies, or to enter into an offensive alliance with the British troops, thereupon the colonies ought to avail themselves of an alliance with such Indian nations as will enter into the same, to oppose such British troops and their Indian allies.

Letters being received by express from general Schuyler, which required an immediate answer, were laid before Congress, and after due deliberation, an answer was returned.

10. Whatsoever officer or soldier shall misbehave himself before the enemy, or shamefully abandon any post committed to his charge, or shall speak words inducing others to do the like, shall suffer death.

11. All public stores taken in the enemy's camp or magazines, whether of artillery, ammunition, clothing, or provisions, shall be secured for the use of the United Colonies: and all commissioned officers, found guilty, by general court-martial, of embezzling the same, or any of them, shall forfeit all his pay, be ipn facto cashiered, and deemed unfit for farther service as an officer. And all non-commissioned officers and soldiers, convicted before a regimental court-martial of stealing or embezzling the same, if a non-commissioned officer, shall be reduced to the ranks, and punished with whipping, not less than fifteen, nor more than thirty-nine lashes, at the discretion of the court-martial j if a private soldier, with the same punishment.

12. If any officer or soldier, shall leave his post or colours, in time of an engagement, to go in search of plunder, he shall, if a commissioned officer, be cashiered, and drummed out of the army with infamy, and forfeit all share of plunder; if a non-commissioned officer or soldier, be whipped, not less than twenty, nor more than thirty-nine lashes, according to the nature of the offence, and forfeit all share of the plunder taken from the enemy.

13. Every officer commanding a regiment, troop, or company, shall, upon notice given to him by the commissary of the musters, or from one of his deputies, assemble the regiment, troop, or company under his command, in the next convenient place for their being mustered, on penalty of his being cashiered, and mulcted of his pay.

14. At every muster, the commanding officer of each regiment, troop or company there present, shall give to the commissary of musters, certificates signed by himself, signifying how long such officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers, who shall not appear at the said muster, have been absent, and the reason of their absence, which reasons and the time of absence, shall be inserted in the muster rolls, opposite the names of such absentees: and the surgeons or their mates, shall at the same time give to the commissary of musters a icrtificate signed by them, signifying the state of health or sickness of those under their care, and the said certificate shall, together with the muster rolls, be by the said commissary transmitted to the general, and to this or any, future Congress of the United Colonies, or committee appointed thereby, within twenty days next after such muster being taken, on failure whereof, the commissary so offending, shall be discharged from the service.

15. Ever>' officer who shall be convicted before a general court-martial, of having signed a false certificate relating to the absence of either officer, non-commissioned officer, or private soldier; and every surgeon or mate, convicted of signing a false certificate, relating' to the health or sickness of those under his care, shall be cashiered.

16. AU officers and soldiers who shall wilfully, or through negligence, disobey any general or special orders, shall be punished at the discretion of a regimental court-martial, where the offence is against a regimental order, and at the discretion of a general court-martial, where the offence is against an order given from the commander in chief, or the commanding officer of any detachment or post, and such general court-martial can be had.

« PreviousContinue »