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On the 27th in pursuance of a resolution sometime before laid before Congress, they proceeded to the establishment of a board of War, consisting of Major General Gates, as President, Major General Mifflin, Colonel Timothy Pickering, Colonel Joseph Trumbull, and Richard Peters, Esq. and granting permission to General Gates to officiate at the board or in the field, as occasion might require. To this board, Brigadier General Wilkinson was made Secretary.
The conduct of Mr. Silas Deane, one of the commissioners to the Court of France, had on many occasions been such as to excite the resentment of Congress. His unauthorised contracts with individuals of France, had more than once led them into considerable embarrassment, and it now became necessary to the support of their authority, that he should be recalled. At the time that Monsieur du Coudray had presented himself before Congress, claiming appointments for himself and fifty others, under the stipulations of Mr. Deane, a motion was made for his recall, which did not prevail. In September another motion to the same effect, bottomed upon a report of the committee of foreign affairs, was introduced; but the terms of it being considered as too harsh, another was substituted on the 21st of November, in the following words— "Resolved, that Silas Deane Esq. be recalled from the Court of France, and that the committee of foreign affairs be directed to take proper measures for speedily communicating the pleasure of Congress herein to Mr. Deane and the other Commissioners of the United States at the Court of France."-On the 27th, John Adams was chosen to supply his place.
A blameable tenderness for the reputation of Mr. Deane, and a want of proper respect to themselves,
produced a trifling on this subject, unworthy of the representatives of an independent people. The naked recall of Mr. Deane, as above recorded, was on the 8th of December softened down into the following resolution. "Whereas it is of the greatest importance, that Congress should at this critical conjuncture, be well informed of the state of affairs in Europe; and whereas Congress have resolved that the hon. Silas Deane Esq. be recalled from the Court of France, and have appointed another Commissioner to supply his place there: Ordered, that the committee for foreign affairs write to the hon. Silas Deane Esq. and direct him to embrace the first opportunity of returning to America, and upon his arrival to repair with all possible despatch to Congress." Thus they endeavoured to make it appear, that Mr. Deane was brought home for the purpose of giving them correct informa tion of the state of affairs in Europe.
On the 18th of December General Conway, who had been for some time urging to Congress the propriety of appointing inspectors of the army, was made Inspector General, with the rank of Major General in the army. This unexpected promotion gave great and general offence to the officers of the army, all the Brigadiers of which remonstrated against it in strong terms. They accused him of originating an intrigue to remove Washington from the command. This accusation was founded upon some expressions which Conway had used in a letter to General Gates, reflecting on the conduct of the Commander in Chief, and a copy of which had by some unknown means been communicated to the army. Conway was an old man and an old soldier, sufficiently vain to think himself better qualified than any other person to manage the
affairs of the army, but it is hardly probable he had any hope or design to effect a removal of Washington, by reflecting on what he considered the weakness of his measures. Whatever were his intentions, however, it is plain from the universal clamour which his appointment created, that he could have found but few persons to second his views.
The great and growing depreciation of the paper currency of the United States, began now to be most seriously felt. The Congress were unable to procure the most necessary articles for the army without an advance of from a thousand to eighteen hundred per cent. on the nominal amount of their bills; and so low was the publick credit, that no purchases could be made without the cash advance. In this situation they instructed their Commissioners at the foreign courts to endeavour to obtain a loan of two millions sterling, on the pledge of the "faith of the thirteen United States;" and were compelled in the mean time to recommend to the Legislatures of the several States the enaction of laws authorising the seizure of goods which they were unable to purchase on the terms demanded by the holders. This was a high handed measure, but perhaps the only remedy for the desperate circumstances of the country.
On the 15th of November Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation which had been reported on the 12th of July, 1776, as follows:
Articles of confederation and perpetual union, between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusett's Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
"Article 1. The style of this confederacy shall be "The United States of America."
Article 2. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.
Article 3. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their liberties and their mutual and general welfare: binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.
Article 4. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this union, the free inhabitants of each of these States (paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from justice excepted) shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States, and the people of each state shall have free ingress and egress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State to any other State, of which the owner is an inhabitant provided also, that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any state on the property of the United States or either of them.
If any person guilty of or charged with treason, felony or other high misdemeanour in any State, shall
flee from justice and be found in any of the United States, he shall upon demand of the Governour or executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offence.
Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other State.
Article 5. For the more convenient management of the general interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the Legislature of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November in every year, with a power reserved to each State to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the year.
No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor by more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any person being a delegate be capable of holding any office under the United States, for which he or any other for his benefit, receives any salary, fees, or emolument of any kind.
Each State shall maintain its own delegates in any meeting of the States, and while they act as members of the Committees of the States.
In determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each State shall have one vote.
Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Congress; and the members of Congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and impris