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TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 1781

A letter, of 19, and one, of 21, from the governor of Virginia, were read:1

Ordered, That the letter, of 21, be referred to the Board of War to take order.

A letter, of 21, and one, of 24, from Colonel Pickering, quartermaster general, were read, with sundry papers enclosed : 2

Ordered, That they be referred to the Board of War.

A letter, of this day, from J. Wilkinson, cloathier general, was read, desiring leave to resign:

Ordered, That his resignation be accepted.
A letter, of 23, from the governor of Maryland, was read.

A report from the Board of Treasury was read; Whereupon,

TREASURY OFFICE March 22nd 1781 Whereas Congress did by their Act of the 15 day of February last authorize Joseph Howell Jun' one of the Auditors of accounts for the Main Army to open his office in Philade for the purpose of settling such accounts as come properly before him as Auditor aforesaid, and whereas a variety of accounts in consequence thereof have been presented to him and settled: whereby it becomes necessary, that during the residence of the aforesaid Auditor in Philad: there should be a power lodged with some Board, that may supersede the necessity of reporting such accounts to the Commander in Chief, or commander of a detachment as is directed by the Ordinance establishing the Auditor aforesaid which directs,

He shall present the accounts settled by him, and the abstract, with certificate of what is due, to the Commander in Chief, or commander of a detachment having a Military chest, who shall thereupon unless he has reason to the contrary, issue warrants on the Pay Master, or D! Pay Master Gen' in discharge thereof,” Whereupon the following resolution is submitted:

1 The letter of 19 is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 71, II, folio 57; that of 21 is on folio 67.

2 The letter of March 21 is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 147, VI, folio 453; that of 24 is on folio 427.

3 Wilkinson's letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 78, XXIV, folio 297; the Maryland letter is in No. 70, folio 461.

Resolved, [That the Board of War be, and they are hereby, authorised to receive and examine such accounts as shall be reported to the said Board by Joseph Howell, jun. one of the auditors for the main army during his residence in Philadelphia, and to issue their warrants on the paymaster general, or deputy paymaster, in discharge of such of the accounts aforesaid as the said Board shall judge proper and necessary, in the same manner as the Commander in Chief, or commander of a detachment having a military chest, are directed by the ordinance of the 30th July, 1779.

Another report from the Board of Treasury was read; Whereupon,

Ordered, That on the application of George Bond, deputy secretary to Congress, a warrant issue in his favour on Thomas Smith, commissioner of the continental loan office for the State of Pensylvania, for twenty thousand dollars old emissions on account of his salary, and for which he is to be accountable:

That on the application of John L. Clarkson, clerk to the Board of Treasury, a warrant issue in his favor on Thomas Smith, commissioner aforesaid, for ten thousand dollars old emissions, on account of his salary, and for which he is to be accountable].

«The motion of Mr. Madison was again taken into consideration; and thereupon, the following ordinance was passed :

An ordinance relative to the capture and condemnation of prizes. The United States in Congress assembled, taking into consideration the implacable war waged against them by the King of Great Britain, and judging it inconsistent with their dignity as a free and independent nation, any longer to continue indulgences and exemptions to any of the subjects of their enemy, who is obstinately bent upon their destruction or subjugation, have thought proper to ordain and

This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 136, V, folio 189. 2 This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 136, V, folio 209. 3 This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 136, V, folio 203.

The portion in brackets was entered in the Journal by George Bond.

3

order, and it is hereby ordained and ordered, that henceforward general reprisals be granted against the ships, goods and subjects of the King of Great Britain; so that as well the fleets and ships of these United States, as also all other ships and vessels commissioned by letters of marque or general reprisals, or otherwise, by the authority of the United States in Congress assembled, shall and may lawfully seize all ships, vessels and goods, belonging to the King or Crown of Great Britain, or to his subjects or others inhabiting within any of the territories or possessions of the aforesaid King of Great Britain, and bring them to judgment in any of the courts of admiralty that now are or hereafter may be established in any of these United States by the authority of the United States in Congress assembled: and the said courts of admiralty are hereby authorized and required to take cognizance of and judicially to proceed upon all and all manner of captures, seizures, prizes and reprisals of all ships and goods that are or shall be taken, and to hear and determine the same, and, according to the course of admiralty and the laws of nations, to adjudge and condemn all such ships, vessels, and goods, as shall belong to the King of Great Britain, or to his subjects, or to any others inhabiting within any of the countries, territories or dominions, or possessions of the aforesaid King of Great Britain.

And that the Board of Admiralty or Secretary of Marine forthwith prepare, and lay before the United States in Congress assembled, a draught of instructions for such ships or vessels as shall be commissionated for the purposes above mentioned.

And it is hereby farther ordained, that the destruction of papers, or the possession of double papers, by any captured vessel, shall be deemed and taken as just cause for the condemnation of such captured vessel; and that (when any prize, having been taken and possessed by the enemy twenty-four hours, shall be retaken from them, the whole of such re-captured prize shall be condemned for the use of the re-captors; but in cases where the prize shall have continued in the possession of the enemy less than twenty-four hours, it shall be restored to the original owner or owners, except one-third part of the true value thereof, which shall be allowed as salvage to the re-captors). 1

And it is hereby farther ordained, that the citizens and inhabitants of these United States be, and they hereby are, strictly enjoined and required to abstain from all intercourse, correspondence or dealings

1 The substance of the part in brackets, in the writing of James Duane, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 36, I, folio 127. Another version, in the writing of James Madison, is on folio 131.

whatsoever, with the subjects of the said King of Great Britain, while at open war with these United States, as they will answer the same at their peril; and the executives of the several states are hereby called upon to take the most vigilant and effectual measures for detecting and suppressing such intercourse, correspondence or dealings, and bringing the authors thereof, or those concerned therein, to condign punishment.

And in order the more effectually to remove every colorable pretence for continuing such intercourse, it is hereby ordained that from and after the first day of November next, no benefit shall be claimed from, nor countenance or regard paid to any letters of passport or safe conduct, heretofore granted by the Congress of the United States, to any

of the citizens or inhabitants thereof, or to any person or persons whatever, for the removal of their property or effects from places within the dominions or possessions of the said King of Great Britain:

Provided always, that this ordinance shall not extend to authorize the capture or condemnation of any vessel belonging to any inhabitant of Bermudas, which, being loaded with salt only, may arrive in any of these United States, on or before the first day of May next.

And it is hereby ordained, that all former acts or resolutions of Congress, contrary to the tenor, true intent and meaning of this ordinance, be and they are hereby repealed.

Done by the United States in Congress assembled, the twentyseventh day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-one, and in the fifth year of our Independence.

The United States in Congress assembled proceeded to the election of a deputy purveyor of the hospital for the southern army, and, the ballots being taken and counted, Dr. Nathan Brownson was elected, he having been previously nominated by Mr. [Samuel] Adams. Adjourned to 10 o'Clock to Morrow.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 1781 The Board of Admiralty, pursuant to the order of Congress of June 8, 1780, and directions afterwards given respecting public cloathing and military stores, delivered in a report, accompanied with a number of papers, which was read.

Pursuant to the Resolution of Congress of June the 8! 1780, and that of October 25in the same year the Board of Admiralty beg leave to Report,

That as soon as they received the direction of Congress of the 25! of October they sought for the reasons of the Cloaths and military stores not being exported from France of such persons as had been in France, and had arrived here previous to that direction, and also from such others as afterwards came hither from that Kingdom, who it was thought were capable of furnishing any information on that subject, and from time to time reported the result of their inquiry, until the arrival of Capt. Jones. On his arrival the Board resumed that business, and in order to become acquainted with his conduct during his absence and to investigate the causes of the cloathing and military stores not being exported they thought proper to prepare and lay before him a number of Questions relative to these points, and to require his answer to them in writing, beginning with his departure from New Hampshire in the Ranger, the 1st Day of November 1777, and ending with his departure from France. In pursuance of this plan a number of questions were drawn up and presented. At the time they were presented to him, the Board conceiving that in the restrained mode of question and answer, he might not be able to communicate his sentiments so fully as he and they could wish, they desired him to subjoin to his answers all such matters as he should think would throw light on their inquiry.

The Questions (and answers) with a great number of letters handed by him to the Board, accompany this Report; such of the letters as appeared to relate more immediately to his answers are referred to in the margin thereof; the rest are arranged in Files, according to their number and dates, and some of them which regard particular subjects and transactions are in separate parcels, with labels, denoting their contents; These letters are put upin four bundles, the first marked A from No. 1 to 10, the second marked B from 11 to 20, the third marked C from 21 to 30, and the fourth marked D from 31 to 42 inclusive, a list of the packages and letters in each bundle is thereunto annexed.

The Board have read all those letters with as much attention as numberless applications and the urgency of Congress for a Report would allow, and upon the whole are fully satisfied that the cloathing and military stores procured in consequence of the application of the Honorable Congress to his most Christian Majesty not coming out in season, hath not been owing in any measure to a want of the closest attention to that business, either in the Minister Plenipotentiary of these States, or to Captain Jones, who have on the contrary made every application and used every effort, to accomplish that purpose, but that it was owing to Captain Landais' taking the Command of

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