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Resolved, That any Officer neglecting or refusing to take the said Oath or Affirmation, shall be ipso facto cashiered.
Resolved, That the Justices of the Peace to whom application shall be made to administer the Oaths or Affirmations to Officers and Soldiers in the service of this Province, shall administer and certify the same without fee or reward.
Upon motion, the Petition of Messrs. Owen Biddle and Benjamin Rush was again read; and, after some debate, referred to the Committee of Accounts.
Upon motion, Resolved, That a ration for the Pennsylvania Forces shall consist of one pound of Beef, or three-quarters of a pound of Pork, or one pound of Mutton, per man per day; one pound of Flour or Bread per man per day; three pints of Peas or Beans, at six Shillings per bushel, per man per week, or vegetables equivalent thereto; half a pint of Rice, or one pound of Indian Meal, per man per week; one pint of Milk per man per day; one quart of small Beer per man per day, or nine gallons of Molasses for one hundred men per week; one gill of Vinegar per man per week; three pounds of Candles for one hundred men per week, for Guards; twenty-four pounds of soft or eight pounds of hard Soap, for one hundred men per week.
Upon motion, Resolved, That George Ross, Esq., of the County of Lancaster, be, and he is hereby, appointed Judge of the Court of Admiralty lately instituted in this Province, pursuant to the recommendation of the honourable Continental Congress.
Resolved, That the Marshal of the said Court of Admiralty, directed to be appointed by the Committee of Safety, shall receive his commission from the Speaker of this House.
The Committee appointed to inquire who first introduced in this Province the Spinning Machine claimed by Christopher Tully and Joseph Hague, reported, That, upon examination, they find the said machine was made and used in this Province by both the persons above named nearly at the same time, but unknown to each other; and that the Committee think they are therefore alike deserving of reward from the publick, the machine being really useful, as it despatches business much faster than the common spinning-wheel.
The House adjourned to ten oclock, to-morrow morning.
Saturday, April 6, 1776.
The House resumed the consideration of the Report of the Committee appointed to essay a draft of Resolutions directing the mode of disarming disaffected persons, and procuring the Arms of Non-Associators in this Province; which being gone through, and after some alterations agreed to, was transcribed by order, and is as follows, viz:
Whereas the honourable the Continental Congress did lately recommend to the several Assemblies, Conventions, Councils, and Committees of Safety of the several United Colonies, to cause all persons to be disarmed within their respective Colonies who are notoriously disaffected to the cause of America, or who have not associated, and refuse to associate, for the defence of these Colonies, by Arms, against the hostile attempts of the British Fleets and Armies; and such Arms, having been duly appraised, to be applied to the arming the Continental Troops raised in this Colony, the Troops raised in its own special defence, and the residue for the use of the Associators; the said appraisement to be paid by the Congress, Assemblies, Conventions, and Committees of Safety, respectively, as the said Arms should be appropriated:
And by a further Resolve it was declared, that the appraisement of the Arms of disaffected persons, so taken as above, should not be paid unless for such Arms as were fit for the use of the Troops, or could be conveniently made so; but that all defective Arms should be safely kept by the Assemblies, Conventions, Councils, and Committees of Safety, to be delivered to the owners when the Congress should direct:
The House, taking into consideration the said recommendations, and the very great difficulty of procuring Arms to put into the hands of Continental and Provincial Troops, and the Associators within this Province, for the defence of the liberties of America,
Therefore Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended by this House to all well-affected Non-Associators who are possessed of good Arms, to deliver them to the Collectors hereafter directed to be chosen, as they regard the freedom, safety, and prosperity of their country.
Resolved, That the Freeholders and Freemen of every Township, Borough, Ward, and District, within this Province, qualified to vote for Members of Assembly, shall respectively meet together at some convenient place within their several Townships, Boroughs, Wards, and Districts, on the 25th day of this month, and then and there choose, by ballot, three persons for Collectors of Arms; which persons, so chosen, shall meet the persons chosen by the next two adjoining Townships, Boroughs, Wards, or Districts; and the said persons, or a majority of them, shall collect and receive all such Arms of Non-Associators as are fit for use, or can be conveniently made so, within their respective Townships, Boroughs, Wards, and Districts, and shall appraise, or cause the said Arms to be appraised, according to the true and real value, which they shall pay to the owners, and then shall deposite the said Arms in some dry, safe, and convenient, place, in the several Townships, Boroughs, Wards, and Districts, subject to the orders of Assembly, or, in their recess, of the Committee of Safety.
Resolved, That the said persons so chosen, or a majority of them, shall disarm all disaffected persons before described, and shall appraise, or cause the Arms taken from them to be appraised as aforesaid; and shall pay to the owners the value of such Arms as are fit for use, or that can be conveniently made so, depositing all the Arms in the manner before-mentioned.
Resolved, That if any Townships, Boroughs, Wards, or Districts, shall neglect or refuse to choose such persons as aforesaid; or if the persons so chosen shall neglect or refuse to perform the duties hereby required of themin such case, the Committee of Inspection and Observation, in each County respectively, shall immediately proceed to carry the foregoing recommendation of Congress effectually into execution.
Resolved, That the persons so chosen shall immediately make returns of all Arms fit for use, or that can conveniently be made so, which they shall take, collect, or receive, with the value thereof, to the Assembly, or in their recess to the Committee of Safety, who may draw orders for the amount thereof, in favour of such persons, on Michael Hillegas, Esq., Treasurer, who is hereby required to pay the same out of the moneys directed to be emitted by this House.
The House adjourned to three oclock, P. M.
Upon motion, Resolved, That an Agent be appointed to provide necessary Clothing and Accoutrements for the Troops ordered to be raised for the service of this Province, the expense to be deducted out of the pay of such Troops; that such Agent be allowed two and a half per cent, for his trouble, and that he make no other profit or emolument whatever, by contracts with the tradesmen he may employ, or in any other manner whatsoever.
Resolved, That Matthias Slough, of Lancaster, Esq., be, and he is hereby, appointed Agent for the purpose aforesaid.
Resolved, That the said Agent supply every Private, in pay of this Province, with a good Blanket, at the expense of the Province.
Resolved, That the Committee of Safety may draw orders on Michael Hillegas, Esq., Treasurer, in favour of the said Matthias Slough, for such sums of money as they, from time to time, shall judge necessary.
Upon motion, Ordered, That Mr. Hillegas, Mr. Parker, and Mr. Rittenhouse, be added to the Committee of Safety.
Upon motion, Ordered, That Mr. Reed be added to the Committee appointed to revise and correct the Minutes of this House, previous to the publication thereof.
The House, taking into consideration that the publick service will require the issuing a further sum of Money in Bills of Credit, before the time of their next meeting,
Resolved, That the sum of eighty-five thousand Pounds be forthwith struck in Bills of Credit, for answering the present exigencies of this Province.
Ordered, That Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Hillegas, Mr. Reed, and Mr. Rittenhouse, be a Committee to prepare and bring