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A letter, of 14, from Will. Parker, was read: 1
Ordered, That it be referred to the Board of Treasury to take order.
On motion of Mr. [Thomas] Bee;
Ordered, That a warrant issue on Thomas Smith, commissioner of the continental loan office for the State of Pensylvania, in favour of Major Giles, for five thousand one hundred dollars, to defray his expences on the road from the southern army with the late dispatches. A report from the Board of War was read; Whereupon,
WAR OFFICE Feb! 17th 1781 Present Mr Peters Gen' Cornell
The Board beg leave to represent that by an act of Congress, military commissions are to be countersigned by the Secretary of the Board of War, which Office is vacant by the resignation of Mr. Stoddert. That the public business may not be delayed, the Board wish that Mi Carleton Secretary of the Board of Ordnance, and Pay Master of the Board of War and Ordnance may be appointed to do the duty, as he is acquainted with the business and will be able to give the Board more assistance than any other person.
They therefore beg leave to report,
Resolved, That Joseph Carleton be, and he is hereby appointed secretary of the Board of War, in the room of B. Stoddert resigned, until the further order of Congress.3
A memorial of the owners of a frigate building at Kensington was read:
Ordered, That it be referred to the Board of Admiralty.
A motion was made by Mr. (Henry] Wynkoop, seconded by Mr. [Samuel John) Atlee:
1 This letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 78, XVIII, folio 349. 2 This memorial is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 41, 1, folio 337. 3 This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 147, VI, folio 169.
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee of the Whole.
Ordered, That the committee appointed to estimate the amount of the debts due from the United States be and hereby are instructed to devise and report ways and means for defraying the expences of the current year. A report from the Board of War was read; Whereupon,
At A BOARD OF WAR, Feby. 14, 1781. Mr. Peters Genl. Cornell.
The Board having reconsidered the memorial of Mr. Christopher Ludwick, beg leave to report,
Resolved, That the principal superintendant of bakers, in the army of the United States, receive, in bills of the new emissions, 50 dollars per month, and two rations a day, and forage for one horse:
That the superintendant of bakers make regular monthly returns to the commissary general of issues; and that he receive monies, from time to time, by warrants from the Commander in Chief, out of the military chest, for payment of wages, and carrying on the business of his department:
That Mr. Christopher Ludwick, who has acted with great industry and integrity in the character of principal superintendant of bakers, be, and is hereby continued in that employment; and that he be empowered to hire or inlist any number of bakers, not exceeding thirty, on such terms as the Board of War shall think proper:
That Mr. Christopher Ludwick receive, as a compensation for all past services, one thousand dollars, in bills of the new emissions. Adjourned to 10 o'Clock on Monday. This report is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 147, VI, folio 165.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1781
A letter, from Lieutenant Colonel U. Forrest, was read: Ordered, That it be referred to a committee of three.
The members, Mr. [Daniel] Carroll, Mr. (John] Sullivan, Mr. (John] Mathews.
A letter, of 3, from J. Cochran, was read, signifying his acceptance of the office of director general of the hospital."
A letter, from Major General A. St. Clair; 2 and
A letter, of 13, from General Washington, was read, with sundry papers enclosed : 4
Ordered, That so much thereof as relates to the treatment of prisoners be referred to the Board of Admiralty.
A letter, of 15, from the president of Delaware, was read.”
The committee appointed to confer with Colonel B. Harrison; and
The committee appointed to estimate the debts of the United States; delivered in their respective reports:
The Committee appointed to Estimate the amount of the debts due from the United States and who were instructed to devise ways and means for defraying the Expences of the current year, beg leave to submit the
following Report and Estimates. 1 This letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 78, VI, folio 11.
2 This letter, dated February 19, 1781, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 161, folio 521.
3 Chase's Petition, dated January 31, 1781, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 42, II, folio 94; Bartlett's memorial is in No. 19, I, folio 241.
* This letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 152, IX, folio 549. • This letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 70, folio 765.
That upon examining the Papers presented to Congress by the late Committee for Estimates and Ways and Means they conceived it necessary, in order to discharge the business referred to them with any degree of satisfaction, to obtain information which did not fall within the view of that Committee.
That your Committee accordingly applied for returns from several of the public officers: particularly from the Commissary General and Assistant Quarter Master General; directing that each of their estimates of debts due from their Departments should distinguish the amounts of Certificates issued for supplies for the Army.
That it will appear from the answer of the agent for Estimate NO 24. the Commissary General herewith presented, his principal being at the Head Quarters of the Commander in Chief, that the prospect of an estimate from that Department is remote.
That M Pettit assistant Quarter Master General fur- Estimate NO 10. nished your Committee on Saturday last with an Estimate of the debts due from his Department which with his Letter and the other Estimates hereafter noted, numbered from N: 1 to N: 25; are submitted and referred to, as explanatory of this Report.
That the unsettled condition of the publick accounts admits only of an imperfect Estimate of the debts due from the United States. No precision can be expected till there shall be a liquidation of the accounts between the United States and each particular State. Your Ministers at Foreign Courts; Commercial Committee and Agents; the Admiralty and Navy boards; the War office and Commissary of Military Stores; Commissaries and Quarter Masters; and Individuals who have claims against the publick.
Your Committee therefore, are only able, from the information they possess, and the materials which they have collected, to lay before Congress a general view of the publick debt, and in some instances founded on mere probability.
The Debts due on Loan Office Certificates as far as Estimate NO 10. returns are made to the Board of Treasury to the 169
Estimate No 10.
Instant, amount to sixty millions five hundred and fiftyeight thousand four hundred and forty four Dollars; equal according to the Table of Depreciation and computed on the 159 day of every month, to eleven million three hundred and ninety one thousand five hundred and forty-four specie dollars.
Of this sum Interest is drawn by Bills of Exchange on France for seven millions three hundred and thirty-one thousand three hundred and six dollars; that Interest annually amounting to four hundred and thirty-eight thousand seven hundred and ninety three dollars and three seventyeths.
The Interest of the remaining four millions seventy eight thousand two hundred and seventy eight dollars is unfunded and unprovided for, and that Interest amounts annually to two hundred and forty four thousand six hundred and eighty three dollars.
The Debt contracted in Europe can only and but very imperfectly be estimated from the Bills of Exchange drawn on our Ministers, at foreign Courts.
Your Committee have it not in their power to state with any certainty the advances which have been made to your Ministers at the Court of France. They are
indebted to the Honorable Mo Lovell who is possessed The figures in the margin were wrftten by Thomson, in correction, apparently, of the amounts given in the report.