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for the use of the Array in Canada; and that General Woosters note be taken up and cancelled.
Resolved, That this Congress will, on Monday next, resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole, to take into consideration the trade of the United Colonies; and that sundry motions offered by the Members from Massachusetts-Bay, Maryland, and Virginia, be referred to said Committee.
Adjourned to ten oclock, on Monday.
Monday, March 25, 1776,
Sundry Letters were laid before Congress, and read:
One from General Washington, of the 19th, wherein he informs Congress that, on the 17th, the enemy evacuated Boston, and our Troops took possession of it;
One from General Schuyler, of the 12th;
One from Lord Stirling, of the 21st; and
One from the Committee of Safety of New-Jersey.
Resolved, That the thanks of this Congress, in their own name, and in the name of the Thirteen United Colonies, whom they represent, be presented to his Excellency General Washington, and the Officers and Soldiers under his command, for their wise and spirited conduct in the siege and acquisition of Boston; and that a Medal of gold be struck in commemoration of this great event, and presented to his Excellency; and that a Committee of three be appointed to prepare a letter of thanks, and a proper device for the Medal.
The Members chosen, Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Jay, and Mr. Hopkins.
Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed to confer with Mr. Dugan and Colonel Ritzema,
The Members chosen, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Allen.
Resolved, That 20,000 Dollars be advanced to the Delegates of Virginia, for the use of the Battalions in that Colony; the said Delegates to account for the expenditure thereof.
The Committee appointed to take into consideration the state of the Colonies in the Southern Department, brought in their Report, which was read, as follows:
That it appears highly probable that a very considerable force will be exerted in, that department by our enemies early in the spring; that the Continental forces employed in South-Carolina and Virginia, respectively, cannot prudently be solely relied on for the defence of those Colonies; that notwithstanding South-Carolina and Virginia are at a very great separate expense in armed vessels, rendered absolutely necessary by the situation and circumstances of those countries; that the Militia of South-Carolina are obliged to perform a very laborious duty, which, from the smallness of their number, and the consequent quick rotation, is excessively burdensome; and that the Colony of Virginia, in addition to the six Continental Battalions already there, have resolved to raise, and are now imbodying, three other Battalions.
Whereupon the Congress came to the following Resolutions:
Resolved, That the Convention or Council of Safety of South-Carolina be permitted to raise and imbody two other Battalions, and that they be on the pay and at the expense of the Continent, as soon as they shall be armed fit for service, and accordingly mustered.
That the three Colonial Battalions of Virginia be also on the pay and at the expense of the Continent, as soon as they shall be armed fit for service, and accordingly mustered.
The Committee aforesaid further reported: That the Council of Safety of Virginia hath contracted for the subsistence of the Third Battalion in that Colony, at six Pence half-Penny a ration; of the Fifth, at eight Pence; and of the Second, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth, at seven Pence half-Penny a ration.
Whereupon, Resolved, That those Contracts be confirmed.
Resolved, That a Deputy Mustermaster-General be appointed for the Southern Department.
The ballots being taken and examined, Edmund Randolph, Esquire, was elected.
Resolved, That E. Randolph, Esq., be empowered to appoint two Deputy Mustermasters under him; one for North-Carolina, and the other for South-Carolina and Georgia.
Resolved, That the Order of the Day be postponed.
The Congress then took into consideration the Report of the Committee on the ways and means of supplying the Troops in Canada with Provisions and necessaries.
Whereupon, Resolved, That General Schuyler be directed to take such order respecting the supplies of Provisions necessary for the Troops in Canada, as he may deem expedient.
The Congress, being of opinion that the reduction of Quebeck, and the general security of the Province of Canada, are objects of great concern,
Ordered, That General Washington be directed to detach four Battalions into Canada, from the Army under his command, as soon as he shall be of opinion that the safety of New-York and the Eastern service will permit.
Adjourned to ten oclock, to-morrow.
Tuesday, March 26, 1776.
The Congress being informed that Mr. Ward, one of the Delegates of Rhode-Island, departed this life yesterday,
Resolved, That this Congress will, in a body, attend the Funeral of Mr. Ward, to-morrow, with a Crape round the arm; and that the Congress continue in mourning for the space of one month.
Resolved, That Mr. Hopkins, Mr. S. Adams, and Mr. Wolcott, be a Committee to superintend the Funeral; and that they be directed to apply to the Reverend Mr. Stillman, and request him to preach a Funeral Sermon on the occasion.
That the said Committee be directed to invite the Assembly and Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania, and other publick bodies in Philadelphia, to attend the Funeral.
Resolved, That the Privates of the Companies ordered from Maryland to Accomack and Northampton, in the Southern Department, be allowed the pay of the Privates; in that department, which is 62/3 Dollars per calendar month.
Resolved, That if the Convention or Council of Safety of North-Carolina shall judge it necessary for the common safety to raise one or two more Battalions, the same, when: armed, fit for service, and mustered, be taken into the pay of the Continent.
Resolved, That an Order be sent to Commodore Douglass immediately to repair to the Lakes, and take the command of the Vessels on that station.
Adjourned to ten oclock, on Thursday.
Thursday, March 28, 1776.
Resolved, That an Order be drawn on the Treasurers, in favour of William Barrel, of Philadelphia, for the sum of 20,000 Dollars, in full for Tent-Cloth, sent by him to Colonel Mifflin, for the use of the Army under the command of General Washington; the money being paid in consequence of the Generals Letter of the 13th; to be charged to the Account of the General.
Resolved, That the Marine Committee be empowered to purchase, on the most reasonable terms they can, the Ship Molly, for the use of the Continent, and to fit her out, with all possible expedition, to join Captain Barry, on his cruise along the Coast, between New-York and Virginia.
A Memorial of Mr. Thomas Walker was presented to Congress, and read.
Ordered, To lie on the table.
Two Letters, of the 27th, from the Committee of Safety of New-Jersey, were read.
Resolved, That the President return an Answer, and inform the Committee of Safety of New-Jersey that the Congress see no reason to alter or countermand, the Requisition of the 15th, and that, therefore, they be requested to expedite the march of the Troops to New-York, agreeable to the Requisition of the commanding officer.
The Congress proceeded to the election of a Colonel of the Third Battalion, ordered to be raised in the Colony of New-York; and, the ballots being taken, Rudolphus Ritzema was elected.
The Committee appointed to confer with Colonel Ritzema and Mr. Dugan, brought in their Report; which was read.