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and the General Assembly of this Colony, entitled An Act to lay a duty of Excise on strong Liquors in this Colony, and to appropriate the money arising therefrommay be appropriated by the County Committees of the said several Counties, towards defraying the contingent charges of the said Committees, if the said Committees respectively shall think proper; and that a full power be given to the said Committees, respectively, to nominate and appoint Commissioners of Excise in their respective City and Counties, with full power to such Commissioners to exercise the said office, and receive the like rewards as is allowed to the Commissioners appointed by the said Act; and that the said Commissioners, before they enter upon the execution of the powers and authorities vested in them, shall respectively enter into bonds to the Chairman of the said Committee, in the several sums affixed by the said Act to the respective Counties, and in the same condition.
Debates arose on the said motion, and the question being put thereon, it was carried in the negative, in the manner following, to wit:
Ordered, therefore, That the said motion be rejected.
Mr. Hobart then moved, and was seconded by Colonel Allison, in the words following, to wit:
I move that this Congress do resolve that the Treasurer of this Congress be directed to advance, out of any Moneys that shall be in his hands, to the several County Committees of the Counties of New-York, Albany, Ulster, Orange, Dutchess, Westchester, Richmond, Kings, and Suffolk, or their order, any sum that may be necessary to defray the incidental charges of their respective Counties, provided the same does not exceed the sum of five hundred Pounds; and that the same shall be laid on each respective County, with the first Moneys that shall be raised by a Colony Tax, for the purpose of sinking the Bills of Credit emitted by the Continental and the Provincial Congress.
Debates arose on the said motion, and, after some time spent therein,
Ordered, That the same be committed to Mr. Smith, to frame such Resolve thereon as he may think will be most agreeable to a majority of the Deputies of this Congress.
A Member informed the Congress that Mr. Foxcroft is under apprehensions that the Order of this Congress, made yesterday, permitting him to go to the Ship Asia, for the Mail, from England, and to bring the same on shore, may be considered as obligatory on him to bring the same on shore; and that he may, in the said Mail, receive instructions from his superior in office to the contrary.
Thereupon, Resolved, That the Order of this Congress, of yesterday, for permitting John Foxcroft, Esq., to go to his Majestys Ship Asia for the Mail from England, was by no means intended to be obligatory on that gentlemen to do any act contrary to his instructions, or to oblige him to bring the said Mail on shore, but only to operate as a permission to him to go on board, and return with the said Mail if he should think proper.
Mr. Randall informed the Congress that a parcel of Soldiers were some time since quartered in the house where Mr. Lambertus Deronde, one of the Ministers of the Dutch Church, had for some years resided; that at the time the said Soldiers were quartered there, Mr. Deronde had a number of long Holland pipes, some wine, a parcel of Dutch Sermons of his own composition, and sundry other articles in the said house, which were used or destroyed by said Soldiers.
Ordered, That Mr. Randall, Mr. Anthony Rutgers, and Mr. Hobart, be a Committee to inquire by whose default Mr. Deronde has suffered such loss, and to what sum his said losses amount in the whole; and that they report with all convenient speed.
Mr. Randall, from the Marine Committee, reported that the said Committee are of opinion, on the information received from Mr. Bernard, of Elizabethtown, and from other circumstances known to them, that a Letter should be immediately written to the honourable Continental Congress, requesting that they order an Armed Vessel fitted out, to join one from this port, for the protection of trade, to cruise between the Capes of Delaware and Sandy-Hook; and they had prepared a draft of a Letter for that purpose.
Thereupon, the draft of a Letter reported by the Marine Committee was read and approved of, and is in the words following, to wit:
In Provincial Congress, New-York, March 12, 1776.
SIR: As we are informed, from undoubted authority, that Captain Parker, of his Majestys Ship Phenix, is now fitting out a small schooner, ( Bermuda brigantine,) of eight or ten carriage-guns, and forty men, for the purpose of intercepting vessels between the Capes of Delaware and Sandy-Hook; and as we have already given orders for the immediate fitting out an armed vessel for the protection of our trade that way; we think it necessary to acquaint you that such an one from Philadelphia will also be necessary, to be immediately ready to meet ours for this purpose; and that she be of such a draft of water as that she may run into Barnegat and Egg-Harbour. It is also necessary to be immediately informed by you what your Marine Committee regulations are, respecting the wages, &c., of officers and men, that we may regulate ourselves accordingly.
We are, gentlemen, your very humble servants.
To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.
Ordered, That a copy thereof be engrossed, and signed by the President, and transmitted.
Mr. Thomas Buchannan, of the City of New-York, Merchant, being at the door, was admitted at the request of a Member, who had previously mentioned his business. Mr. Buchannan requested permission to go to the Ship Phenix to apply to Captain Parker for permission for a Brigantine belonging entirely to Merchants in Glasgow, and bound there, to go to sea. Mr. Thomas Buchannan having first heard the form of an oath, as entered in the Minutes on the 11th instant, read, was duly sworn, in the words therein contained.
Ordered, That Mr. Thomas Buchannan be, and he is hereby permitted, to go on board of his Majestys Ship Phenix, (in company with the Port-Master,) he having been first duly sworn that he will not communicate on board any of the Ships-of-War in this Harbour any intelligence relative to the preparations making for the defence of this City or Colony, nor carry any Letters or Papers on board relative thereto.
Daniel Whitehead Kissam, one of the Committee of Great-Neck and Cow-Neck, being at the door, was admitted. He in substance informed that Mr. Isaac Sears, with a number of men armed, had been in Queens County, imposing a very solemn Test on sundry of the inhabitants, and amongst others on Captain Mott, who had signed the Association, made a publick submission, and had been restored; that this measure had created great uneasiness in the County.
Mr. Kissam also delivered the following Letter from the said Committee, which was read, and is in the following words, to wit:
* * * * * * * *
The said Letter being read,
Ordered, That the Secretaries bring to the Chamber, in the afternoon, a printed copy of the late Resolutions of the Continental Congress, relating to Tories, or persons disaffected; and Mr. Kissam was requested to attend again at six oclock, in the evening.
Mr. Hobart, from the Committee appointed to report a Resolution for the procuring of Blankets and Arms, delivered in their Report; which was read, amended, resolved on, and unanimously agreed to, in the words following, to wit:
In Provincial Congress, New-York, March 12, 1776.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the Committees of the several Counties, Cities, Manors, Towns, Precincts, and Districts within this Colony, to purchase, for the use of the Continental Troops now raising for the defence of the Colony, good and sufficient Blankets, at the most reasonable prices, not exceeding two Dollars for each, and to deliver the same to the commanding Officer of any Company of