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“New-York, February 20, 1776.

“SIR: I am just informed that the Asia and Phenix have seized several provision vessels from the Jerseys. I must submit it to the Congress whether the compact is not to be considered as broken, and whether it is not our duty to withhold all further supplies. For my own part, the measure of suffering ourselves to be plundered, and at the same time feeding our plunderers, appears a degree of lowness of spirit which reflects dishonour, and must encourage the enemy still to take greater liberties.

“I am, sir, your most obedient servant,


“To Colonel Woodhull,President of the Provincial Congress.”

A draft of an Answer to Major-General Lee was read and approved of, and is in the words following, to wit:

In Provincial Congress, New-York, February 20, 1776.

SIR: Your favour of this morning has been considered by Congress, and they are of opinion that it is totally impossirfle to prevent the Asia and Phenix from supplying themselves with provisions. They have received information that the seizing of the vessels from the Jerseys is occasioned by the supplies from the Agents in town being stopped, and are apprehensive, if it be continued, that the town will be reduced to the utmost distress.

While the navigation of Hudson’s River is obstructed by the ice, our principal dependance for corn, provision, fuel, and hay, is from Connecticut and the Jerseys. An embargo prevents the supplies from the one, and if we provoke the Captains of the ships-of-war, by way of retaliation, to prevent them from the other, the inhabitants will not only be destitute, but our Commissary will be incapacitated from procuring the necessary supplies for the Army now in town.

You will please to consider that the ships-of-war have it in their power to seize all the provisions that they may find afloat, by which means they will have an opportunity of supplying the enemy at Boston.

By order:

To Major-General Lee.

Ordered,That a copy thereof be engrossed, and signed by the President, and transmitted.

Another Letter from Major-General Lee was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

“New-York, February 19, 1776.

“SIR: As it is established in camp to allow all fatiguemen a gill of rum each, I take the liberty to recommend to the Congress to make the same allowance.

“I am, sir, with the greatest respect, your most obedient servant,


“To Colonel Woodhull,President of the Provincial Congress.”

The consideration thereof is postponed till the afternoon.

Mr. John Murray solicited a Permit to go on board of the Dutchess of Gordon to settle some accounts.

Ordered,That Mr. John Murray be, and he is hereby, permitted to go on board of the Ship Dutchess of Gordon,on board of which Governour Tryon resides.

To Mr. Elias Nixon, Port-Master.

Die Martis, 3 ho. P. M., February 20, 1776.

The Congress met pursuant to adjournment.

Present: Brigadier-General Woodhull,President.

FOR NEW-YORK.—Mr. Scott,Mr. Sands,Mr. Van Cortlandt,Colonel Brasher,Cplonel McDougall.

FOR ALBANY.—General Ten Broeck,Colonel Nicoll,Mr.Yates,Mr. Gansevoort,

FOR SUFFOLK.—General Woodhull,Mr. L’ Hommedieu,Mr. Bickham,Mr. Hobart.

FOR ULSTER.—Mr. Rhea,Mr. Hewitt,Mr. Lefever.

FOR DUTCHESS.—Mr. G. Livingston,Colonel Ten Broeck,Mr. Schenck.

FOR WESTCHESTER.—Colonel . Graham,Major Lockwood,Mr. Thomas.

FOR ORANGE.—Mr. Allison.

FOR CHARLOTTE.—Dr. Williams.

FOR TRYON.—Mr. Moore.

Major-General Lee,by his Letter of the 19th, received and read this morning, informed Congress that it is established in Camp to allow all Fatigue-men a gill of Rum each; and recommended to the Congress to make the same allowance.

The Congress took the same into consideration.

Thereupon, Ordered,That the respective Commissaries of Provisions appointed by this Congress, issue one gill of Rum per day for each man on fatigue, to the respective Quartermasters of such Troops now in this City as are not otherwise provided for.

A Letter from Lord Stirling,bearing date this same day, requesting the loan of Money, was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

“New-York, February 20, 1776.

“SIR: When I arrived in this town with my regiment, I expected to have found a Continental Commissary of Provisions here, who would have furnished them provisions and fire-wood, and other necessaries. But as no such officer is here, I ordered my Quartermaster to provide provisions agreeably to the rations allowed by Congress. This he has hitherto done with his own money; but as that is already exhausted, I am under the necessity of asking the favour of the Congress of this Province to advance him, as a loan, as much money as will be necessary for this purpose, till another provision be made by the Continental Congress, to whom I have written to regulate this matter as soon as possible.

“I am, sir, your most humble servant,


“To the President of the Congress of the Province of New-York.”

A Letter from Colonel Gwartwout,dated this day, enclosing Returns of such Companies of his Regiment as are present on duty, was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

“New-York, February 20, 1776.

“GENTLEMEN: By the within enclosed returns, you will see that those Captains in town of my regiment have small companies, but at the same time nigh a full set of officers. I expect the following Captains in hourly, to wit: Captain Woodford,from Pawling’s Precinct; Captain Ludinton, from . . . . . . Precinct; Captain Clearck,from Beekman’s Precinct; Captain Durling,from Rombout Precinct. Should it be the same case with the last-mentioned companies to have so few men, and officers complete, it will be necessary for your honourable Board to fall on some plan, either by sending to the several Colonels of Militia of our County to draft a sufficient number of men to fill the within mentioned companies, or by reducing the officers to a proper number. If you should judge the latter to be best, probably it would suit many of the officers to return to their families, as it answers no good purpose to have so many officers and so few men, but, on the contrary, creates great cost, as it is natural to expect where troops are kept there will be disorders attending them. As we have no Doctor for said regiment, I should be glad that Dr. Tappen might be appointed for that purpose, as we have an over plenty of officers. I have no other view in writing the foregoing, than to acquaint you with the state of the regiment.

“I am, gentlemen, your very humble servant,


“To the Honourable Provincial Congress at New-York.”

The Returns of three Companies of Colonel Swartwout’s Regiment, were read and filed, and are in the words following, to wit:

Jacobus Swartwout,Colonel; . . . . . . . . . . Lieutenant-Colonel; . . . . . . . . . . Major.

  Captains. Lieutenants. Ensigns. Segeants. Corporals. Drums and Fifes. Privates. Deserted. Clerk.
Captain Schenck, 1 2 - 2 - 2 34 - -
Captain Barnum, 1 2 1 3 2 1 27 - 1
Captain Weeks, 1 2 1 4 2 1 18 10 1
Total 3 6 2 9 4 4 79 10 1

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