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April, three-eighths of a cord of wood per week for each room so occupied as aforesaid; and for five weeks preceding the 1st October, and five weeks after the 1st April, three-sixteenths of a cord of wood per week; and for the remaining sixteen weeks, one-eighth of a cord per week.
Ordered, That Colonel Curtenius supply the Barrackmaster with cases for Straw Beds for the Companies of Militia as they arrive in this City, to be employed in the service; and that the Barrackmaster supply the said Militia with Barrack necessaries.
This Report being again read, paragraph by paragraph, the Congress agrees with their Committee in the said Report.
A Letter, with two long postscripts thereto, from Samuel Gale, Esq., Clerk of Cumberland County, dated at Fairfield, 29th February, directed to Mr. John McKesson, one of the Secretaries, and sent by Mr. Sturges, the Deputy Sheriff and Jailer, to be laid before this Congress, and the bearer to wait for an answer, was read. The Congress were informed by one of the Secretaries, and by what is therein set forth, that the said Samuel Gale was lately seized in this City at his own house in the night, and conveyed to a Guard-House at the upper Barracks, where the Troops from Connecticut are quartered; that from thence he was soon after conveyed to Fairfield Jail, in Connecticut, where he is now in close confinement in a common Jail, and in very uncomfortable circumstances. The Congress being further informed, by different persons, that this was without any trial or adjudication of any Congress or Committee, or other judges whatever, conceive that it is a wanton act of military power, inconsistent with that liberty for which the Colonists are contending, and highly culpable in those who procured and those who ordered said Samuel Gale to be seized and carried away.
Thomas Smith, Esq., delivered in the Affidavit of Joseph Cheesman, as to some inimical expressions of Colonel Waterbury against this City, which is in the words following, to wit:
City of NEW-YORK, ss.
Joseph Cheesman, of the City of New-York, Shopkeeper, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that this day being on board of a boat in Pecks Slip, he heard Colonel Waterbury say, that he had for some time thought that things would not go well, unless the City of New-York was crushed down, and that it must be done by their people before things would go well; and further this deponent saith not.
Sworn this 2d of March, 1776, before me,
ABRAHAM BRASHER, Justice of Peace.
Mr. Smith also delivered in the Affidavit of John Somerindyck, stating; the violent acts of some of the soldiers, and the impudent conduct of some officers therein mentioned; and, also, the Affidavits of Isaac Bell, Josiah Le Contre, Elias Nixen, and John Jones, setting forth different instances of the Troops stationed in this City firing at the boats, and the people on board, in coming to and going from the wharves and markets in this City; which were read and filed.
Mr. Smith further informed the Congress, that Mr. John Richards had told him that a number of shot were discharged, about eleven or twelve oclock this morning, at a New-Jersey sloop or boat, when departing homeward from this City.
Ordered, That Abraham Yates and Thomas Smith, Esquires, be a Committee to make inquiry as to the reasons of the treatment of Samuel Gale, Esq., and to prepare a draft of a Letter to Major-General Lee on that subject; and, also, ori the subject of the Troops firing on the people in boats, passing and repassing to and from the wharves and markets in this City.
A Letter from Mr. John Foster to Mr. John McKesson,* one of the Secretaries, dated Southampton, on the 28th day of February, was read. He thereby informs that he could not purchase Tow-Cloth at less than two shillings and two pence and two shillings and three pence per yard; that he had purchased at that rate to the amount of the money advanced to him by the Committee of Safety; and requesting to know whether he should go on to purchase more at the same rates.
Ordered, That Mr. McKesson write to Mr. Foster, and inform him that he will please to continue to purchase for this Congress Tow-Cloth at the prices mentioned in his Letter, and to forward the same by safe conveyances tp Mr. Curtenius.
Die Mercurii, 10 ho. A. M., March 6, 1776.
The Congress met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Brigadier-General Woodhull, President.
FOR NEW-YORK.Colonel Lott, Mr. Rutgers, Mr. Beekman, Mr. Hallett, Mr. Smith, Mr. Randcll, Mr. Van Zandt, Colonel McDougall.
FOR ALBANY.Mr. A. Yates, Mr. Gansevoort, Colonel Nicoll, (on service,) General Ten Broeck.
FOR SUFFOLK.General Woodhull, Mr. Gelston, Mr. Hobart.
FOR ORANGE.Colonel Hay, Colonel Allison.
FOR ULSTER.Mr. Rhea, Mr. Lefevcr, Colonel Palmer,(on service.)
FOR DUTCHESS.Colonel Ten Broeck, Colonel Morris Graham, Mr. Gilbert Livingston, Major Schenck.
FOR RICHMOND.Mr. A. Bancker.
FOR WESTCHESTER.Major Lockwood, Colonel Cortlandt, Mr. Thomas, Colonel Gilbert Drake, Colonel Joseph Drake.
FOR KINGS.Mr. Covenhoven, Mr. Polhemus.
FOR TRYON.Mr. Moore.
FOR CUMBERLAND.Colonel William Williams.
FOR CHARLOTTE.Colonel John Williams.
A Member, in behalf of Abraham Livingston, asked leave to take up the floor in the Powder-House, for the purpose of taking out the earth to make Saltpetre.
Agreed, That Mr. Livingston have leave when all the Powder is out.
Mr. Nicholas Low attended, and informed the Committee that a Vessel was arrived with about fifteen hundred pounds of Gunpowder, consigned to him for sale.
Ordered, That Mr. Hallett and Mr. Randall be a Committee to agree with Mr. Low about the price of said Powder, and purchase the same in behalf of this Congress.
A Petition of John Pell, praying leave to export some Salt to New-Jersey. Rejected unanimously.
Ordered, That Colonel Curtenius furnish a suitable number of wooden Bowls and Spoons to the four Regiments raising in this Colony.
Ordered, That Mr. Livingston and Mr. Berrien call on the Engineer, and get his directions relative to the Cannon ordered to Canada.
A draft of a Letter to General Lee was read and approved, and is in the words following, to wit:
In Provincial Congress, New-York, March 6, 1776.
SIR: We have now under consideration the case of Mr. Samuel Gale, who was lately apprehended in this city by a military guard, and conveyed to Fairfield, in the Colony of Connecticut, where he now is in close confinement. We are wholly ignorant of the nature of the charge brought against him, or the cause of his commitment, and should be glad to be informed thereof, that proper steps may be taken either for his discharge or punishment.
It may not be improper to remind you, sir, that the right of apprehending, trying, and punishing citizens who violate the resolutions of Congress, or act inimical to the liberties of America, is, by the Continental Congress, delegated to the Provincial Conventions in the respective Colonies. This right we think it our duty to insist upon as essential to the security of our constituents. We hold ourselves ready to co-operate with you in every measure that may be thought necessary to promote the common cause of the Continent, and to frustrate the arbitrary designs of a wicked Ministry; at the same time it becomes us, as faithful guardians of the
*SOUTHAMPTON, February 28, 1776.SIR: I have engaged tow-cloth near to the amount of the sum I received for that purpose, but have been obliged to give him from two shillings and two pence to two shillings and three pence per yard, as it could not be bought under; and shall forward the same as soon as I can get it together, which will be by the next boat I expect. I should be obliged to you to let me know the sense of the Congress, whether they would have me purchase any more at that price or not. If there be any prospect of trade to any part. I must beg you will give me the earliest intelligence you can, which will be esteemed a particular favour done.
Your humble servant, JOHN FOSTER.
To John McKesson, Esq.