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people, to protect the liberty and property of our constituents as much as possible in our present unhappy situation. We are sensible of the many difficulties you have to struggle with while commanding an undisciplined soldiery; but we flatter ourselves their irregularities will be checked upon proper information. This consideration, sir, induces us to inform you that the Port-Guards continue to fire upon the boats coming to and going from this city, for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants with provisions and other necessaries. If this practice is continued, we are apprehensive it will greatly distress the inhabitants, render it impossible to provide for the troops, and prevent our Commissary from supplying the magazine we are now establishing for the Continental Army. We therefore entreat you, sir, to give such orders to the Port-Guards as will prevent such inconveniences for the future.
We are, with esteem, your obedient servants.
To Major-General Lee.
Ordered, That a copy thereof be engrossed, signed by the President, and transmitted.
Mr. Hallett and Mr. Randall reported that Mr. Low demanded thirty Pounds per hundred weight for his Powder, with permission to export produce at the rate of forty Pounds for each hundred weight.
The Congress directed Mr. Hallett and Mr. Randall to purchase the Gunpowder as cheap as they can agree; but if Mr. Low should insist on thirty Pounds for the purchase money, that he be allowed to export produce only to the same amount.
A Letter from General Lee was received and read, and is in the words following, to wit:
New-York, March 5, 1776.
SIR: It is absolutely necessary that Colonel Ward should be supplied with the necessary brush for fascines, wood for pickets, and other timber, to complete the works I have directed on Long-Island. It is my wish these materials should be supplied in the most easy way to the inhabitants, and that the utmost justice be done them. It is impossible for me to attend to the regulation of this matter, and therefore must desire the Congress of New-York will take proper measures to conduct this matter, which I doubt not will forward the service.
CHARLES LEE, Major-General.
To the President of the Congress of New-York.
Thereupon, a draft of a Letter to the Committee of Kings County was read and approved, and is in the words following, to wit:
In Provincial Congress, New-York, March 6, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: General Lee having informed us that Colonel Ward will want wood and timber to enable him to carry on the fortifications now erecting in your County, we recommend to you to assist in furnishing him with these articles; for which the proprietors of the lands from whence those articles may be taken may rest assured they will receive the like satisfaction as will be allowed to the proprietors of lands in the City and County of New-York, who have furnished those articles for the fortifications erecting in and near this City. The known zeal of the inhabitants of Kings County, to promote the publick cause, we doubt not will stimulate them to promote this necessary work.
We are, gentlemen, your very humble servants.
To the Chairman and Members of the Committee of Kings County.
Ordered, That a copy thereof be engrossed, and signed by the President, and transmitted immediately.
The Congress then proceeded to hear the examinations of the persons concerned in spiking the Cannon beyond Kings Bridge, and which were taken in the Committee of Safety, fully read.
Thereupon, Ordered, That Colonel Waterbury be requested to send down William Lownsberry and the other persons confined in the upper Barracks, for making Spikes and spiking up the Cannon beyond Kings Bridge, in Westchester County, to this Congress, at the City-Hall, at five oclock this afternoon, under a proper guard.
The Congress adjourned to four oclock, P. M.
Die Mercurii, 4 ho. P. M., March 6, 1776.
The Congress met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: General Woodhull, President.
FOR NEW-YORK.Mr. Cortlandt, Mr. Beekman, Captain Denning, Mr. Rutgers, Mr. Van Zandt, Colonel McDougall, Major Stoutenburgh.
FOR ALBANY.Mr. Gansevoort, Mr. Yates, General Ten Broeck, Colonel Nicoll, (on service.)
FOR SUFFOLK.General Woodhull, Mr. Gelston, Mr. Hobart.
FOR WESTCHESTER.Colonel Joseph Drake, Major Lockwood, Colonel Gilbert Drake, Mr. Thomas, Colonel Cortlandt.
FOR ORANGE.Colonel Hay, Colonel Allison.
FOR ULSTER.Mr. Rhea, Mr. Lefever, Colonel Palmer, (on service.)
FOR KINGS.Mr. Polhemus, Mr. Covenhoven.
FOR DUTCHESS.Colonel Ten Broeck, Colonel Graham, Major Schenck.
FOR RICHMOND.Mr. Adrian Bancker.
FOR CUMBERLAND.Colonel William Williams.
FOR CHARLOTTE.Colonel John Williams.
FOR TRYON.Mr. Moore.
Mr. Benson (one of the Secretaries) informed Congress that he had waited on General Lee with the regulations for supplying the Ships-of-War and the Governours Ship with Provisions; that General Lee was pleased to give, for answer: That he was to resign the command here to Lord Stirling this night; but that if he were to continue, he would not consent to supply them with any Provisions, as they were at open war with us; that he hoped Lord Stirling would be of the same opinion; that his instructions from the Continental Congress were, to use every means in his power for the defence of the City.
A draft of a Letter to Edward W. Kiers was read and approved of, and is in the words following, to wit:
In Provincial Congress, the glorious 6th March, 1776.
We are informed by Colonel Hay that you have in your possession a quantity of gunpowder, which you refuse to sell to such of the inhabitants of your place that would wantonly sport it away. We highly approve of your conduct; but, as we now are in expectation that the Ministerial Troops at Boston will soon abandon that town, and attempt to land in this city, we request that you will sell to Colonel Hays Regiment one-half pound of powder to every man when they are ready to march, and return to the Colonel the names of such persons as you have supplied.
We are, sir, yours, &c.
To Edward, William Kiers, Esq., Merchant, Haverstraw, Orange County.
Ordered, That a copy thereof be engrossed, and signed by the President, and transmitted.
William Lownsberry, and the other Prisoners, pursuant to the order of this morning, were respectively brought to the bar, and examined. The examinations are as follows, to wit:
William Lownsberry says: That the first mover, or movers, of spiking the Cannon, were Joshua Gidney and Burrell; that they had seventy or eighty spikes made, and went down, and found so many Cannon, that it Was not worth while; that he had no conversation with any person on shipboard on that subject; that he does not know who spiked up the large parcel of Guns. Asked what business he had to the house of a gentleman of fortune in his County the day before the Cannon was spiked; answered, that he went to Colonel Phillipss the day before, to know whether he would set up again as a Representative; that he set off from home with an intention to spike the Guns, or disarm them; that the following persons were with him, viz: Joshua Gidney, William Haines, Josiah Burrell, Thomas Haines, and James Haines, Jun.; that they took sledges to knock the arms off; that his reason for disabling the Cannon was, that, as the New-England people had done several acts which he thought harsh, he wanted to prevent the Guns being used on any Fortifications that might be built near Kings Bridge, as they would then be between two fires; that he never was promised any reward for that business; that he engaged only with Joshua Gidney; that Joshua Gidney engaged the other persons; that he was in bed when the other persons escaped;