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are pleased to pay high compliments for the proficiency they have already made, and appearance of the men, &c.
The Raven and Cherokee are the only two ships-of-war which remain now stationed at Tybee, in the mouth of Savannah River; with whom we have no kind of communication.
Several armed vessels infest our other inlets to the southward, and made several captures, which we cannot prevent, as we have not a single vessel of any force; but they have always been driven off the shore when they attempted to get a supply of provision.
We are informed there are two thousand men now in St. Augustine, lately arrived, and that they expect more daily; but this wants confirmation, as I think in that poor, starved Colony, they must be much pinched for provision. This Province is now raising a troop of sixty horse, to prevent their getting any cattle from our Southern boundary; and another troop, of a like number, to protect our Western settlements from the insults of Indians, who are like to be troublesome.
All things considered, I certainly think this Colony should have a considerable force to defend and secure it, as its safety is of the utmost consequence to the great cause of the Continent. The troops of our neighbouring Province are all upon Provincial establishment, and at a distance; therefore, their assistance may depend upon many circumstances.
I have the honour to be your Excellencys most obedient and most humble servant,
To His Excellency George Washington, Esq., General and Commander-in-Chief.
A Return of the strength of the GEORGIA Battalion, April 28, 1776.
A Return of the present state of the GEORGIA Battalion, April 28, 1776:
24 Sergeants, 18 Corporals, 5 Drummers, 3 Fifers, 236 Rank and File286 enrolled. By the information I have, I suppose our recruiting officers may have about seventy or eighty men more, who are not come in yet.
LACHLAN MCINTOSH, Colonel.
Savannah, in Georgia, April 28, 1776.
Colony of GEORGIA:
Whereas the unwise and iniquitous system of Administration, obstinately persisted in by the British Parliament and Ministry against the good People of America, hath at length driven the latter to take up arms, as their last resource, for the preservation of their rights and liberties, which God and the Constitution gave them:
And whereas an armed force, with hostile intentions against the People of this Province, having lately arrived at Cockspur, his Excellency Sir James Wright, Baronet, the Kings Governour of Georgia, in aid of the views of Administration, and with a design to add to those inconveniences which necessarily flow from a state of confusion, suddenly and unexpectedly withdrew himself from his Government, carrying off the Great Seal of the Province with him:
And whereas, in consequence of this and other events, doubts have arisen with the several Magistrates how far they are authorized to act under, their former appointments, and the greatest part of them have absolutely refused to do so, whereby all judicial powers are become totally suspended, to the great danger of persons and property:
And whereas, before any general system or form of Government can be concluded upon, it is necessary that application be made to the Continental Congress for their advice and directions upon the same; but, nevertheless, in the present state of things, it is indispensably requisite that some temporary expedient be fallen upon to curb the lawless and protect the peaceable:
This Congress, therefore, as the Representatives of the People, with whom all power originates, and for whose benefit all Government is intended, deeply impressed with a sense of duty to their constituents, of love to their country, and inviolable attachment to the liberties of America, and seeing how much it will tend to the advantage of each to preserve rules, justice, and orderdo take upon them for the present, and until the further order of the Continental Congress, or of this or any future Provincial Congress, to declare, and they accordingly do declare, order, and direct, that the following Rules and Regulations be adopted in this Provincethat is to say:
1st. That there shall be a President and Commander-in-Chief appointed by ballot, in this Congress, for six months, or during the time above specified.
2d. That there shall, in like manner and for the like time, be also a Council of Safety, consisting of thirteen persons, (besides the five Delegates to the General Congress,) appointed to act in the nature of a Privy Council to the said President or Commander-in-Chief.
3d. That the President shall be invested with all the Executive powers of Government not inconsistent with what is hereafter mentioned, but shall be bound to consult and follow the advice of the said Council in all cases whatsoever; and any seven of the said Council shall be a quorum for the purpose of advising.
4th. That all the Laws, whether common or statute, and the Acts of Assembly which have formerly been acknowledged to be of force in this Province, and which do not interfere with the proceedings of the Continental or our Provincial Congresses, and also all and singular the Resolves and Recommendations of the said Continental and Provincial Congresses, shall be of full force, validity, and effect, until otherwise ordered.
5th. That there shall be a Chief Justice and two Assistant Judges, an Attorney-General, a Provost-Marshal, and Clerk of the Court of Sessions, appointed by ballot, to serve during the pleasure of the Congress. The Court of Sessions, or Oyer and Terminer, shall be opened and held on the second Tuesday in June and December, and the former rules and method of proceeding, as nearly as may be, shall be observed in regard to summoning of Juries, and all other cases whatsoever.
6th. That the President or Commander-in-Chief, with the advice of the Council as before-mentioned, shall appoint Magistrates to act, during pleasure, in the several Parishes throughout this Province; and such Magistrates shall conform themselves as nearly as may be to the old establishment, form, and methods of proceeding.
7th. That all Legislative powers shall be reserved to the Congress; and no person who holds any place of profit, civil or military, shall be eligible as a Member either of the Congress or Council of Safety.
8th. That the following sums shall be allowed as salaries to the respective Officers, for and during the time they shall serve, over and besides all such perquisites and fees as have been formerly annexed to the said Officers respectively: