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have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal Government and Police of this Province.
Resolved, unanimously, That it is the opinion of this Convention that this Convention hath ample power to draw the whole force of this Province into action, against the armed force that is or may be employed to carry into execution the several unconstitutional and oppressive Acts of the British Parliament for laying Taxes in America, to enforce the collection of those Taxes, and for altering and changing the Constitution and internal Police of some of the United Colonies.
Resolved, unanimously, That this Province hath hitherto exerted itself, and will, upon all occasions, continue to exert itself, with cheerfulness and alacrity, in the common cause, agreeable to the faith pledged in the union of the Colonies: and if it shall appear to this Province necessary to enter into a further compact with the other Colonies, for the preservation of the constitutional rights of America, this Province will enter into such further engagement for that purpose.
Resolved, unanimously, That this Convention, by a resolution of the 15th day of this instant, hath made sufficient provision to prevent a necessity for any person within this Province now taking the oaths for the support of Government under the Crown of Great Britain, and that it is the opinion of this Convention that it is not necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the said Crown should be now totally suppressed in this Province, and all the powers of Government exerted under the authority of the People.
Resolved, That the Honourable Matthew Tilghman, Esq., and Thomas Johnson, Jun., Robert Alexander, Samuel Chase, Robert Goldsborough, William Paca, Thomas Stone, and John Rogers, Esquires, Deputies, now re-elected by ballot to represent this Province in Congress, be, and they or any three or more of them are, empowered to represent this Province in Congress until the end of the next session of Convention, as fully as they might, until the end of this session of Convention, have done the same under their former appointment.
Resolved, unanimously, That as this Convention is firmly persuaded that a reunion with Great Britain on constitutional principles would most effectually secure the rights and liberties, and increase the strength and promote the happiness of the whole Empireobjects which this Province hath ever had in viewthe said Deputies are bound and directed to govern themselves by the Instructions given to them by this Convention, in its session of December last, in the same manner as if the said Instructions were particularly repeated.
Agreeable to the Order of the Day, the Convention proceeded to take into consideration the Petition of Lieutenant Uriah Forrest, preferred on behalf of himself and Lieutenants William Sprigg Bowie and Benjamin Brooks, setting forth that, from the conduct of their Captain, John Gunby, of the Second Independent Company, of regular troops, they had cause to suspect his zeal for the rights and liberties of America, and praying to be removed from said Company. And on hearing and considering the proofs and allegations offered, as well by the Petitioners as the said John Gunby,
Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Convention that the said Captain John Gunby, far from having given any just cause to suspect his zeal for the rights and liberties of America, hath, by his conduct, manifested a laudable zeal in defence of the rights and liberties of America in general, and this Province in particular.
Resolved therefore, That the said Petition be rejected.
Mr. Bond has leave of absence for a few days.
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, being read,
Ordered, That the same be referred for further consideration till to-morrow.
The Order of the Day, for taking into consideration the Proceedings of the Committee of Calvert County, on the complaint of Joseph Wilkinson against James Weems, was referred for consideration till to-morrow.
Convention adjourns till to-morrow morning, nine oclock.
Wednesday, May 22, 1776.
Convention met. All Members present as on yesterday, except Mr. Potter. The Proceedings of yesterday were read.
The Committee for that purpose appointed, bring in and deliver to Mr. President, a Report on the proposals of Henry Hollingsworth to manufacture Gun-barrels; also a Report on the terms offered by Elisha Winters, of Chestertown, in Kent County, to manufacture Fire-Arms; which were severally read, and ordered to lie on the table.
The Proceedings of the Committee of Baltimore County, on the conduct of Alexander McGee; a Petition from Joseph Renshaw, of Baltimore County; and a Petition from the Freeholders and Associators of Sassafras-Neck, Cecil County, were severally read, and ordered to He on the table.
The Convention, taking into consideration the Resolutions of Saturday last, on the charge against Samuel Purviance, Jun., of Baltimore Town,
Resolved, That Samuel Purviance, Jun., be called before this Convention, and be informed by Mr. President of the Resolutions had on Saturday last on the articles of charge against him; and further, that this Convention highly disapprove and condemn his conduct in usurping the power to direct the operations of the military force of this Province, and in using his character of Chairman, and engaging the countenance and promising the protection and indemnity of the Committee, without the orders of the Committee, assembled as such. That it appears to this Convention that the said Samuel Purviance, in his usurpation of the power to direct the military force of this Province, was considerably influenced by a person not residing in this Province, nor having any interest or property therein, and that it would be of the most dangerous tendency to the peace of this Province, and to the safety and security of the good people thereof, to suffer any person or persons, other than those entrusted with the proper authority by this Province, and more especially such as do not reside nor have any interest therein, to interfere in the direction of the internal affairs, civil or military, of said Province. That this Convention hath no intention or desire to prevent any person from freely examining into the conduct of the Convention, or any other publick body within this Province, or into the conduct of any individuals thereof, or to exercise his judgment, or to communicate his sentiments as to the abilities or fitness of any man to fill the office to which he is appointed. That it is necessary, for the purpose of filling the places of highest trust with the best and most approved characters in the community, and for the preservation of publick liberty, that there should be such free investigations. But that it is equally necessary for maintaining order, that the publick bodies should not be wantonly and licentiously traduced by misrepresentations of them and their conduct, to those especially who stand high in the present system of authority or command in America. That if the representations of the said Samuel Purviance concerning the Convention and Council of Safety to the President of the Congress and General Lee were true, such representations could not be serviceable to the publick, because neither the President of the Congress nor General Lee could displace, nor could properly have any influence towards displacing any individual of either of those bodies, however unequal he might be to his publick station; but that such representations being indeed false, the calumny might have proved highly prejudicial to the cause of America in general, and to this Province in particular.
That this Convention are therefore of opinion, that justice would well warrant a more exemplary punishment to be inflicted on the said Samuel Purviance for his said misdoings; but that, in consideration of his active zeal in the common cause, and in expectation that he will hereafter conduct himself with more respect to the publick bodies necessarily entrusted with power, mediately or immediately, by the people of this Province, and will be more attentive to propriety, this Convention hath resolved that the said Samuel Purviance for his said conduct be censured and reprimanded, and that Mr. President do from the chair censure and reprimand him accordingly, and that he be thereupon discharged.
And thereupon the said Samuel Purviance, Jun., being