|You are here: Home >> American Archives|
Die Jovis, 9 ho. A. M., April 4, 1776.
The Committee met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: William Paulding, Esq., Chairman pro tem.
FOR NEW-YORK.Colonel McDougall, Mr. Sands, Mr. Prince, Mr. Van Cortlandt, Mr. Van Zandt, Captain Rutgers, Colonel Brasher, Mr. Roosevelt.
FOR SUFFOLK.Mr. Tredwell, Mr. Strong.
FOR KINGS.Mr. Vanderbilt, Mr. Covenhoven.
FOR ORANGE.Mr. Cuyper.
FOR DUTCHESS.Mr. Everson.
FOR RICHMOND.Mr. Lawrence.
FOR WESTCHESTER.Mr. Paulding.
FOR TRYON.Mr. Moore.
Colonel Mifflin, Quartermaster-General, came into the Committee, and informed the Committee that in the course of eight or ten days at farthest, Troops will arrive in this City, which, with those already here, will amount to twelve thousand men. He requested that proper Houses may be immediately provided for the reception of those Troops. Colonel Mifflin further requested, that Houses, in an airy part of the City, may be immediately prepared for a General Hospital, capable of containing eight hundred sick, and within a mile of the City, and Houses in a proper situation, and about the same distance, to contain four hundred convalescents; that a suitable House or Houses in the City will be necessary for General Washington; that proper Stables will speedily be wanted for one hundred horses, and Sheds or proper places wherein to put wagons. That it will be necessary to fix on a House fit for a Guard-House for a Provost-Guard, and four other separate Houses for Main Guards; that to prevent inebriety and neglect of duty among the soldiery, it will be absolutely necessary to limit the number of Innkeepers, Dram-shops, and Retailers of strong liquors in this City and its environs, and that the names of the persons licensed to retail, and a description of their respective places of residence in the City, be delivered to him, to the end that none others except one Sutler to each Regiment may be permitted.
Colonel Mifflin further mentioned, that, by inquiry, he has found that the Continental Troops, by the police of this City, must pass at the common ferries, or pay the ferriage if they are transported across either of the rivers by any other means; that however useful this regulation may be in time of peace, he conceives that, in the present situation of affairs, the expense will be enormous to the Continental Army, as it must frequently, if not daily happen, that great numbers of Troops must be transported between the City of New-York and Nassau-Island, and between the said City and Jersey Shore.
Colonel Mifflin, on being asked what means he could propose to remedy ferriages, answered and proposed that he could purchase boats, or have them built for the transportation of Troops, and that the Army could ferry themselves, if that mode was agreeable to the Committee.
Colonel Mifflin further informed the Committee, that the necessary expenditure of wood, which would be made by the Continental Troops, might increase the price to the detriment of the inhabitants, as well as of the Army, unless some method could be fallen on to prevent the same; that he should want not less than forty or fifty cords of wood per day, and was desirous that the Committee should fix the price which they would advise him to offer for wood.
Colonel Mifflin further mentioned that, by experience, he had found in other places that forestalling and engrossing had been very detrimental to the Continental Troops; and that, in some instances, it had been found very necessary to prevent the same by military force or directions; and that he requested the advice of the Committee what might be proper on this head.
The Committee took the matters aforesaid respectively into consideration, and thereupon,
Ordered, That the General Committee of the City of New-York be requested to convene without delay, and, by an appointment of sub-Committees for the purpose, or by such other methods as they shall think proper, to fix on so many Houses for Barracks, for the reception of Troops, as will contain, together with those now in the City, twelve thousand men; that the said General Committee be informed that the Provincial Congress, in the time of their last session, have procured the Dwelling-House, Barn, and Stable, where John Fowler did lately dwell, on the hill beyond fresh water, for Hospitals; and that the said General Committee be requested to fix on other proper Houses for Hospitals, so that the whole may be capable of containing eight hundred men, and also proper Houses for four hundred convalescents; that they be also requested to fix on Stables to contain one hundred Horses belonging to the Army.
And Ordered, That the said General Committee be further requested to appoint one or more sub-Committees, to take the names of all Inn-keepers and Retailers of strong liquors in this City and its environs, with the description of the streets or places of their abode, (distinguishing those who are licensed from those who are not,) and to send such list of Inn-keepers and Retailers of strong liquors to this Committee, with all convenient speed.
Ordered, That Colonel Lott and Mr. Prince be a Committee to inquire for and designate proper Sheds for Wagons in this City, and to report thereon.
The Committee of Safety then took into consideration the great expense that would arise should the Continental Troops, or any persons on their behalf, be subjected to the payment of Ferriage, and are of opinion that any benefit of that kind could not have been an object with or expected by the tenants of the Ferries at the times they respectively took . their leases; that therefore it will be no injustice to the tenants of the Ferries that the Continental Troops should pass and repass the rivers without any emolument to the tenants or keepers of the Ferries.
Thereupon Ordered, That Colonel Mifflin be at liberty to hire, purchase, build, or procure as many Ferry-Boats, or craft of any kind, for the use of the Continental Army, as he may think proper, and that the Continental Troops be at liberty to pass and repass the rivers in such Boats without being subject to any Ferriage or Toll; and Colonel Mifflin is requested to give such order that none but Continental Troops, or those employed in some military business or department, may be permitted to pass in the Boats to be provided for the Army.
The Committee then took into consideration Colonel Mifflins proposal to fix the price of Fire-wood in this City; and thereupon agreed that it ought not, for the present, to be at any higher price than twenty-two Shillings per cord for Oakwood, to be corded by the sworn Inspectors on Carmens carts in the usual manner; and that Colonel Mifflin may advertise that he will give that price for all the Oakwood which he can purchase in this City before 1st day of May next.
On the subject that there is danger of forestalling and engrossing, which might enhance the markets, to the detriment of the Army, Colonel Mifflin was informed by the Committee of Safety that the By-Laws of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of this City, and the legal modes of punishing forestallers and engrossers, if duly put in execution, will, it is hoped, be a proper check, and prevent any inconveniences of that kind; but that if these should prove insufficient, some remedy may then be provided.
Colonel Mifflin was further informed that the General himself, or some of the military gentlemen, will be the most proper persons to determine in what part or parts of the town the Provost or Main Guards ought to be kept, and which of the Houses in or near these places that are emptied and allotted for the use of the Army, may be most proper for, and with the least injury be, converted into Guard-Houses.
The Committee being informed that it is scarce possible to provide empty Houses or Barracks for the reception of the Troops already arrived in this City; that many of them are now so crowded in small rooms that it is not only inconvenient but dangerous to the health of the Troops; that there is no probability of procuring Barracks, or empty Houses for the Troops speedily expected, as the Officer, whose proper department it is, has requested of this Committee a provision of that kind for twelve thousand men within eight days; the Committee were further informed that there are at present very few, if any, students in the College in this City; that it is a strong edifice, and finished in such manner as to be very little injured by the reception of Troops.
Therefore Ordered, That the Governours of the College in this City be requested to remove the College Library, and every other matter in that building which might receive injury,