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TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 1781.
A report from the Board of Treasury was read; Whereupon,
TREASURY OFFICE March 19th 1781 The Board of Treasury have had under their consideration the Letter of the Honble Thomas Smith Esq? read in Congress the 16th instant, and referred to this Board.
They are of opinion from enquiry into the facts that M: Smith has given a just and true representation of them-That the warrant for thirty thousand dollars said to have been obtained in August last for the repayment of the money borrowed by him remains in the hands of the Quarter Master unpaid from there not having been money in the Treasury to pay and discharge the same; and that Mr Smith has received no payment, as was intended by the said warrant—That considering the circumstances of this claim by Mr Smith the Board are of opinion his demand of the new money at forty for one in payment is reasonable, and should be complied with which is submitted to Congress, with the following Resolution:
Ordered, That a warrant issue on Thomas Smith, commissioner of the loan office for the State of Pensylvania, in favour of Charles Pettit, assistant quartermaster general, on account of Nath' Greene, late quartermaster general, for seven hundred and fifty dollars new emission, to enable him to repay that sum to Thomas Smith, Esq., of Bedford County, in the State of Pensylvania, for money advanced by him heretofore for the quartermaster department, for which sum the said late quartermaster general is to be accountable; and
That the said assistant quartermaster general be authorised to apply the money arising from the warrant in his favour upon the treasurer, for thirty thousand dollars, dated 30th of August last, to the most pressing purposes of that department.
TREASURY OFFICE, March 16th, 1781. The Board of Treasury, having considered the Letter from Charles Pettit, Esq., Assistant Quartermaster General, dated the 13 inst. inclosing a letter of the 7th together with an Estimate of Money necessary for the Quartermaster General's Department in the State of New Jersey from John Neilson Deputy Quartermaster for said State approved by the Board of War, beg leave to report,
* This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 136, V, folio 179.
That a warrant issue on Joseph Borden, commissioner of the continental loan office for the State of New Jersey, in favour of Charles Pettit, assistant quartermaster general, on account of Colonel Timothy Pickering, quartermaster general, for sixty-one thousand nine hundred and eighty dollars of the old new emission, for the use of the quartermaster's department in New Jersey, and for which sum the said Colonel Timothy Pickering, quartermaster general, is to be accountable.1
The report of the committee appointed to prepare a recommendation to these states, to set apart a day of humiliation and prayer was taken into consideration; and thereupon
The United States in Congress assembled, agreed to the following proclamation:
In times of calamity and imponding-dangor-whon-sevindietivo onomy pursues-with-unrelenting-fury-a-war-of-rapine-and-devastation-to-reduee-us by fire-and-sword, by the-savages of the wilderness and our own-domesties-to-the-most-abjeet-and-ignominious-bondage; it becomes the-indespensible-duty of the citizens of these-United States with true penitenes of heart publiely-to-aeknowledge the-over-ruling Providence of God, te-confess our offenees against him, and to supplieate-his-graeious interposition for averting the threatened-danger and preparing our efforts in the defence and preservation-of-our-injured country.
At all times it is our duty to acknowledge the over-ruling providence of the great Governor of the universe, and devoutly to implore his divine favour and protection. But in the hour of calamity and impending danger, when by fire and the sword, by the savages of the wilderness, and by our own domestics, a vindictive enemy pursues a war of rapine
1 This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 136, V, folio 177.
and devastation, with unrelenting fury, we are peculiarly excited, with true penitence of heart, to prostrate ourselves before our great Creator, and fervently to supplicate his gracious interposition for our deliverance.
The United States in Congress assembled, therefore do earnestly recommend, that Thursday the third day of May next, may be observed as a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer, that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and through the merits of our blessed Saviour, obtain pardon and forgiveness: that it may please him to inspire our rulers with wisdom and uncorruptible integrity, and to direct and prosper their councils: to inspire all our citizens with a fervent and disinterested love of their country, and to preserve and strengthen their union: to turn the hearts of the disaffected, or to frustrate their devices: to regard with divine compassion our friends in captivity, affliction and distress, to comfort and relieve them under their sufferings, and to change their mourning into grateful songs of triumph: that it may please him to bless our ally, and to render the connection formed between these United States and his kingdoms a mutual and lasting benefit to both nations: to animate our officers and forces by sea and land with invincible fortitude, and to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown our joint endeavours for terminating the calamities of war with victory and success: that the blessings of peace and liberty may be established on an honourable and permanent basis, and transmitted inviolate to the latest posterity: that it may please him to prosper our husbandry and commerce, and to bless us with health and plenty: that it may please him to bless all schools and seminaries of learning, and to grant that truth, justice and benevolence, and pure and undefiled religion, may universally prevail.
And it is recommended to all the people of these states, to assemble for public worship, and abstain from labour on the said day. A report from the Board of War was read; Whereupon,
WAR OFFICE, 20 March 1781
The Board beg leave to represent that in obedience to the orders of Congress they have drawn a warrant on the Pay Master General in favor of Lt. Skinner of Lt Col: Lee's partizan corps for eight hundred and fifty seven dollars in the new bills. The pay master hath this moment informed the Board he hath no money in his hand, to pay the warrant. All the money he has is appropriated for the payment of the Baron D'Arandt by express order of Congress. The waggons are nearly all loaded with the cloathing for Lt Col. Lees Corps which is under Lt Skinners care, and the Board know of no way that the aforesaid sum can be obtained immediately unless Congress should think proper to order payment to be made out of the moneys in the Paymaster General's hands, in which case it may be proper to resolve,
Ordered, That the Board of War take order for the discharge of Lieutenant Skinner's warrant, any former orders of Congress to the paymaster general notwithstanding.?
There being no entry made on the Journal after the yeas and nays taken yesterday, to shew in what manner the question was decided; it being alleged that the report upon which the question was taken, involved a point for the determination of which the assent of nine states was necessary; it was moved that immediately after the yeas and nays taken yesterday, be entered the following words, “so it was resolved in the affirmative." On the question to agree to this, the yeas
nays being required by Mr. [Thomas] Burke,
i This report, in the writing of James Duane, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 24, folio 459.
2 This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 148, I, folio 331.
ay } *
Mr. Bland, Mr. Varnum,
M. Smith, Connecticut,
North Carolina, Mr. Huntington, ay
South Carolina, New York,
Mr. Mathews, Mr. Duane,
ay Mr. Montgomery,
no | no Clymer,
The letter, of 13, from R. Morris, was taken into consideration, when a motion was made by Mr. [Thomas] Burke, seconded by Mr. (John) Mathews,
That Congress do not require Mr. Morris to dissolve any commercial connection which he shall have formed previous to his taking upon him the office of superintendant of the finances of the United States of America:
On the question to agree to this, the yeas and nays being required by Mr. [Samuel] Adams, New Hampshire,
no } *
ay Mr. Adams,
ay } no
ay ay Connecticut,
ay Mr. Huntington,