|You are here: Home >> American Archives|
Resolved, That the settlement of rank in the Battalions to be raised for the service of this Colony, be referred to future consideration.
The House adjourned to three oclock, P. M.
The House proceeded in the consideration and appointment of Officers for the new Levies.
Resolved, That James Marshall, of the County of Lancaster, be, and he is hereby, appointed a Captain in one of the said Rifle Battalions.
The House adjourned to nine oclock to-morrow morning.
Friday, March 8, 1776.
The House met pursuant to adjournment.
A Petition, signed by a great number of the Inhabitants of the City of Philadelphia, was presented to the House, and read, praying a more adequate representation in Assembly.
Ordered to lie on the table.
The Order of last Tuesday being read,
The House took into consideration the Petitions before them from the City of Philadelphia, and several of the back Counties, for an increase of Members to represent them in the Assembly of this Province; and, after a debate of considerable length, adjourned to three oclock, P. M.
The House proceeded in the consideration of the subject before them in the morning; and, after further debate thereon,
Resolved, (upon the question,) That four additional Representatives in Assembly be allowed to the City of Philadelphia; two additional Representatives to each of the Counties of Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Berks, and Northampton; and one additional Representative to each of the Counties of Bedford, Northumberland, and Westmoreland.
Ordered, That Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Reed, Mr. Rodman, Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Ross, Mr. Ewing, Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Chreist, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Hunter, and Mr. Thompson, be a Committee to prepare and bring in a Bill for allowing to the City of Philadelphia, and certain Counties of this Province, such additional Members in Assembly as are mentioned in the foregoing Resolve.
The House adjourned to ten oclock to-morrow morning.
Saturday, March 9, 1776.
The House met pursuant to adjournment; and resuming the consideration of Officers for the new Levies,
Resolved, That William Rartkin, of York County; William Peoples, of Cumberland County; Henry Chreist, Jun., of Berks County; Henry Shade, of Northampton County; Richard Brown, of Bedford County; Caspar Weitzell, of Northumberland County; and Joseph Irwin, of Westmoreland County, be, and they are hereby, appointed Captains in the Rifle Battalions to be formed for the service of this Province.
Ordered, That Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Miles, Mr. Grubb, and Mr. Montgomery, be a Committee to prepare and bring in a draft of Instructions for Recruiting Officers.
The House adjourned to Monday next, at four oclock, P. M.
Monday, March 11, 1776, P. M.
The Committee appointed to prepare and bring in a Bill to increase the number of Representatives in Assembly for the City of Philadelphia, and the Counties of Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Berks, Northampton, Bedford, Northumberland, and Westmoreland, reported they had essayed a draft for that purpose, which they presented to the Chair; and the same being read the first time, was ordered to lie on the table for a second reading.
Upon motion, the Petition from the Committee of Correspondence for the County of Bedford was again read; and, after some debate,
Resolved, That the Committee for settling the Battalion Accounts draw an order on Michael Hillegas, Esq., for the sum of two hundred Pounds, payable to Barnard Dougherty, Esq., to be applied to the purchase of Drums and Colours for the use of the Association in the said County of Bedford, and to be accounted for with said Committee by the Field-Officers of the said Association.
It being represented to the House by the Speaker that some doubts have been entertained by the Commissioners and Township and Ward Assessors of the several Counties, whether they are to proceed to the execution of the duties enjoined by the Resolves of Assembly of the 25th of November last, respecting their making out lists, and levying Taxes on Non-Associators in this Province,
Resolved, That the Commissioners and Assessors within this Province proceed with all diligence and fidelity in the execution of the respective duties required of them by the above-mentioned Resolves, without waiting for any further notice.
A Petition from the Privates of the First Battalion of Militia in the County of Cumberland, was presented to the House, and follows in these words, viz:
To the Honourable the Representatives of the Freemen of he Province of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met.
The Petition of the Privates of the First Battalion of Militia in Cumberland County, most humbly showeth:
That your Petitioners, desirous of exerting themselves in defence of American liberty against the tyranny of a cruel and desolating enemy, beg leave to lay before the honourable House some amendments, which they wish to have made in the Articles of Association framed at your last sitting, in order that they may sign them with that freedom which every true patriot and friend to American liberty ought to feel himself possessed of: without which arrrendments, the liberties of the Privates of the Association appear to be, in a great measure, taken away.
First. The time of keeping the Associators out on actual service is nowhere limited, either in the Rules or Articles of Association; which, your Petitioners apprehend, puts them in a worse situation than the inlisted Troops. We submit it to the wisdom of the honourable House whether two or three months are not sufficient to keep out any party of Associators at one time, until relieved by others at the call of the Assembly, or Committee of Safety.
Secondly. The Articles, as they now stand, establish all the officers of the Association during life, or until otherwise removed by resignation, promotion, or broken by the sentence of a General Court of Associators. We would pray the honourable House to reconsider this matter, and see if it is not more agreeable to the rights of freemen and the Constitution of this Province, that all Military Officers, not exceeding the rank of a Colonel of a Battalion, should be voted in by ballot annually, in the same manner as Members of Assembly, Sheriffs, and other civil Officers; the Field-Officers, Standard-bearer, and Adjutant, by the Battalion at large; and the Officers of a Troop or Company by the Troop or Company. Your Petitioners are of opinion that officers voted in in this manner would by no means be liable to disgrace upon the promotion of others in their room, as their going out of office might not bo for any bad conduct alleged against them, but in order to serve others equally worthy of notice; for annual election is so essentially necessary to the liberty of freemen, that your Petitioners hope the honourable House will be careful not to deprive their constituents of it.
Thirdly. Your Petitioners humbly conceive that the Regimental and General Courts of Associators should consist of an equal number of Officers and Court-Associators, (one of the said officers to be President,) as we can see no reason why there should be a superior number of officers in the said Courts; because officers and privates of the Association, being engaged in the same cause, ought to have the same mode of trial, be the offence what it will.
Fourthly. The thirty-first article of Association enjoins the Associators to be subject to all the Rules and Articles already made by the honourable Continental Congress for the government of the Continental Troops when called by the Assembly, or the Committee of Safety in recess of Assembly, into actual service. Your Petitioners pray that the honourable House would please to amend said article by allowing the Associators to be tried for all offences and crimes, of which they may be guilty, as mentioned in the said Rules and Articles when on actual service, in the same way as is proposed above, viz: by an equal number of their