« ForrigeFortsett »
Ordered, That the memorial of Captain Bedkin which was read on the 21 of March last, so far as it respects the recruits, be referred to the Board of War to take order:
On that part of the Memorial that relates to the pay of Captain Bedkin's Troops, the Board beg leave to observe that they are no farther in arrears than the Army in general, that they are cantoned at Bristol and not on actual duty. But should Congress be of opinion that the hardships they suffer on account of their belonging to no particular State, and of course receive no extra supplies is a sufficient inducement to advance a Sum of Money on Account, it may be proper to Resolve
That the Board of War draw a warrant on the paymaster general in favour of Captain Bedkin, of Colonel Armand's legion, for two months' pay for himself and troop, amounting to five hundred and six dollars and two-thirds of a dollar, in bills of the new emission on account.
NB Previous to granting any Money on Reports from this Board, we think it our duty to inform Congress, that it will be absolutely necessary to advance the Quarter Master General some Money to enable him to equip the first division of the Pennsylvania Line, that they may begin their March from York Town on the first day of April which General St Clair informs is the time fixed.
The committee to whom was referred the letter, of March 16, 1780, from the honble Doctor Franklin, delivered in a report.
According to order, the Board of Admiralty laid before Congress a draught of instructions to the captains of private armed vessels, which was read:
Ordered, That it be referred to a committee of three:
The members, Mr. (James Mitchell] Varnum, Mr. [Thomas] Bee, Mr. [Nicholas] Van Dyke.
On motion of Mr. (James) Madison, seconded by Mr. (John] Sullivan:
That The President inform Admiral Mons! Destouches Commander of the squadron consigned by his M. C. Majesty to the succour of
· This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 147, VI, folio 327.
his Allies. That the United States in Congress assembled have seen with the highest satisfaction the vigilance and zeal he has manifested on every occasion to fulfill the generous intentions of his sovereign and the wishes of these States; and that he present to Admiral Mons! Destouches and the officers and men under his command, their particular thanks for the bravery, ardor and good conduct displayed in the late enterprize against the enemy at Portsmouth in Virginia in which although the accomplishment of the object was prevented by unfortunate [un]foreseen casuelties, the gallant and advantageous contest maintained on the 16th of March off the Capes of Chesapeek Bay against a superior British Fleet does so much honor to the arms of his M. C. M. and is so happy a presage of decisive advantages to the United States."
Resolved, That the President inform Mons! Destouches, commander of the squadron consigned transmit the thanks of the United States in Congress assembled, to the Count de Rochambeau, and the Chevalier Destouches, commanders of the army and fleet sent by his Most Christian Majesty to the succour of his allies, that the United States in Congress assembled have seen with the highest satisfaetion the vigilance and real he has manifested on every occasion for the zeal and vigilance they have, on every occasion, manifested to fulfil the generous intentions of their sovereign and the wishes expectations of these states: and that he present their particular thanks to the Chevalier Destouches, and the officers and men under his command, their particular thanks for the bravery, ardor firmness and good conduct displayed in the late enterprize against the enemy at Portsmouth, in Virginia; in which, although the accomplishment of the object was prevented by unforeseen casualties events, the gallant and advantageous contest arduous contest so gallantly and advantageously maintained on the 16 of March last, off the Capes of Chesapeake Bay, against a superior
1 This motion, in the writing of James Madison, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 36, IV, folio 503. It is undated. It was adopted in this form Apl. 4; but amended Apl. 5 and the amendments interlined in the entry in the journal for Apl. 4. The amended resolution is also entered in the journal for Apl. 5.
British fleet, does so much honor to the arms of his Most Christian Majesty, and is sto a happy a presage of decisive advantages to the United States.
The report of the committee, on the letter of 12 March, from Charles Pettit was taken into consideration; Whereupon,
The Committee to whom was referred the letter from Charles Pettit, Assistant Quarter Master General, dated the 12! day of March last, together with its enclosures, have agreed to propose the following Resolutions, to Wit,
1. That no interest be charged by the Treasurer, or any of the Loan Officers of the United States, on the issuing of the bills of credit emitted in pursuance of the Act of Congress of the 18th day of March 1780.
2. That the respective Loan Officers be provided with a machine or stamp, in which may be fixed, as follows “Int. paid March 18! 1781,” or any other month or year, as the case may require: and that this impression be stamped on every of the aforesaid bills, that shall hereafter be received into, or now remains in any of their said Offices, at the time of issuing, or re-issuing the same.
3. That the Treasurer of the United States be furnished with a like machine or instrument, in which may be fixed any day, month, and year, and that all the aforesaid bills, which shall be paid into the public Treasury, shall before they are paid out be stamped with that impression underneath that made by the Loan Officer, or if no impression shall have been made then with such as ought to have been made by the Loan Officer, and afterwards underneath the same with the day, month and year only: and that no interest be allowed to the States in future; but from the date of the last impression
4. That the Treasury Board be directed to cause new bills to be printed of the like tenor and date with those emitted in pursuance of the Act of the 18th day of March 1780, excepting such parts thereof as in any manner relate to the payment of interest thereon, which are to be wholly omitted; and that the same be signed and numbered by the former signers of the aforesaid bills, or in case of their deaths, or refusal, by some other suitable persons to be appointed as by the aforesaid Act is directed; and that the quotas of said bills belonging to each State agreeable to the said Act shall be lodged in the Loan Office of each State, and by the Loan Officers exchanged and remitted in lieu of the former bills, as often as they shall come into the said offices; and that the said Loan Officers be directed to lodge sufficient quantities of the said new bills with the Treasurer of the United States, for the purpose of exchanging such of the former bills as may at any time come into his possession, and to be issued out instead thereof in all future payments of warrants or drafts on him. All which bills emitted in pursuance of the Act of the 18! 'day of March 1780, and exchanged as aforesaid, shall be sunk and destroyed in the same manner as other bills called out of circulation are directed to be destroyed, or in lieu of the whole except the first Resolve
That the Treasurer of the United States, and the several Loan Officers, be each furnished with a machine or instrument in which may be fixed, as follows “No interest to be paid or demanded on this bill,” and that this impression be stamped or made on every of the aforesaid bills, that now remains in, or shall hereafter be received into any of their Offices, before the same shall be issued or re-issued; on which bills so stamped no interest shall be paid or allowed in any payment whatsoever.
That the Treasury Board be directed to cause the bills, which were directed to be emitted by the Act of the 18th day of March 1780 for the States of Delaware to be printed, without any words or figures importing that any interest is to be paid thereon, any thing in the said Act to the contrary notwithstanding.'
This report, in the writing of Thomas McKean, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 19, V, folio 127. The indorsement says: “August 24, 1781, not to be acted upon.”
The following report, undated, belongs to this month. It is in Charles Thomson's writing and the indorsement says: “Mr. (James) Duane, Mr. [Thomas) Bee, Mr. (Jesse) Root, Mr. [Theodorick] Bland, Mr. [Thomas) McKean," being, it is presumed, the committee to which it was referred. It is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 36, IV, folio 313:
By the act of Congress of the 18 March 1780 the new Bills are to bear an interest of 5 per cent which is to be paid annually at the several Loan offices in Silver or Gold or in Bills of exchange on France, and it is therein provided that the bills upon which interest is paid shall not be reissued but new bills provided for the purpose are to be issued in lieu thereof. Now as the Loan offices are unsupplied with specie or bills to discharge the interest and if they were as no new bills are prepared to be given in exchange it is evident that the United States in Congress assembled are not in condition to comply with that part of the act above mentioned. Some mode therefore must be devised to answer the purpose and prevent the clamours that may be raised on account of the non payment of the interest.
The act of the 16 instant provides that in discharge of the requisition made that day as well as those made by Congress on the 26 August 4 November and 15 January last the interest due on the bills emitted pursuant to the act of 18 March 1780, shall be
Resolved, That no interest be computed on the money emitted pursuant to the act of the 18 March, 1780, at the time of issuing the same from the loan offices, or when any officers of the United States shall make payments therewith for supplies, or in discharge of public debts.
The committee to whom was referred the motion of Mr. [Thomas] McKean relative to certificates, delivered in a report.
The committee to whom was referred the letter, of 30 March, from J. Pierce, delivered in a report. computed thereon in favour of the State from whom such bills shall be received to the time assigned for discharging the several requisitions respectively.
In consequence of this it is to be presumed that the several States will allow their inhabitants in the payment of taxes to count the Interest then due on those bills at the time of payment and in that case the holders will have no cause of complaint.
But if these bills are again issued from the public Treasury without adding the interest or without noting thereon that the interest has been paid to a certain day, the person into whose hands they shall come and who shall pay them in taxes will charge and be allowed interest from the date of the bill and consequently the public will be charged and will pay double interest, and the next time the bill is paid in, treble and 80 on.
On the other hand if the public undertake to add the interest due on the bills to the value expressed therein it will occasion infinite trouble in counting and give great disgust to creditors and particularly to the Army, who in their small dealings and payments will certainly lose the interest and will therefore consider themselves as cheated or defrauded of their pay. Experience has already evinced the necessity of dropping the interest in payments made to the Army, and a late instance has proved that the waggoners employed to carry stores to the southern Army could not be prevailed upon to allow the interest to be added to the bills.
In order therefore on the one hand to obviate discontents and give currency to the bills and on the other to prevent the public from sustaining too heavy a loss, it is proposed that the Com" of the Loan offices be provided with a stamp or machine in which may be fixed as follows“Int. paid March 1781" or any other month or year as the case may require and that every bill be stamped on its face with this impression before it is issued out of the office and that the treas' of the United States be furnished with a like machine in which may be fixed any month and year and that all bills, which shall be paid into the public Treasury, shall before they are issued out be stamped with that impression underneath that made by the loan officer, or if no impression has been made then with such as ought to have been made by the loan officer and afterwards underneath with the month and year only and that the interest to be allowed to the States be counted from the date of the last impression. By this means, provided the impression is made just before issuing the money, the public will save the interest between the time of receiving the money from the time of receiving it from the states and the time of issuing it, which may compensate for any losses on broken interest.