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The members chosen, Mr. S. Adams, Mr. Wolcott, and Mr. Thornton.
Congress' resolved itself into a committee of the whole, to take into farther consideration the state of the treasury, and the means of supporting the credit of the continental currency; and, after some time spent thereon, the president resumed the chair, and Mr. Nelson reported, that they having had under consideration the matters to thein referred, had come to sundry resolutions, which he was ordered to report whenever the house should be ready to receive them :
Ordered, That they be now received. The report from the comınittee of the whole being read, was agreed to as follows, viz.
Whereas the continental money ought to be supported, at the full value expressed in the respective bills, by the inhabitants of these states, for whose benefit they were issued, and who stand bound to redeem the same, according to the like value; and the pernicious artifices of the enemies of American liberty to impair the credit of the said bills, by raising the nominal value of gold and silver, or any other species of money whatsoever, ought to be guarded against and prevented:
Resolved, That all bills of credit, emitted by authority of Congress, ought to pass current in all payments, trade, and dealings, in these states, and be deemed in value equal to the same nominal sums in Spanish milled dollars ; and that whosoever shall offer, ask, or receive more in the said bills for any gold or silver coins, bullion, or any other species of money whatsoever, than the nominal sum or amount thereof in Spanish milled dollars, or more in the said bills, for any lands, houses, goods, or commodities whatsoever, than the same could be purchased at of the same person or persons in gold, silver, or any other species of money whatsoever; or shall offer to sell any goods or commodities for gold or silver coins, or any other species of money whatsoever, and refuse to sell the same for the said continental bills; every such person ought to be deemed an enemy to the liberties of these United States, and to forfeit the value of the money so exchanged, or house, land, or commodity so sold or offered to sale. And it is recommended to the legislatures of the respective states, to enact laws inflicting such forfeitures and other penalties on offenders as aforesaid, as will prevent such pernicious practices:
That it be recommended to the legislatures of the United States, to pass laws to make the bills of credit, issued by the Congress, a lawful tender, in payments of public and private debts; and a refusal thereof an extinguishment of such debts : that'debts payable in sterling money be discharged with continental dollars, at the rate of 4s. 6 sterling per dollar; and that in discharge of all other debts and contracts, continental dollars pass at the rate fixed by the respective states for the value of Spanish milled dollars:
That it be recommended to the legislatures of the several states to pass resolutions that they will make provision for drawing in and sinking their respective quotas of the bills emitted by Congress at the several periods fixed, or that shall be fixed by Congress :
That it be recommended to the legislatures of the several states, to raise, by taxation, in the course of the current year, and remit to the treasury, such sums of money as they shall think will be most proper in the present situation of the inhabitants; which sums shall be carried to their credit, and accounted for in the settlement of their proportion of the public expenses and debts, for which the United States are jointly bound :
That an additional sum of two millions of dollars be borrowed at the loanoffices, on certificates of 200 dollars each :
That the commissioners of the loan-office be directed to receive the bills of credit heretofore emitted by the states in which they respectively hold their offices, for such sunis as shall be ordered by the counmissioners of the treasury, or continental treasurer, from time to time, for continental purposes, within such states respectively.
Congress being informed that a number of Hessian officers, prisoners, are on their way to this town,
Resolved, That the board of war be directed to send the said prisoners to Dumfries, in Virginia, with a request to the committee of the said town, to see them suitably provided for, agreeable to the provision made for prisoners.
Resolved, That two months' pay be advanced to St. Pierre Auguste de St. Aubin, adjutant of the squadron of the Virginia light-horse; he to be accountable.
The several matters to this day referred, being postponed,
WEDNESDAY, January 15, 1777. Resolved, That Messrs. Purviance be requested immediately to remove all the powder belonging to the continent from the ware-house in this town, to a convenient house some distance therefrom, in proper wagons and carts, taking care that the tight barrels alone be removed, and that careful persons be employed to make 30 gallon casks, sufficient to contain all the powder that may be in battered or open casks :
That captain Smith be desired to furnish a guard, of the most trusty and orderly soldiers, over the powder.
The committee appointed to prepare instructions to Mr. J. Allen, agent for Indian affairs in the eastern department, brought in a draught, which was read; and, being amended, was agreed to as follows:
Sir, Having been informed of your knowledge of, and acquaintance with, the tribes of Indians, inhabitants of St. John's and Nova Scotia, and, confiding in your zealous attachment to the interest of the United States, this Congress have made choice of you to be their agent, empowering you, in their behalf, to treat with those Indians, and as far as you shall be able, to engage their friendship, and prevent their taking a part on the side of GreatBritain, in the unjust and cruel war against these United States :
You will explain to them, as clearly as their understanding of the nature and principles of civil government will admit, the grounds of the dispute between Great-Britain and America, the pains we have taken to settle those disputes on the rules of equity, and the necessity we were finally driven to, in defence of our liberty and lives, to resist our oppressors unto blood. Thus, by convincing them of the justice of our cause, you may attach them to our interests, and lay a solid foundation for lasting peace and friendship with us :
You will also inform them of the union that subsists among the people of these states, and the strength derived therefrom, to each of them that viewing us in this light, they may see their own safety depending upon their peaceable disposition and behaviour toward us:
You are to cultivate trade with them; by which means, many great advantages which have heretofore thence accrued to the subjects of Great-Britain, will be gained by the people of these states :
And you are, in a particular manner, instructed to use your utmost diligence and influence to promote an intercourse and correspondence between those tribes and the Indians living in and about Canada; by the effecting of which, the most useful and necessary intelligence may be frequently obtained; and you are to give the earliest notice to Congress, and to general Washington, and the commanding officer at Ticonderoga, of such intelligence as you may receive :
You will, as often as you shall be required, exhibit to Congress a fair account of the expenditure of such monies as you may be entrusted with, for the purpose of your agency ; together with a general state of affairs within your department, that Čongress may avail themselves of it for the public good.
Resolved, That the sum of 900 dollars be annually allowed and paid to John Allen, esq. during his continuance as agent of this Congress, to the Indians of St. John's and Nova-Scotia:
That 1000 dollars be advanced to John Allen, esq. agent, &c. to enable him to carry on the affairs of his agency among the Indians of St. John's and Nova-Scotia; he to be accountable for the same.
Resolved, That the sum of 533.30 dollars be advanced to the board of war, for defraying the expense of sending the Hessian prisoners to Dumfries, and the prisoners in the guard-house in Baltimore, to Leesburg, in Virginia, agreeable to the orders of Congress; the said board to be accountable for the expenditure.
Resolved, That the sum of 55,000 dollars be advanced to the delegates of Georgia, for the use of the troops raised by that state; the said state to be accountable.
Resolved, That the secret committee be directed to supply captain Yates's company with blankets; and that one month's pay be advanced to captain Yates for his compary; he to be accountable.
Resolved, That 2000 dollars be advanced to brigadier Smallwood, for the purpose ot' defraying the arrears due to the men of his late battalion ; he to be accountable.
Resolved, That to-morrow be assigned for appointing a pay-master in Baltimore.
Congress then resolved itself into a committee of the whole, to take into consideration the state of the treasury, and the means of supporting the credit of the continental currency; and, after some time, the president resumed the chair, and Mr. Harrison reported, that the committee have come into a resolution on the subject to thein referred, which he was ordered to report: The report being read, was agreed to as follows:
Resolved, That the continental treasurer be empowered and directed to borrow money on the loan-office certificates; that they be countersigned by the auditor general for the time being, and that in transacting this business,
govern himself by the rules prescribed to the commissioners of the other loan-offices; and have, for his trouble, the same allowance.
Resolved, That this Congress will, to-morrow, resolve itself into a committee of the wbole, to take into consideration the state of the treasury, and the means of supporting the credit of the continental currency.
The several matters to this day referred, being postponed,
THURSDAY, January 16, 1777. Resolved, That Mr. Paine be added to the committee last appointed to hear appeals.
Resolved, That a warrant for 100,000 dollars, in favor of James Mcase, for public service, be drawn and sent to the treasurer ; that sum having been advanced by the treasurer on the 11th of December last, to the said Mease, by order of Mr. Nelson :
That a warrant for 26 60 dollars be drawn in favor of John Norman, for a rolling-press; that sum having, on the same day abovementioned, been advanced by a like order:
That a warrant for 10,000 dollars be drawn in favor of Carpenter Wharton, for public service; that sum having been paid by the treasurer on the said 11th December to James White, assistant deputy commissary, by order of Mr. President, issued in pursuance of a letter from said Carpenter Wharton,
Resolved, That 365 dollars be paid to George Ross, esq. and charged to colonel Moses Hazen; the same being in full of an order in his favor, drawn by lieutenant-colonel Edward Antil, for the recruiting service of colonel Hazen's regiment, dated January 6, 1777.
The board of war brought in a report, which was taken into consideration, Whereupon,
Resolved, That general Washington be directed to propose to general Howe, that a commissary be appointed on behalf of the United States, to furnish the American prisoners of war, captivated by the British army, with such necessaries as they may want; and if such commissary be allowed to reside among the prisoners, that general Washington appoint a suitable person for the purpose, until an exchange can be effected :
That the continental agents, in the middle and eastern departments, be directed to furnish the commissary of clothing with an account of what clothes or materials for making clothes they have in their custody, and that they send forward such clothing, to the order of the said commissary of clothing, to be distributed, agreeable to the directions of general Washington, among the troops in the several departments, in such proportions as he shall think proper : and that the general be requested, particularly, to attend to the wants of the state of New York, which, from its peculiar situation, is precluced from the means of procuring clothing and necessaries for the troops raised there:
That a copy of the letter from the convention of New-York, dated at Fish-Kill, 28th of December last, be sent to general Washington; and that he be empowered to take such order in the several matters therein contained, as he shall think best; and that a letter be written to the said convention, informing them of what Congress has done in compliance with their several requests:
That so much of the letter from the convention of New York, as relates to the defence of Hudson's river, by means of the frigates or otherwise, be referred to the marine committee :
That the convention of New York be informed that Congress highly approve of their spirited exertions for the defence of their own, and the state of New-Jersey, against the desolation and ravages of our cruel and remorseless enemy; and that Congress have received the address of the said convention to the people of that state, containing sentiments highly and gene- : Derally interesting to the inhabitants of these states, to whose serious perusal and attention it is earnestly recommended ; and that the same be translated into the German language, and printed at the expense of the continent:
That Mr. Lewis be directed to have the said address translated and printed. Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed to enquire into the conduct of the British and Hessian generals and officers towards the officers, soldiers and mariners in the service of the United States, and any other persons, inhabitants of these states, in their possession, as prisoners of war, or otherwise, and also into the conduct of the said generals and officers, and the troops under their command, towards the subjects of these states and their property, more especially of the states of New-York and New Jersey.
The members chosen, Mr. Chase, Mr. Witherspoon, Mr. Clark, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Ross, Mr. Heyward, and Mr. Smith.
The committee of treasury reported, that there is due to Abraham Simons, for the hire of Ludwick Neal's wagon, in the service of the Virginia lighthorse, the sum of € 15, Virginia money, equal to 50 dollars :
To John Blackburn, for the hire of Thomas Allen's wagon, in the service of the Virginia light-horse, the sum of 47 82 dollars :
Ordered, That the said accounts be paid.
Resolved, That the appointment of a pay-master in Baltimore be postponed till Saturday next.
Ordered, That the oath of fidelity be published.
FRIDAY, January 17, 1777.
Ordered, That the letter from deputy commissary Aylett be referred to the board of war.
Ordered, That Mr. President return an answer to brigadier Lewis, and inform him that Congress desire him to continue in Virginia, and that he has liberty to visit his family, provided the public service will admit.
A letter, with a number of papers, from Dr. Morgan, was laid before Congress, and referred to the medical committee.
Resolved, That 300,000 dollars be sent to the pay-master general for the use of the army:
That 40 dollars be paid to Guillaume de Luce, to defray the expenses of his journey to the army under general Washington.
Resolved, That two members be added to the committee of intelligence; and that the said committee be directed to publish an authenticated extract of the last letter from general Washington:
The members chosen, Mr. Heyward, and Mr. Sergeant.
Congress being informed that six companies of Maryland militia, under the command of colonel Murdock, consisting in the whole of 101 privates, without arms, and 53 commissioned and non-commissioned officers, are in this town waiting the orders of Congress,
Resolved, That Congress approve of the alacrity and spirit of the said militia ; but, considering that such a great disproportion of officers and men is utterly inconsistent with military order and arrangement, and that encouraging such an example, might involve these United States in great expense, and not having a sufficient number of arms at present to equip them, and the troops to be raised on the new-establishment, order, that the said companies be discharged and paid, and that 1000 dollars be lodged with Mr. Jonathan Hudson, for the purpose of paying these troops, and the two companies of the said battalion which are expected in town.
Sundry resolutions, respecting the laying up of magazines of provisions, being moved and seconded,
Ordered, That they be referred to a committee of three :
Ordered, That the secret committee lay before Congress, a list of the articles which they have ordered in consequence of the directions of Congress, distinguishing how much is arrived and what is expected.
The several matters to this day referred, being postponed,
SATURDAY, January 18, 1777. General Gates, to whom the sentence of the court martial, held at CrownPoint in July last, upon the conduct of colonel Campbell, was referred, having reported, that he has considered the same, and is of opinion, that colonel Donald Campbell, deputy quarter-master general in the northern department, does not deserve to be cashiered for the crime alleged against him in the general court-martial referred to.
Ordered, That a copy of the above be sent to general Washington:
That the memorial formerly received from colonel Campbell, with the papers enclosed, be referred to a committee of three:
The members chosen, Mr. Ross, Mr. Whipple, and Mr. Adams.