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Saturday, April 20, 1776.
Present in Council: Honourable James Otis, William Sever, Benjamin Greenleaf, Walter Spooner, Caleb Cushing, John Winthrop, Benjamin Chadbourn, Thomas Cushing, Joseph Gerrish, John Whetcomb, Eldad Taylor, James Prescott, Samuel Holten, Jabez Fisher, Benjamin White, Esquires.
The Committee of both Houses, appointed to consider what is proper to be done with the warlike Stores lately imported into Dartmouth in the Sloop Sally, report as their opinion: That they be immediately stored there, under the care of Captain Gamaliel Church and Lemuel Williams; and as four vessels of war are now building in those parts, by order of this Court, viz: two at Swansey, one at Dartmouth, and one at Kingston, that the small-arms, gunpowder, ball, field-pieces, and cutlasses, be reserved to equip the same, as shall be hereafter directed by the General Court; and if any small-arms shall remain after the said four vessels shall be equipped, that they shall be immediately sold for the benefit of this Government, to inhabitants of the same, as the General Court shall hereafter order.
JEDEDIAH FOSTER, per order.
In Council: Read, and accepted.
In the House of Representatives: Read, and recommitted, and Mr. Partridge, with such as the honourable Board shall join, is added to the Committee.
In Council: Read, and concurred, and Samuel Holten, Esq., is joined.
Ordered, That the Letter from the Honourable John Hancock, Esq., President of the American Congress, with sundry Resolves and Papers accompanying the same, be committed to Colonel Orne, Mr. Wheeler, and Mr. Story, with William Sever and Benjamin Greenleaf, Esquires.
Ordered, That Captain Fisk be appointed to take the command of the Armed Sloop building at Salisbury, by Mr. Derby and Captain Batchelder, for the service of this Colony.
The Committee appointed to report suitable names for the five Armed Vessels now building by this Colony, reported: That the Brigantine building at Kingston be called the Independence; that the Brigantine building at Dartmouth be called the Rising Empire; that the Sloop building at Salisbury be called the Tyrannicide; that one of the Sloops building at Swansey be called the Republick, and the other the Freedom.
Read, and concurred.
Ordered, That Benjamin Chadbourn, Esq., be of the Committee to consider what shall be done with the warlike Stores lately imported into Dartmouth, in the room of Jedediah Foster, Esq., excused.
The House appointed Colonel William Jones on the Committee to distribute the sum of twelve hundred Pounds to the inhabitants of the eastern part of the County of Lincoln, agreeable to a late Resolve of this Court, in the room of Mr. Greenleaf, excused.
Resolved, That the present Trustees, lately appointed by this Court to manage the Indian affairs of Grafton, be, and hereby are, directed to make inquiry, as soon as may be convenient, whether the five Pounds and interest, as mentioned by the Petitioner, (Elizabeth Sampson, )be really due from the former Trustees; and if so, that they improve proper methods, as the law directs for the recovery of debts, to procure said money for the use and benefit of the said Petitioner.
Further Resolved, That the present Trustees aforesaid, be, and hereby are, directed to distribute the Interest-money of Andrew Abraham, deceased, among all the posterity of said Andrew Abraham, deceased, or to pay it to Elizabeth Sampson only, (according to the order and desire of said Andrew Abraham, )as to them shall appear most just and reasonable.
In the House of Representatives: Ordered, That Major Hawley, Colonel Brooks, and Major Fuller, be a Committee to wait on a majority of the honourable Council with the following Message, viz:
May it please your Honours:
The House having with due attention considered your message of the 18th instant, beg leave to observe that, when they presumed to send a verbal message to your Honours, desiring you to desist from making out any commissions, civil or military, they were sensible that a considerable part of our Militia are still destitute of officers, and were very sufficiently possessed of the importance of putting them, without loss of time, on the best footing, in order to defend this Colony, exposed to the merciless depredations of our enemies, who may avail themselves of our situation to wreak their vengeance and retrieve their reputation, lost by their late precipitate flight; but at the same time, when they consider the absurdity of issuing commissions in the present style, under our present situation, they supposed themselves fully justified in not troubling your Honours with reasons they supposed obvious to every one; but as your Honours cannot conceive any reasons sufficient to delay issuing commissions, and are pleased to assure us that you will consider, with due attention, such as we may suggest, we beg leave to mention to your Honours, that the absurdity of issuing commissions in the present style is so apparent, and the tendency it has to keep up ideas wholly inconsistent with our conduct and safety, has given the good people of this Colony such uneasiness as rendered it necessary to make provision for altering the commissions already issued, and for a different style for future commissions. We had therefore provided and have under consideration a bill for that purpose, which we presumed would meet your Honours approbation, when regularly laid before you, and appears to be calculated to promote both the safety and reputation of the Colony; and as the bill is now before the honourable Board, they will be able to judge of our sentiments and conduct in the provisions therein made.
The Committee appointed to examine Captain Solomon Davis and Prince Gorham, have attended that service; and having made inquiry of the Sheriff of the County of Barnstable, who was directed and fully authorized and empowered, by a resolve of this Court of the 11th instant, to take into his possession all such India Tea and English Goods as were brought in a vessel therein referred to; and being informed by the said Sheriff that he had made all due search and inquiry after such goods, but found none; neither was he able to conclude that any such goods were brought in the said vessel: Wherefore your Committee are of opinion, that the said Captain Davis and Gorham be discharged from any further attendance.
BENJAMIN GREENLEAF, per order.
In Council: Read, and accepted.
In the House of Representatives: Ordered, That Colonel Grout, Major Goodman, and Mr. Bent, with Benjamin Chadbourn and Joseph Gerrish, Esquires, be a Committee to examine Caleb Wheaton and others, lately taken prisoners on board the Brig Sally, by Captain Manly.
Adjourned to ten oclock, Monday morning.
Monday, April 22, 1776.
Present in Council: Honourable James Otis, William Sever, Benjamin Greenleaf, Walter Spooner, Caleb Cushing, Benjamin Chadbourn, Joseph Gerrish, John Whetcomb, Jedediah Foster, James Prescott, Eldad Taylor, Benjamin Lincoln, Michael Farley, Joseph Palmer, Samuel Holten, Jabez Fisher, Benjamin White, Esquires.
Resolved, That there be paid out of the publick Treasury of this Colony, to the Committee of the Town of Upton, the sum of sixteen Pounds twelve Shillings and eleven Pence, in full for sundries supplied the Army.
Ordered, That William Sever and Benjamin Greenleaf, Esquires, with Mr. Wheeler, Colonel Bliss, and Mr. Jewett, be a Committee to make such additions and amendments to the Bill for fixing out Armed Vessels for the defence of America as are necessary and shall comport with the late Resolve of Congress, confiscating British property.
In the House of Representatives: Ordered, That . . . . . . . . . . ., with such as the honourable Board shall join, be a Committee to prepare Instructions to the Committee appointed to go to Pittsfield, &c.
In Council: Read, and concurred, and Eldad Taylor, Esq., is joined.
Resolved, That for the more expeditiously making the Fortifications necessary for the defence of the Town and Port of Boston, part of the forces of this Colony, lately raised for the defence of its sea-coasts, shall, without any delay, march to the said Town of Boston: that is to say, Captain Daniel Giddens, and the whole of the Company under his command, now doing duty at Gloucester, and Captain Daniel Ward, and a detachment of the Company under his command, to the number of fifty men, including himself,