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Resolved, That the Committee for fortifying the Harbour of Boston be, and hereby are, empowered and directed immediately to procure and prepare with everything necessary, such a number of Fire-Ships and Rafts as they may judge proper to annoy the enemys ships, if they should again return to Boston Harbour; and the said Committee are also directed without delay to sink the Hulks before ordered by this Court, in such place and in such manner as the said Committee shall think best.
Also Resolved, That said Committee, after they shall have completed the Fortresses which this Court have ordered to be made on Dorchester-Neck, Castle-Island, and Noddles Island, be empowered to remove the Block-House upon Boston-Neck to Governours Island, and place two or three Cannon and cast up Works there, if the said Committee shall, on good advisement, judge that the enemy may be thereby prevented from landing and taking possession of the high ground on the said Island. And the said Committee are directed to apply to General Ward, or such other person as may have the care and disposition of the Boats belonging to the United Colonies, for such and so many of the said Boats as they shall judge necessary for the use of this Colony, in carrying on and defending the Fortresses which they have been directed and empowered to erect for the defence of the Town and Harbour of Boston. And the said Committee are hereby empowered to engage, in behalf of this Colony, to return and deliver such Boats as they may receive for the use aforesaid; or in default thereof to make satisfaction, to the United Colonies for such of them as shall not be returned upon demand, to the person or persons who shall have right to require the same in behalf of the said Colonies.
Whereas it has been usual in time of war to keep one or more Vessels to cruise as spies, and give intelligence of the approach of an enemy, and great advantages have accrued from the same: And whereas the great dependance which this Colony has on the Militia thereof for defence, renders it absolutely necessary that timely advice should be given of the advance of an enemy:
It is therefore Resolved, That Mr. Speaker, Captain Batchelder, and Mr. Hall, be, and they hereby are, appointed a Committee, to hire or purchase, and fit out, at the expense of this Colony, two swift-sailing Vessels, not exceeding forty tons each, to cruise on the coast of America, and give intelligence of the movements of the enemy; and lay their accounts for fixing out said Vessels before the General Court for allowance. And when the said Vessels shall be ready to sail, the Committee of War is hereby empowered and directed to man, arm, victual, and give orders for their proceeding; which orders the said Masters of said Vessels shall be obliged to observe and obey.
Resolved, That the Commissary-General be, and he hereby is, directed to deliver to Captain Josiah Batchelder, Jun., or order, two large Cannon that were left in the Town of Boston, for the use of the Town of Beverley, until the further order of the General Court, provided the Committee of War judge that it may be done consistent with the general interest and safety of the Colony.
Resolved, That there be paid out of the publick Treasury of this Colony, to John Story, sub-Commissary to Colonel Littles Regiment, the sum of five Pounds five Shillings, in full of his services.
Whereas in a contract made by this Court with Samuel Phillips, Jun., for manufacturing Gunpowder for the use of the Colony, it was provided that the said Phillips keep a sufficient guard for his Mill: And whereas it is necessary that the said guard should be invested with authority in order to answer the purpose for which it is ordered:
It is therefore Resolved; That the said Phillips cause to be placed round the said Mill, and every building belonging thereto that shall contain any Gunpowder, a pole or line, at the distance of one rod at least; and if any person shall enter within such bounds as have been herein mentioned, at any time between sun-setting and sun-rising, and refuse or neglect to depart therefrom after having been three times called upon and audibly, by any person that may be on guard by consent of the said Phillips, in such case it shall be lawful for the said guard to fire on any person so neglecting or refusing.
Resolved, That there be delivered out of the Commissarys Store at Falmouth, one barrel of Gunpowder, and that Brigadier Thompson be a Committee to receive the same for said Harpswell and Brunswick, he being accountable to this Court for the same.
Resolved, That the Commissary, appointed the 29th of March, 1776, of the forces stationed at Dartmouth for the defence of the Sea-Coast, be, and he hereby is, empowered and directed by this Court, to supply the Company stationed as aforesaid, with Barracks, Wood, and utensils to cook in, and their allowances of provisions and money, according to the establishment made by this Court on the 27th of December last, for the forces stationed on the Sea-Coast.
Adjourned to nine oclock, to-morrow morning.
Friday, May 10, 1776.
Present in Council: Honourable James Otis, Walter Spooner, Caleb Cushing, John Winthrop, Thomas Cushing, Benjamin Chadbourn, John Whetcomb, Jedediah Foster, James Prescott, Eldad Taylor, Benjamin White, Michael Farley, Joseph Palmer, Samuel Holten, Jabez Fisher, Moses Gill, Esquires.
Resolved, That the three Regiments granted by this Court, and to be raised under the command of Colonels Marshall, Whitney, and Crafts, when raised shall, until the meeting of the next General Court, be under the direction of the Committee of War, who are hereby empowered and directed to put them, as occasion may require, under the command of the General of the Continental Forces stationed within this Colony, and at any time when they shall think proper, to resume the same again.
Resolved, That the Committee appointed this day to hire, or purchase and fit out, at the expense of this Colony, two swift-sailing Vessels, not exceeding forty tons each, to cruise on the Coast of America, and give intelligence of the movements of the enemy, be, and they hereby are, fully authorized and empowered to man, arm, and victual, the said two Vessels fit for the sea; and that when they are ready, the Committee of War give such orders to the several Masters, for their proceeding, as they shall judge proper, anything in the resolve appointing the Committee aforesaid to the contrary notwithstanding; and that the said Committee receive out of the Treasury of this Colony the sum of three hundred Pounds, for the purposes aforesaid; each of the said Committee to be accountable to the General Court for the sum they shall respectively receive.
In the House of Representatives: The House made choice of the following gentlemen as Deputy-Commissaries for the Brigades of Militia in the Counties hereafter mentioned, viz:
Resolved, That Colonel Orne and others, who are a Committee appointed to purchase a quantity of Powder lately imported into Newburyport, be, and they hereby are, empowered to impress said Powder, and secure it for the use of this Colony, provided that the importers of said Powder, or others who have or may have the disposal thereof, have not sold it, or refuse, to sell it on the terms on which said Committee are authorized to purchase the same; and the said Committee are directed to assure the owners of the said Powder that the General Court will be ready to hear any reasons that may be offered why they should have a higher price for the same than has been offered by this Court.
Resolved, That the Commissary-General be, and he hereby is, directed, as soon as possible, to purchase for the use of this Colony, besides what he has already procured, five hundred Pick-Axes, two hundred and fifty Spades, five hundred Shovels, sixty Crows, fifty Wheelbarrows, four hundred barrels of Pork, one hundred barrels of Beef, two hundred barrels of Peas or Beans, and three hundred Narrow-Axes.