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To the Honourable the Representatives of the Freemen of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA, in General Assembly met.

The Memorial of the Officers of the Military Association of the City and Liberties of PHILADELPHIA, showeth:

“That your Memorialists have perused, at the request of the Private Associators of this City and Liberties, their Petition to your honourable House, and concur with them in the sentiments therein contained, earnestly desiring the attention of the honourable House to the weighty matters therein set forth. In addition to the several amendments proposed by the Privates to the Rules and Regulations relative to the Association, your Memorialists beg leave to subjoin the following, which they think of great importance:

“That numbers of the present Associators are people who have not heretofore associated, and therefore are, for the most part, undisciplined. Among these are a great many apprentices, and others, who, however desirous they may be of gaining military instruction, will not be permitted to turn out oftener than the Regulations require. And it is well known to persons of experience in this way, that it is impossible to train men so as to render them export soldiers, without great assiduity and frequent exercise, and that the times mentioned in the Regulations are scarce sufficient to perfect a man even in his manual. Your Memorialists therefore request the honourable House would increase the number of days appointed for the general meetings of Associators, which, in the opinion of your Memorialists, should be at least once in every week.

“That the wages appointed for drummers and fifers are so extremely trifling, that no persons can be procured to do the duty, and our Battalions are almost totally deprived of their musick, as the drummers and fifers have left the Association, to get employ where they receive pay on which they can subsist. That the drummers and fifers are, in general, persons who have no other way of gaining a livelihood; and as much time is taken up in perfecting themselves, they ought, as we conceive, instead of casual and uncertain pay, to have a permanent and settled support.

“Your Memorialists therefore pray the honourable House to raise the wages of the Drum and Fife-Majors, and allow the drummers and fifers reasonable and constant pay, that persons already taught may be induced to join the Association, and that others may be incited to qualify themselves for this part of military duty, which is not merely parade, but absolutely essential to the service.

“That the officers of the several Battalions experience many inconveniences from the want of a Sergeant-Major; and as there are now in all the Battalions officers tolerably qualified, it is submitted to the honourable House, whether, instead of an Adjutant, it would not be better to appoint a Sergeant-Major on constant pay, and let a subaltern officer, in every Battalion, do the duty of an Adjutant.

“Your Memorialists beg leave to give it as their opinion to the honourable House, that the several alterations and amendments pointed out in the petition from the Privates, together with those before-mentioned, being made, the minds of the people will be entirely satisfied, and strength and vigour will be given to the Association, which, though now very extensively adopted, will then be more generally agreed to, and which persons in general signed, not because they esteemed the Regulations perfect, or in all cases proper, but from their zeal for the cause, and the confidence they had in the honourable House that you would be pleased to remedy all defects when applied to for that purpose.

“By order of a Board of Officers:


“Philadelphia, February 21, 1776.”

Ordered to lie on the table.

A Remonstrance and Petition from the Committee of Inspection and Observation of the County of Chester, was presented to the House, and is as follows, viz:

To the Honourable the Representatives of the Freemen of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA, in General Assembly met.

The Remonstrance and Petition of the Committee of Inspection and Observation of CHESTER County, humbly showeth:

“That your Remonstrants, in obedience to the resolves of this honourable House, and from zeal to the cause of their country, have, since your last session, used their best endeavours to prevail on the people of this County to adopt and sign the articles for the better government of the Military Association; but we find them not so well received as the exigency of the times requires; and are apprehensive, unless your Honours will, at this session, amend such parts thereof as are the most exceptionable they will not be generally signed but by those who think it better to adopt any government rather than none.

“Your Remonstrants beg leave briefly to mention some of the articles which the people most generally object to, viz: They say, ‘that the burden of the Association falls chiefly on the poor and middling sort of the inhabitants, whilst the more opulent are, for the most part, exempt, they carrying on their business by bought servants and Negroes. On the contrary, those in low and middling circumstances are obliged to take in apprentices; the arming of which, together with their loss of time, will be extremely burdensome; so much so, that they cannot comply with the resolves of the House, without distressing themselves and families. But, were arms and accoutrements to be provided at the publick charge, they are ready to conform to the other parts as far as in their power.’

“Your Remonstrants are humbly of opinion, that the above objections are founded in justice; and firmly believe that, was some measure taken to provide arms for the whole, at the publick charge, and all able-bodied men, from sixteen to sixty, obliged to associate or pay the fine, that then it would be generally adopted.

“Your Remonstrants therefore humbly request your Honours to take the premises under your serious consideration, and make such alterations in the present Association as to you may seem just and reasonable.

“Signed by order and in behalf of the Committee:


“Chester, February 12, 1776.”

Ordered to lie on the table.

The House adjourned to ten o’clock to-morrow morning.

Saturday, February 24, 1776.

The House met pursuant to adjournment.

The Members appointed to wait on the Governour with the Bill passed last night, reported, that they had delivered the same according to order, and that his Honour was pleased to say that he would take the said Bill into immediate consideration.

Upon motion, Ordered, That Mr. Thompson be added to the Committee of Safety.

The House adjourned to Monday next, at four o’clock, P. M.

Monday, February 26, 1776, P. M.

Mr. Speaker, with twenty-five Members, met pursuant to adjournment; and a quorum not appearing, they adjourned to ten o’clock to-morrow morning.

Tuesday, February 27, 1776.

A quorum met pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. Speaker laid before the House a Letter from Benjamin Franklin, Esq., which was read by order, and is as follows, viz:

“February 26, 1776.

“SIR: I am extremely sensible of the honour done me by my fellow-citizens in choosing me their Representative in Assembly, and of that lately conferred on me by the House in appointing me one of the Committee of Safety for this Province, and a Delegate to the Congress. It would be a happiness to me if I could serve the publick duly in all those stations; but, aged as I now am, I feel myself unequal to so much business, and, on that account, think it my duty to decline a part of it. I hope, therefore, that the House will be so good as to accept my excuse for not attending as a member of the present Assembly, and, if they think fit, give orders for the election of another in my place, that the city may be more completely represented.

“I request, also, that the House would be pleased to dispense with my further attendance as one of the Committee of Safety.

“With the greatest and most sincere respect to yourself

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