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money to col. Benjamin Flower, or his order, upon any warrant heretofore granted, until farther order of Congress.
A letter, of the 2d, from capt. Hawker and other officers of the Mermaid, was read.
Adjourned to nine o'clock to-morrow.
TUESDAY, August 4, 1778.
Mr. John Williams, a delegate from North-Carolina, attended and took his seat in Congress.
A letter, of the 28th of July, from gen. Washington, by major-general Putnam, was read :
Ordered, That it be referred to a committee of three: the members chosen, Mr. Hosmer, Mr. R. H. Lee, and Mr. Scudder.
A letter, of the 20th, and one of the 22d of July, from the council of Massachusetts-Bay, were read:
Ordered, That the letter, of the 22d, be referred to the committee on the letter of the 23d of July, from J. Wadsworth, commissary-general.
A letter, of July 24th, from W. Finnie, deputy quarter-master general,'
Ordered, That it be referred to the board of treasury.
A letter, of the 21st of July, from col. D. Mason, was read:
A letter, of the 3d, from major-general Arnold, accompanied with the proceedings of a general court-martial against Jacob Rhoads and Jacob Gandy, both sentenced to suffer death, but at the same time recommended by the court as proper objects of mercy, was read, setting forth, that he has ordered the sentence to be suspended until the pleasure of Congress is known, and begging leave, as many circumstances appear in favor of the prisoners, to recommend them to Congress as proper objects of mercy: Whereupon, Resolved, That a pardon be granted to the said prisoners.
A representation from W. de Galatheau, proprietor and commander of the ship Foubonne, was read.
Ordered, That it be referred to the marine committee.
A petition and memorial from James O'Ellers and H. Horn, was read: Ordered, That it be referred to a committee of three, and that they report specially thereon: the members chosen, Mr. Drayton, Mr. Hosmer, and Mr. R. H. Lee.
A letter, of July 18th, from col. T. Bland, of the light dragoons, respecting rank, was read:
Ordered, That it be referred to the board of war
The committee on the treasury brought in a report; Whereupon,
Ordered, That a warrant issue on the treasurer in favor of Mr. Joseph Nourse, pay-master to the board of war and ordnance, for 100,000 of dollars, to be by him transmitted to William Palfrey, esq. pay-master general at camp, for the use of his department, and for which he is to be accountable. Ordered, That the following warrants issue in favor of col. John Cox, assistant quarter-master general, for the use of the quarter-master general's department, amounting to the sum of 2,000,000 of dollars, to be charged to major-general Green, quarter-master general, viz.
One on the treasurer for the sum of 1,500,000 dollars; one on Derk Ten Broek, commissioner of the continental loan-office in the state of New York, for 100,000 dollars; one on John Lawrence, esq. commissioner of the continental loan-office in the state of Connecticut, for 150,000 dollars; one on Joseph Clarke, esq. commissioner of the continental loan-office in the state of Rhode-Island, for 100,000 dollars; and one on Nathaniel Appleton, esq. commissioner of the continental loan-office in the state of Massachusetts-Bay, for 150,000 dollars,
Ordered, That the committee on the treasury lay before Congress an account of the sums of money granted to the present quarter-master general for the use of his department, and of the sums granted to the present commissary-general of purchases, to the commissary-general of military stores, and to the clothier-general, for the use of their respective departments.
The committee on the treasury brought in another report; Whereupon, Ordered, That a warrant issue on the treasurer for 1759 15-90 dollars, in favor of the committee of commerce, to enable them to pay James Warren, esq. of Boston, his account of freight and charges on sundry merchandise belonging to the United States, agreeably to his account rendered them, dated the 16th of July last; the said committee to be accountable:
That a warrant issue on the treasurer for 100,000 dollars, in favor of Jonathan Potts, esq. deputy director-general of the middle district, for the use of his department; he to be accountable.
On motion, Ordered, That the commissary-general of prisoners do, from time to time, on the exchange of prisoners in the possession of the enemy, take proper care of those who shall appear to be in such ill state of health as to be unable to travel, either by sending them to a public hospital, or when that cannot be readily effected, by appointing proper persons to take care of them on the easiest terms practicable; and that those who are able to travel, be furnished with orders on the different commissaries of issues, on their way for such a number of rations as may be necessary for their support to their respective places of abode; also that the commissary of prisoners do keep exact accounts of the expenses attending those that belong to the different states, and are not in the continental service.
The marine committee, to whom was referred the petition of William Storey, clerk to the navy board of the eastern district, report as their opinion, that it is not expedient at this time to raise salaries, when measures are about to be taken by Congress for the appreciation of the currency; but in consideration of the great and constant business in which the above petitioner is engaged, and the expensive living for the past and at the present time, the committee think a compensation of 500 dollars, for his extra services and expenses since his appointment, should be allowed him.
The committee farther report, that as the commissioners of the navy board in the eastern district, are necessarily obliged, for the right discharge of their duty, frequently to visit the different parts of their extensive district, they be allowed 365 dollars each, for their travelling expenses the year past. Resolved, That Congress agree to the said report.
Congress resumed the consideration of the letter of the 2d, from captain Hawker, and the other officers of the Mermaid, and after debate,
Resolved, That the farther consideration thereof be postponed.
Resolved, That the execution of the resolution of yesterday, relative to the arrest of col. Benjamin Flower, commissary-general of military stores, be committed to major-general Arnold; and that the secretary transmit to the general a copy of the said resolution.
Adjourned to nine o'clock to-morrow.
WEDNESDAY, August 5, 1778.
A memorial from Samuel H. Sullivan, deputy quarter-master under gen. Mifflin, late quarter-master general, was read:
Ordered, That it be referred to the board of war.
Brigadier Maxwell having recommended the Rev. Mr. Andrew Hunter to be appointed chaplain to his brigade,
Resolved, That the said Rev. Andrew Hunter be, and he is hereby appointed chaplain to the brigade commanded by brigadier Maxwell.
A motion was made, that the pay of the Rev. Mr. Hunter commence from
the date of the resolution for appointing brigade chaplains: question put, passed in the negative.
According to order, the committee on the treasury laid before Congress an account of the sums of money granted to the quarter-master general, to the commissary-general of purchases, to the commissary-general of military stores, and to the clothier-general, severally, for the use of their respective departments.
The proceedings of a court-martial on the trial of capt. Manly, late of the continental ship Hancock, and the proceedings of a court-martial on the trial of Thomas Thompson, late captain and commander of the ship Raleigh, in the service of the United States, were laid before Congress :
Ordered, That the proceedings on the trial of capt. Manly be returned to the marine committee, to be filed among their papers; and that the proceedings on the trial of captain Thompson lie on the table.
The committee on the treasury brought in a report; Whereupon,
Ordered, That a warrant issue on the treasurer in favor of Joseph Nourse, pay-master to the board of war and ordnance, for 6000 dollars, to answer the draughts of the board for the use of the baking department; the said Joseph Nourse to be accountable.
Ordered, That a warrant issue on the treasurer in favor of the said Joseph Nourse, for 500 dollars, to reimburse him a like sum advanced to Cornelius Sweers, deputy commissary of military stores, who is to be accountable:
That another warrant issue, on the application of the board of war, in favor of the said Joseph Nourse, for 6000 dollars, to be by him paid over to col. John Beatty, commissary-general of prisoners, for the use of his department, who is to be accountable.
Congress resumed the consideration of the report of the board of treasury, dated July 22d; Whereupon,
Ordered, That a warrant issue on the treasurer of the state of Massachuchusetts-Bay, for 500,000 dollars, in favor of the president and council of the said state, to be paid out of the money assessed by the state, agreeably to a resolution of Congress of the 22d of November last, the said state to be accountable.
A letter, of this day, from major general Arnold, was read, informing, that in pursuance of the resolution of Congress," he has arrested colonel Benjamin Flower in the usual manner," and desiring an explanation of the resolution with respect to the safe keeping of colonel Flower; Whereupon, Resolved, That the president inform major-general Arnold, that it is the intention of Congress that colonel Benjamin Flower should be securely kept. in a convenient room under a sufficient guard.
One of the delegates from New-Jersey laid before Congress an extract of a letter from James Caldwell:
Ordered, That so much thereof as relates to prisoners, inhabitants of these states, taken by the French fleet, be referred to Mr. Duer; and that so much as relates to vessels captured by the said fleet, be referred to the marine committee.
FIVE O'CLOCK, P. M.
Resolved, That the door of the Congress chamber be open during the audience to be given to the minister plenipotentiary of his most Christian majesty.
Resolved, That the delegates of Pennsylvania be requested to inform the vice-president, the supreme executive council, and the speaker and assembly of the said state, that the minister plenipotentiary of his most Christian majesty the king of France, will receive his audience of Congress at 12 o'clock to-morrow, when the doors of Congress chamber will be opened.
Resolved, That each member of Congress may give two tickets for the admittance of other persons to the audience, and that no persons, except those specified in the foregoing resolution, be admitted without such a ticket, signed by the members appointed to introduce the minister to Congress. A letter, of this day, from colonel Benjamin Flower, was read:
Ordered, That it be referred to the committee appointed to report the mode of trying Cornelius Sweers.
Adjourned to nine o'clock to-morrow.
THURSDAY, August 6, 1778.
A letter, of this day, from Cornelius Sweers, was read:
Ordered, That it be referred to the committee appointed to report the mode of trying Cornelius Sweers; and that the committee take the examination, upon oath, of Cornelius Sweers, deputy commissary of military stores, touching his accusation of colonel B. Flower, commissary-general of military-stores; and that the committee be authorized to send for persons and papers, which they may deem proper for the better prosecution of the business, and to seize and keep such papers of the said Flower and Sweers. According to order, the hon. sieur Gerard was introduced to an audience by the two members for that purpose appointed, and being seated in his chair, his secretary delivered to the president a letter from his most Christian majesty, directed
"A nos tres chers grand ainies et allies les president et members du Congres general des Etats-Unis:
And in the words following:
"TRES CHERS, GRANDS AMIES ET ALLIES:
Les traites, que nous avons signes, avec vous, en consequence des propositions, que vos deputes nous ont faites de votre part, vous sont un garant assure de notre affection pour les Etats-Unis en general et pour chacun d'eux en particulier, ainsi que de l'interest que nous prenons et que nous prendrons constament a leurs bonheurs et a leur prosperite. C'est pour vous en convaincre d'une maniere plus particulier, que nous avons nomme le sieur Gerard, secretaire de notre conseil d'etat pour resider aupres de vous en qualite de notre ministre plenipotentiaire. Il connoit d'autant mieux les sentimens, que nous vous portons, et il est d'autant plus en etat de vous en rendre temoignage qu'il a ete charge de notre part de negocier, avec vos deputes, et qui'il a signe avec eux les traites, qui cimentent notre union. Nous vous prions d'ajouter foi entiere atout ce qu'il vous dira de notre part, principalement lorsqu'il vous assurera de notre affection et de notre constante amitie pour vous. Sur ce nous prions Dieu, quil vous ait, Tres, chers, grands amis et allies, en sa sainte et digne gard. Ecrit a Versailles, le 28 Mars, 1778. Votre bon ami et allie,
GRAVIER DE VERGENNES."
"To our very dear great friends and allies, the president and members of the general Congress of the United States of North-America.
VERY DEAR GREAT FRIENDS AND ALLIES:
The treaties which we have signed with you, in consequence of the proposals your commissioners made to us in your behalf, are a certain assurance of our affection for the United States in general, and for each of them in particular, as well of the interest we take and constantly shall take in their happiness and prosperity. It is to convince you more particularly of this that we have nominated the sieur Gerard, secretary of our council of state, to reside among you in the quality of minister plenipotentiary. He is the better acquainted with our sentiments towards you, and the more capable of
testifying the same to you, as he was entrusted on our part to negotiate with your commissioners and signed with them the treaties which cement our union. We pray you to give full credit to all he shall communicate to you from us more especially when he shall assure you of our affection and constant friendship for you. We pray God, very dear great friends and allies, to bave you in his holy keeping.
Versailles, 28th March, 1778.
Your good friend and ally,
GRAVIER DE VERGENNES."
The minister was then announced to the house: whereupon he arose and addressed Congress in a speech, which when he had finished, his secretary delivered in writing to the president, and is as follows:
MESSIEURS: Les liaisons, que le roi non maitre a formes avec les Etats- · Unis de l'Amerique lui sout si agreeables; qu'il n'a pas voulu differer de m'envoyer resider aupres de vous pour les cimenter. Sa majeste apprendra avec satisfaction que les sentimens, qui se sont manifestes a cette occasion, justifient la confiance que lui avoient inspire lezele et le charactere des deputes des Etats-Unis en France; la sagesse et la fermete qui ont dirige vos resolutions ainsi que la constance et le courage, que les peuples ont fait eclater. Vous savez, messieurs, que cette confiance a fait la base du plan vrayment amical et disinteresse sur le quel sa majeste a traite avec les Etats-Unis.
Il n'a pas dependu d'elle, que ses engagemens n'assurassent votre independence et votre repos sans effusion ulterieur de sang et sans aggraver les maux de l'humanite dont tout son ambition est d'assurer le bonheur; mais les dispositions et les resolutions hostiles de l'ennemie commun ayant donne a des engagemens purement eventuels une force, actuelle, positive, permanente et indissoluble, le roi mon maitre a pense que les deux allies ne doivent plus s'occuper que du moyens de les remplir de la maniere la plus utile a la cause commune, et la plus efficace pour parvenir a la paix, qui est l'object d'alliance. C'est d'apres ce principe, que sa majeste s'est hatee de vous envoyer un secours, pouissant: vous ne le devez, messieurs, qu'a son amitie, a l'interest sincere, qu'elle prend aux avantages des EtatsUnis, et au desir qu'elle a de concourir efficement a affirmir, votre repos et votre prosperite sur des bases honorables et solids elle espere d'alleurs, que les principes adoptes par les governemens contribueront a etendre les liaisons, que l'interet mutuel des peuples respectifs avoit deja commence a etablir entre eux. La principal point de mes instructions est de faire marcher sur la meme ligne les interets de la France et ceux des Etats-Unis. Je me flatte, messieurs, que ma conduite passe dans les affaires, que les interressent, vous aura deja convaineu, que je n'ai point de desir plus cher que celui d'executer mes instructions de maniere a meriter la confiance du Congres, l'amitie de ses membres et l'estime de tous les citoyens.
"GENTLEMEN: The connexion formed by the king my master, with the United States of America, is so agreeable to him, that he could no longer delay sending me to reside among you for the purpose of cementing it. It will give his majesty great satisfaction to learn, that the sentiments which have shone forth on this occasion justify that confidence with which he hath been inspired by the zeal and character of the commissioners of the United States in France, the wisdom and fortitude which have directed the resolutions of Congress, and the courage and perseverance of the people they re