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west of the City, and annoy the City, but seemed to think Fortifications might be erected in the City which would greatly protect that side of it; that General Lee is of opinion that, if the Asia should depart the Harbour and Bay, the most proper place to obstruct the navigation is farther down, or between the banks; that Captain Smith, the Engineer, said that the Fortifications to be erected near Hellgate will command the East-River down to, or below, Blackwells Island.
Mr. Hobart reported further, that, on the whole, nothing certain as to the practicability of obstructing the navigation of the East-River was yet determined on.
Mr. Hobart further informed Congress, that they had some conversation with General Lee on the subject of preventing persons having permissions from this Congress or the Committee of Safety to go on board of any Ship in this Harbour, from being obstructed by the Port-Guard; and that they had intimated to the General that perhaps it might be proper to place a proper person near the sentries, to give information and directions concerning such persons as may have such permissions as above-mentioned.
The Congress then went into the consideration of that matter.
And thereupon Agreed unanimously, That it is impracticable, at present, totally to cut off all communication of the Inhabitants of this Colony with the Ships-of-War now in this Port, and with the Ship on which His Excellency Governour Tryon resides.
And whereas, though it is, in the opinion of this Congress, impracticable, at present, totally to cut off all communication of the Inhabitants of this Colony with the Ships-of-War now in this Port, and the Ship on board of which His Excellency Governour Tryon resides, yet it appears necessary to confine such communications to certain particular objects, to the end that the publick service may not be injured by a free and unlimited intercourse between them and this Colony.
It is therefore Ordered, That all communication between the said Ships-of-War and all the Inhabitants be, and is hereby, prohibited, except upon special permits, to be obtained from this Congress, or the Committee of Safety; and, also, except for supplying them (the said Ships-of-War, respectively) with necessary Provisions, from time to time, for the use and consumption of their respective crews only, under the following restrictions and regulations, to wit: That no Provisions shall be supplied for their use and consumption by any other persons than their respective agentvictuallers in this City, upon permits to be obtained by them, respectively, from time to time, for the purpose, from this Congress, or the Committee of Safety; which Provisions shall not, in any case, be put on board any Boat, for such supply as aforesaid, at any other place than the Ferry stairs, near the Exchange in this City, and that in the presence of a Port-Master, to be appointed by this Congress, or the Committee of Safety, who shall carefully inspect the same, and compare the Provisions with the permit, and keep an exact and particular account of the same, to be reported by him to this Congress, or the Committee of Safety, from time to time, when called for.
Ordered further, That Elias Nixen be, and he is hereby, appointed Port-Master for and during the pleasure of this Congress, with an allowance at, and after the rate of, eighteen and one-third Dollars per month, for so long a time as he shall continue in the said service.
Ordered further, That all communication between the said Inhabitants and the said Ship of His Excellency the Governour be, and is hereby, prohibited, except with respect to his Honour the Lieutenant-Governour, the Members of his Majestys Council, the Surveyor-General, the Deputy Secretary of this Colony and his necessary Clerks, and such other persons as shall, from time to time, have particular Permits for the purpose from this Congress, or the Committee of Safety; and except, also, such intercourse as may be necessary for supplying the Governour with the necessary Provisions for himself and his family; which supplies shall, from time to time, be sent from the said Ferry stairs, and no other place, and that in the presence, and under the inspection, of the said Port-Master, who shall keep exact and particular accounts of the same, to be reported as aforesaid; and except, also, that the brewers supply the said three Ships with Beer as usual till further order of this Congress, or the Committee of Safety.
Colonel McDougall informed Congress that Theophilus Hardenbrook is possessed of Beds and Coins for the Cannon in this City, which were made and procured by the Government of this Colony; that the said Theophilus Hardenbrook has refused to deliver the said Beds and Coins to General Lee, or his order, for the use of the Continental Army now here.
Ordered, That Mr. Theophilus Hardenbrook deliver to General Lee, or his order, all the Beds and Coins for Cannon, and all other implements or necessaries for Cannon, belonging to this Colony, and now in his custody or care; and that he give information to General Lee, or such other person as he shall order or appoint, of any Beds, Coins, Implements, or other necessaries for Cannon, belonging to this Colony, not in his custody, as he knows of, or can give information.
And Ordered further, That Theophilus Hardenbrook deliver up the said Beds and Coins, and other implements or necessaries, and give such information as above-mentioned, upon oath if required.
Die Lunæ, A. M., February 19, 1776.
The Congress met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Brigadier-General Woodhull, President.
FOR NEW-YORK.Mr. Smith, Mr. Sands, Mr. Scott, Mr. Beekman, Colonel Brasher, Colonel McDougall.
FOR ALBANY.General Ten Broeck, Colonel Nicoll, Mr. A. Yates, Mr. Gansevoort.
FOR SUFFOLK.General Woodhull, Mr. LHommedieu, Mr. Wickham, Mr. Hobart.
FOR ORANGE.Colonel Hay, Colonel Allison.
FOR DUTCHESS.Colonel Ten Broeck, Mr. G. Livingston, Colonel Humphreys, Colonel M. Graham.
FOR ULSTER.Mr. Wisner, Mr. Rhea, Mr. Lefever, Mr. Hewitt.
FOR KINGS.Mr. Covenhoven, Mr. Vanderbilt.
FOR WESTCHESTER.Dr. Graham, Mr. Paulding.
FOR TRYON.Mr. Moore.
FOR CHARLOTTE.Dr. Williams.
The Members for Kings County represented that the Committee of Kings County have waited on General Lee; that he informed them that four hundred Men, properly placed in Kings County, will answer his purposes at present; that the said Committee are of opinion that they may have great difficulty in finding empty Houses, or proper places, for so many Troops, in any other way than by billeting some of them in families, which they are ready to do if they have the order of this Congress for the purpose.
Therefore Ordered, That the Committee of the Township of Brooklyn be authorized, and are hereby authorized, to provide proper Lodgments or Quarters for such Continental Troops, or any other Troops in Continental pay, as General Lee shall order or think necessary to place there; and if the said Committee cannot otherwise conveniently provide proper Lodgments or Quarters for such Troops, that they be, and are hereby, authorized to billet such Troops in families, in such manner as they shall think proper.
Mr. Covenhoven informed the Congress that a person on board of the Ship Asia is indebted to John Carpenter; that the said John Carpenter requests a permission to go on board the said Ship to obtain a Bill of Sale for a Slave, or some other security for his said debt.
Mr. Covenhoven therefore moved that a Permit be given to the said John Carpenter, or his son, (John Carpenter, Jun.,) to go on board of the said Ship Asia, to obtain security for his said debt.
Debates arose on the said motion; and the question being put thereon, it was carried in the affirmative, in manner following, to wit:
New-York and Westchester, having some Members out on duty, had not a quorum present in Congress.
Therefore Ordered, That Mr. John Carpenter, or his