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Resolved, That the said Samuel Purviance, since the rising of the last Convention, hath usurped a power to direct the operations of the military force of this Province, at a time when the Council of Safety (to whom the same solely and properly belongs, in the recess of Convention) was sitting, and might, without inconvenience, have been applied to.
That the said Samuel Purviance, being (at the time of his writing the said Letter and giving the said Instructions) Chairman of the Committee of Baltimore County, did write the said Letter and give the said Instructions under colour of his said office of Chairman, and as if at the request of the said Committee; whereas the said Committee were not consulted thereon nor made acquainted therewith.
That the said Samuel Purviance, by writing and speaking, and particularly by a Letter by him written to the President of the Congress, some time about the middle of April last, hath unjustly represented the Convention and Council of Safety as irresolute and afraid to execute the trusts reposed in them, and endeavoured to draw a suspicion upon them of a want of spirit and zeal in the execution of their duty.
The Order of the Day, for taking into consideration the late intercepted Letters to Governour Eden, the Proceedings of the Continental Congress, and of the Council of Safety of this Province thereupon, being read,
Ordered, That the same be referred for further consideration till Monday next.
Convention adjourns till Monday morning, nine oclock.
Monday, May 20, 1776.
Convention met. All Members present as on Saturday, except Mr. Griffith, Mr. Currer, Mr. Letherbury, Mr. Tyler, and Mr. Lloyd. The Proceedings of Saturday were read.
Mr. Smith appeared in the House.
The Convention being informed that Elisha Winters, of Kent County, was willing to contract for the making a quantity of Fire-Arms for the publick,
Resolved, That the terms offered by the said Elisha Winters be referred to the Committee appointed to consider of the proposals of Henry Hollingsworth.
The President laid before the Convention a Letter from the Deputies of this Province in Congress, enclosing the following Resolution, to wit:
IN CONGRESS, May 15, 1776.Whereas his Britannick Majesty, in conjunction with the Lords and Commons of Great Britain, has, by a late Act of Parliament, excluded the inhabitants of these United Colonies from the protection of his Crown: And whereas no answer whatever to the humble Petitions of the Colonies for redress of grievances and reconciliation with Great Britain, has been, or is likely to be given, but the whole force of that Kingdom, aided by foreign mercenaries, is to be exerted for the destruction of the good People of these Colonies: And whereas it appears absolutely irreconcilable to reason and good conscience for the People of these Colonies now to take the oaths and affirmations necessary for the support of any government under the Crown of Great Britain; and it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the said Crown should be totally suppressed, and all the powers of Government exerted under the authority of the People of the Colonies, for the preservation of internal peace, virtue, and good order, as well as for the defence of their lives, liberties, and properties, against the hostile invasions and cruel depredations of their enemies:
Therefore Resolved, That it be recommended to the respective Assemblies and Conventions of the United Colonies, where no Government sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs has been hitherto established, to adopt such Government as shall, in the opinion of the Representatives of the People, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and America in general.
Extract from the Minutes:
CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.
Which was read; and thereupon
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to take the same into consideration, and report thereon.
And Mr. T. Johnson, Mr. Paca, Mr. Goldsborough, Mr. Hollyday, and Mr. Tilghman, were elected by ballot a Committee for that purpose.
The Proceedings of the Committee of Observation for Prince Georges County, on the 16th instant, were read, and ordered to lie on the table.
A Petition from the Merchants of Dorchester County, a Letter from John Hanson, Jun., of Frederick County, and a Petition from the Minute Company lately commanded by Captain William Henry, praying to be established a Company of Militia, under their late Officers, were severally read, and ordered to lie on the table.
Adjourned till three oclock.
Post Meridiem. Met according to adjournment.
Ordered, That the Muskets made and sent hither by Henry Yost and John Unsold, of Frederick County, in consequence of their respective contracts with the Council of Safety, on the 28th day of November and 14th of December last, be returned to them as unfit for service, and that they pay the expense of sending them here.
Mr. T. Johnson brings in and delivers to Mr. President a Report from the Committee appointed to consider of the Resolution of Congress of the 15th instant, and report thereon; which was read, and ordered to lie on the table.
Ordered, That the Committee of Claims estimate and report to the Convention a proper allowance to the Surgeons and Adjutant who attended the Minute Companies commanded by the Captains James Kent and William Henry, when ordered on duty to the assistance of Northampton and Accomack Counties, in Virginia.
Ordered, That the Petition of the Lieutenants Uriah Forrest, William Sprigg Bowie, and Benjamin Brooks, against Captain John Gunby, be postponed for consideration till to-morrow.
On reading a second time the Petition of the freemen belonging to the Twenty-Ninth Battalion, and considering the same,
Resolved, That it be dismissed.
On motion, Resolved, That the Council of Safety be empowered immediately to contract with proper persons to raise the Vessels lately sunk in Patapsco River for the preservation of Baltimore Town, and to rig and put those Vessels in the same state that they were before they were sunk. And the said Council of Safety, for the time being, be also empowered to appoint proper persons, (not less than three,) who, on oath, shall ascertain and return the difference of value, if any, of the same Vessels, occasioned by the sinking thereof. And that the said Council of Safety pay the expenses of raising the said Vessels, and putting them in order as aforesaid, out of the publick money, as well as any actual expenses incurred by the owners for wages and maintenance of the crews of the said Vessels, and a reasonable monthly allowance for the time the Vessels have been and shall be out of the possession and power of their owners.
The Order of the Day, for taking into consideration the late intercepted Letters to Governour Eden, the Proceedings of the Continental Congress, and the Council of Safety of this Province thereupon, being read,
Ordered, That the same be referred for further consideration till to-morrow.
Convention adjourns till to-morrow morning, nine oclock.
Tuesday, May 21, 1776.
Convention met. All Members present as on yesterday. The Proceedings of yesterday were read.
Mr. Tyler appeared in the House.
Ordered, That the Treasurer of the Western-Shore pay to Captain William Henry five hundred and forty-four Pounds fifteen Shillings and six Pence, to discharge the pay and subsistence of his Minute Company.
The Convention took into their consideration the Report from the Committee appointed to report on the Resolution of Congress of the 15th instant, and thereupon came to the following Resolutions:
Resolved, unanimously, That the People of this Province