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The secret committee having informed Congress that the Lexington was arrived at the port of Baltimore, with a number of sailors (prisoners) and a French gentleman, who was come to offer his service to Congress,
Resolved, That the marine committee be directed to take into consideration the case of sailors taken prisoners, and report thereon to Congress :
That the French gentleman, arrived in the Lexington, be referred for ex.. amination to general Gates.
The board of war, to whom the memorial of colonel Antil was referred, brought in a report, which was taken into consideration : Whereupon,
Resolved, That colonel Sanuel Patterson, at Christiana bridge, be authorized to muster such companies of colonel Hazen's battalion as shall march by that place in their way to Philadelphia ; and to deliver to such companies as many arms as they may have occasion for:
That Mr. Robert Dill be appointed pay-master to colonel Hazen's battalion. Resolved, That Mr. Sergeant and Mr. Wolcott be added to the marine committee, in the room of the members from New Jersey and Connecticut, who are absent.
Resolved, That general Washington be directed to propose an exchange of the six Hessian field-officers, taken at Trenton, for general Lee.
The several matters to this day referred, being postponed,
FRIDAY, January 3, 1777. A letter, of the 29th, from general Washington, at New-town; and one, of the 30th and 31st December, from Messrs. Morris, Clymer and Walton, were read:
Ordered, That the latter be referred to the committee on the letter from Mr. Kennon; and that two members be added to that committee, and that they meet, and proceed on the business, and report to Congress as soon as possible:
The members added, Mr. Sherman and Mr. Chase.
A letter, of this day, from major Ottendorf, was read, and referred to the board of war.
The delegates from Connecticut produced the credentials of their re-appointment, which were read as follows: “State of CONNECTICUT. At a General Assembly of the Governor and
Company of the State of Connecticut, in America, holden at New Haven, on the 2d řhursday of October, anno Domini 1776.
Resolved by this assembly, That Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, Eliphalet Dyer, Oliver Wolcott, Richard Law, and William Williams, esqrs. be, and they are hereby, appointed delegates to represent this state at the general Congress of the United States, in America, for the year ensuing: and, until new be chosen, any or either of them who shall be present in said Congress, are hereby fully authorized and empowered to represent this state in said Congress ; to consult, advise, and resolve upon measures necessary to be taken and pursued for the defence, security, and preservation of the rights and liberties of the said United States, and for their cominon safety. And of such their proceedings and resolves, they do transmit authentic copies, from time to time, to the general assembly of this state. “ A true copy of record, examined by
“GEORGE WYLLYS, Secretary.” Resolved, That general Washington be directed to propose and conclude with general Howe an agreement, whereby those who are or may be made prisoners by the enemy, may be supplied with provisions, and other necessaries, at the expense, or on the credit, of the United States.
Resolved, That general Washington be desired to offer, in exchange, ono of the Hessian field-officers, lately taken, for colonel Ethan Allen.
Resolved, That the treasurer be directed to pay to Joseph Trumbull, esq. commissary general, the sum of 300,000 dollars, by an order on such of the commissioners of the loan-offices in New-England, as shall be in cash at the time of the draught; the said coinmissary general to be accountable.
[Note. The president drew an order in favor of colonel Trumbull, On the commissioner of Massachusetts-Bay,
150,000 dollars, On the commissioner of Connecticut,
300,000 Whereas Congress hath received information that the honorable Richard Stockton, esq. of New-Jersey, and a member of this Congress, hath been made a prisoner by the enemy, and that he hath been ignominiously thrown into a common gaol, and there detained ;
Resolred, That general Washington be directed to make immediate enquiry into the truth of this report, and if he finds reason to believe it well founded, that he send a flag to general Howe, remonstrating against this departure from that humane procedure which has marked the conduct of these states to prisoners, who have fallen into their hands; and to know of general Howe, whether he chooses this shall be the future rule for treating all such, on both sides, as the fortune of war may place in the hands of either party.
Resolved, That Dr. Brownson and Dr. Elmer be added to the medical committee.
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to revise the articles of war, and report what additions and alterations ought, in their opinion, to be made therein :
The members elected, Mr. Heyward, Mr. F. L. Lee, and Mr. Clark.
SATURDAY, January 4, 1777. Ordered, That the hearing and determining upon the appeal against the sentence on the libel, “ John Craig, versus brig Richmond, &c.” be referred to the committee appointed on the 27th of November last, to hear and determine an appeal ; and that Mr. Sergeant and Mr. Ellery be added to the said committee, in the room of Mr. Wythe and Mr. Paine.
Resolved, That Benjamin Brannon be appointed a signer of the continental bills of credit.
The committee appointed to repair to the army, brought in a report, which was read, and referred to the medical committee.
Resolved, That Gerard Hopkins, son of Richard, be appointed a deputy quarter-master.
Resolved, That an auditor of accounts be appointed in the room of Thomas Smith, esq. who is appointed a commissioner of the loan-office for the state of Pennsylvania; and, the ballots being taken,
Samuel Downe, esq. was elected.
MONDAY, January 6, 1777. A letter, of the 1st, from general Washington ; one, of the 2d and 3d, from the committee of Congress, in Philadelphia; one, of the 1st, from W. Palfrey to Richard Peters, secretary at war; one, of the same date, from Mr. Palfrey to Congress ; one, of the 31st of December, from Carpenter Wharton ; one of the 3d, from general Putnam, with a letter to him enclosed from adjutant general Reed; and one, of the 4th, from George Morgan, with sundry papers enclosed, were read:
Ordered, That the letters from Mr. Palfrey be referred to the board of treasury.
Resolved, That 70,000 dollars be advanced to Joseph Pennel, for the purpose of laying up magazines of provisions, and charged to the account of Carpenter Wharton ; and that Mr. Pennel be directed, in making the purchase, so to conduct himself, as not to bid upon others purchasing for the continent.
Ordered, That the letter from George Morgan, with the papers enclosed, be referred to a committee of three :
The members chosen, Mr. R. H. Lee, Mr. S. Adams, and Mr. Thornton, who are directed to confer with Mr. Morgan.
Resolved, That the committee on general Schuyler's letters be authorized to employ persons to contract with the owners of founderies for a sufficien quantity of cannon, for the fortresses at or near Ticonderoga.
Resolved, That the board of war be directed to send an express, to hasten the march of colonel Mackay's battalion, and the troops who have joined him, to Philadelphia, or to general Washington's army; and also to send an express, to hasten up the light-horse from Virginia, desiring the commanding officer not to delay their march on account of any prisoners he may have with him; but, leaving them in some secure place, to proceed with his troops, with all possible despatch, by forced marches, to join general Washington.
Resolved, That the president of the council of Massachusetts-Bay be desired to administer an oath to Samuel Downe, esq. one of the commissioners for adjusting the accounts of the army, under the command of general Washington, for the faithful discharge of his duty, and give him a certificate thereof.
Congress being informed that major-general Lee hath, since his captivity, been committed to the custody of the provost, instead of being enlarged on bis parole, according to the humane practice that has taken place with officers of the enemy who have fallen into the hands of the American troops; a treatment totally unworthy of that gentleman's eminent qualifications, and his rank in the service of these United States, and strongly indicative of farther injuries to his person:
Resolved, That general Washington be directed to send a flag to general Howe, and inform him, that, should the proffered exchange of general Lee for six Hessian field-officers not be accepted, and the treatment of him, as above mentioned, be continued, the principles of retaliation shall occasion five of the said Hessian field-officers, together with lieutenant-colonel Archibald Campbell, or any other officers that are, or shall be, in our possession, equivalent in number or quality, to be detained, in order that the same treatment which general Lee shall receive, may be exactly inflicted upon their persons.
Ordered, That a copy of the above resolution be transmitted to the council of Massachusetts-Bay, and that they be desired to detain lieutenantcolonel Campbell, and keep him in safe custody till the farther order of Congress; and that a copy be also sent to the committee of Congress, in Philadelphia; and that they be desired to have the prisoners, officers and privates, lately taken, properly secured in some safe place.
Resolved, That two months' pay be advanced to the seamen who will engage to serve on board the continental frigate Virginia, the same to be deducted out of their share of the prizes taken by the said frigate.
The medical committee brought in a report, which was read:
TUESDAY, January 7, 1777. A letter, of the 6th, from J. F. C. Lignet, was read, and referred to the medical committee.
A petition from Elizabeth Garvin was read, and referred to the delegates of Maryland.
Resolred, That the delegates of Maryland and Mr. Witherspoon be a committee to consider the case of the prisoners in Baltimore.
Resolved, That two months' pay be advanced to the men on board the Lexington, as a gratuity for their services, in rescuing from the enemy, and bringing in, the Lexington.
The committee of treasury reported, that there should be advanced to Mr. John Doughty, for his expenses in conveying loan-office certificates from Hartford to the several commissioners of the loan-offices in New-England, the sum of 106.60 dollars; he to be accountable :
That there should be advanced to Richard Dorsey and Larkin Dorsey, to purchase horses, and for their expenses as an escort to John Doughty, with loan-office certificates to New-England, the sum of 400 dollars; they to be accountable.
The several matters to this day referred, being postponed,
WEDNESDAY, January 8, 1777. A letter, of the 5th, from the committee of Congress in Philadelphia, was tead :
Resolved, That gen. Washington be directed to propose to general Howe, an exchange of lieutenant-colonel Gezeau, a French gentleman taken with general Lee, and said to be then on his journey to solicit a commission from Congress, for an officer of equal rank, or take such other measures as shall be effectual to obtain his release.
The committee of treasury laid before Congress a farther list of persons recommended by the treasurer to sign the bills of credit, who were approved of, and are as follows: William Gibson, John Philpot, Richard Johırs, Robert Dorsey, and Mark Alexander.
The committee appointed to take into consideration a letter from William Kennon to general Lee, relative to magazines of provisions laid up by the said William Kennon, in the states of South-Carolina and Georgia, as it is said, by order of general Lee, brought in a report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon,
Resolved, That it be recommended to the president of the state of SouthCarolina, and to the president of the state of Georgia, to appoint proper persons to enquire what quantity of provisions have been stored by William Kennon for the public use, agreeable to engagements made with general Lee; and that they take such provisions off Mr. Kennon's hands, allowing him the price thereof, if they judge it reasonable, with an adequate recompense
for his trouble and expenses ; that they fulfil any engagements he may be under, by having pledged his credit, they receiving the provisions for which such engagements have been made. That the presidents of the said states also appoint commissaries to remove such provisions as are fit for use, to places of safety, and to make returns, as soon as may be, of the quantity and cost thereof: that the presidents of those states also certify to the continental treasury-office, the amount of the said William Kennon's demand against the continent, and that it be paid to the said William Kennon accordingly, or to any other applying in his behalf, properly empowered for that purpose.
The committee, to whom the letter of George Morgan was referred, brought in a report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon,
Resolved, That, pursuing the idea of Congress for quickly reinforcing the army, the governor of Virginia be desired, by a letter from Mr. President, to order col. Wood's and the West-Augusta battalions to march immediately by the nearest routs to join gen. Washington in New Jersey ; leaving recruiting officers behind to complete the battalions, if they are not already full, and to follow on with their recruits :
That for the defence of the western-frontiers of Virginia against Indian incursions, the forts Pitt and Randolph be each garrisoned at continental expense, with a company of 100 men, conimanded by one captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, and the usual inferior non-commissioned officers :
That the governor and council of Virginia appoint and commissionate, with continental commissions, the proper officers to recruit and command said companies, and that the men be inlisted during the war:
That provision for 2000 men, six months, be laid in at Fort-Pitt, to be in readiness, if it should become necessary, to chastise Indian irruptions, by going to their towns :
That 100 bushels of salt be ordered by the secret committee from the continental stock, for the purpose of curing said provisions :
That as many boats and proper vessels be procured, as may be sufficient for conveying 1500 men, with their provisions, from Pittsburg, to Hockhocking; and that they be kept in readiness at Pittsburg:
That the goods mentioned in Mr. Morgan's letter, be purchased, and brought down to this place immediately, except the powder and lead, which may remain at Pittsburg, for public use in that quarter:
That the sum of 4500 dollars be advanced to Mr. Morgan on account, for the following uses, viz. For expenses incurred by order of the commissioners,
8 600 For contingent expenses of his department until June next,
600 Various charges and expenses in transporting goods,
600 For purchasing provisions and casks for pucking, &c.
4500 That Mr. Morgan be authorized to draw a bill on the president of Congress, for the amount of the goods already mentioned, which he estimates at 4 or 5000 dollars :
That Mr. Morgan have the rank and pay of a colonel on the continental establishment:
That John Fernee be paid the sum of 50 dollars, for a wagon-horse, stolen from him by the Seneca Indians, as he returned from the late treaty at Pittsburg:
That colonel Morgan appoint a proper person deputy-commissary, for providing and taking care of the provisions for the garrisons upon the western-frontiers of Virginia, and to take care of the provisions and other continental stores, laid up at those places, for Indian expeditions, and other public purposes; and the said commissary is directed to receive the provisions, and fulfil the contracts made by the government of Virginia, for victualling and supporting said western garrisons :
The committee of treasury report, that there is due,
To Peter Galloway, for riding express to Frederick and Annapolis, in Maryland, the sum of 13.30 dollars :
To John Biddle, for furnishing provisions to men, women and children, prisoners, at Reading, 333.80 dollars :
They farther report, that they have examined the accounts of Robert Jewell, for the maintenance of prisoners in the new gaol of Philadelphia, and for the salary of himself and two assistants, &c. amounting, in the whole, to 1783.57 dollars ; of which he has received the president's warrant for 500 dollars; and that there remains a balance due to him of 1283.57 dollars :