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DISPOSITION OF SEIZED ARMS.
Whereas in the execution of the resolve of Congress of the 14th of March, respecting the disarming disaffected persons, many fire arms may be taken, which may not be fit for use to arm any of the troops mentioned therein: Therefore,
Resolved, That all the fire arms so taken, being appraised according to said resolve, none of them shall be paid for, but those that are fit for the use of such troops, or that may conveniently be so made, and the remainder shall be safely kept by the said assemblies, conventions, councils or committees of safety, for the owners, to be delivered to them when the Congress shall direct. (IV Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), March 20, 1776, p. 220.)
TRADE REGULATIONS CONCERNING EXPORTS AND IMPORTS.
Resolved, That any goods, wares, and merchandise, except staves and empty casks, other than shaken or knocked down casks for molasses, may be exported from the thirteen United Colonies, by the inhabitants thereof, and by the people of all such countries as are not subject to the King of Great Britain, to any parts of the world which are not under the dominion of the said King; provided, that no vessel be permitted to export any greater number of shaken or knocked down molasses casks, than the same vessel is capable of carrying when they shall be filled with molasses.
Resolved, That any goods, wares, and merchandise, except such as are of the growth, production, or manufacture of, or brought from any country under the dominion of the King of Great Britain, and except East India Tea, may be imported from any other parts of the world to the thirteen United Colonies, by the inhabitants thereof, and by the people of all such countries as are not subject to the said King; liable, however, to all such duties and impositions as now are, or may hereafter be laid by any of the said colonies.
Resolved, That nothing herein contained shall be understood to prevent such future commercial regulations as shall be thought just and necessary by these United Colonies, or their respective legislatures.
Resolved, That no slaves be imported into any of the thirteen United Colonies.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the assemblies and conventions in the several colonies, to appoint proper officers, at convenient places in their respective colonies, to take bonds, in adequate penalties, for observing the regulations made by the Congress, or assemblies, or conventions, concerning trade, and for securing the observation of such parts of the association as are not inconsistent therewith;
and that the obligor shall, within eighteen months after the departure of the vessel, produce to such officers a certificate, under the hands and seals of three or more reputable merchants, residing at the port or place where the cargo shall be delivered, that the same was there unladed, and take manifests upon oath, of the cargoes exported and imported, and keep fair accounts and entries thereof, give bills of health when desired, grant registers shewing the property of the vessels cleared out, and sign certificates that the requisites for qualifying vessels to trade have been complied with: And that the fees of the said officers be stated by the respective assemblies or conventions; Provided always, that no prosecution upon any of the said bonds shall be commenced but within three years after the date thereof.
Resolved, That all goods, wares, and merchandise, except such as are made prize of, which shall be imported directly or indirectly from Great Britain or Ireland, into any of these United Colonies, contrary to the regulations established by Congress, shall be forfeited and disposed of, agreeable to such rules as shall be made by the several assemblies or conventions, and shall be liable to prosecution and condemnation in any court erected, or to be erected, for the determination of maritime affairs, in the colony where the seizure shall be made.
Ordered, That the above resolutions be published. [IV Journals of the Continental Congress, April 6, 1776, p. 257.]
IMPRESSMENT OF HORSES AND CARRIAGES.
The committee appointed to devise a plan for providing carriages, brought in a report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon,
Resolved, That the quarter masters in every department be ordered to avoid pressing horses and carriages, as much as possible; and when it is necessary, that they be directed to go to the country houses for that purpose, and discharge, as soon as the service will possibly admit, such horses and carriages so impressed; and that no violence whatever be done to any persons, their horses or carriages, who go to the camp of their own accord, to sell provisions, or other necessaries of any kind. (VI Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), October 10, 1776, p. 862.)
RESOLUTION REGARDING ENGROSSING.
Congress being informed that some persons in this city (of Philadelphia), governed by principles inimical to the cause of America, and with views of avarice and extortion, have monopolized and engrossed shoes, stockings, and other necessaries for the army, whilst the soldiers of the Continent, fighting for the liberties of their country, are exposed to the injuries of the weather, at this inclement season:
Resolved, That it be recommended to the assembly of the state of Pensylvania, to adopt such immediate measures for remedying this evil, as their wisdom shall suggest to be adequate to the present purpose, and for preventing like pernicious practices in future. [VI Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), November 26, 1776, p. 980.)
REQUEST FOR SUPPLIES.
That the council of safety of Pensylvania be requested, with all possible expedition, to cause application to be made to the house keepers and others in the said state, for as many blankets and woollen stockings as each can spare, for the use of the soldiers under the immediate command of General Washington, in New Jersies; and that they be delivered, as fast as collected, to Mr. J. Mease, the continental commissary:
That it be recommended to the said council of safety, to appoint persons to appraise the blankets and woollen stockings, so collected, as aforesaid, that the value of them may be paid: (VI Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), November 26, 1776, p. 983.)
RECOMMENDATION FOR IMPRESSMENT OF CERTAIN SUPPLIES.
That it be earnestly recommended to the council of safety of Pensylvania, to order the batallions of this city immediately to march and join General Washington:
That the said council of safety be requested to furnish the waggon master general with one thousand waggons for the use of the army; and, as in the present emergency of public affairs, such supply of waggons is absolutely necessary, that it be recommended to the said council of safety to impress the waggons, if they cannot be otherwise speedily procured.
Adjourned to 6 o'clock.
[VI Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), December 2, 1776, p. 1001.)
RESOLUTION BESTOWING DICTATORIAL POWERS UPON WASH
This Congress, having maturely considered the present crisis; and having perfect reliance on the wisdom, vigour, and uprightness of General Washington, do, hereby,
Resolve, That General Washington shall be, and he is hereby, vested with full, ample, and complete powers to raise and collect together, in the most speedy and effectual manner, from any or all of these United States, 16 batallions of infantry, in addition to those already voted by Congress; to appoint officers for the said batallions; to raise, officer, and equip three thousand light horse; three regiments of artillery, and a corps of engineers, and to establish their pay; to apply to any of the states for such aid of the militia as he shall judge necessary; to form such magazines of provisions, and in such places, as he shall think proper; to displace and appoint all officers under the rank of brigadier general, and to fill up all vacancies in every other department in the American armies; to take, wherever he may be, whatever he may want for the use of the army, if the inhabitants will not sell it, allowing a reasonable price for the same; to arrest and confine persons who refuse to take the continental currency, or are otherwise disaffected to the American cause; and return to the states of which they are citizens, their names, and the nature of their offences, together with the witnesses to prove them:
That the foregoing powers be vested in General Washington, for and during the term of six months from the date hereof, unless sooner determined by Congress. (VI Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), December 27, 1776, p. 1045.]
DIRECTING REMOVAL OF SUPPLIES IN DANGER OF SEIZURE BY
Resolved, That General Washington be directed to take effectual measures for removing all provisions, cattle, carriages, and forage, which he may think in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy, particularly in the parts of the country through which their route may lie, should they attempt to march; and that he give directions to all officers employed on this duty, to be careful not to deprive the inhabitants of what may be necessary for their immediate subsistence; and to cause all provisions, cattle, carriages, and forage, removed, to be appraised to a just valuation, that the owners may be paid for the same. (VII Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), April 19, 1777, p. 283.)
RESOLUTION FORBIDDING IMPRESSMENT.
Resolved, That no persons, horses, or carriages going to the army with provisions, and returning from thence, be pressed upon any pretence whatever. (VIII Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), May 29, 1777, p. 396.]
RECOMMENDATION TO TAKE POSSESSION OF NAMED SUPPLIES.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the supreme executive council of the State of Pennsylvania, immediately to appoint proper and discreet persons to take into possession any linens, blankets and other woollens, shoes, spirits, and other necessaries for the use of the army, which they may find in any stores or ware-houses in the city of Philadelphia; giving a certificate expressing the quantity and value, and to cause the goods so taken to be conveyed to some secure place to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy. (VIII Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), September 14, 1777, p. 741.)
CONFERRING FURTHER POWERS UPON
Whereas, the city of Philadelphia notwithstanding the brave exertions of the American army, may possibly, by the fortune of war, be, for a time, possessed by the enemy's army, which availing itself of the provisions and other necessary supplies now in it, may be enabled to prosecute with vigour the war in which they are now engaged; and whereas it is absolutely essential to the liberties of the United States, that the most effectual and speedy means should be adopted for securing, for the use of the American army, every article which may be necessary for their equipment and subsistence; and whereas, from the near approach of the enemy's army, and by the wicked arts of extortioners, engrossers and others, enemies to the liberties of America, it may be impracticable to collect in time, and by way of regular purchase, a competent supply; and whereas it may be essential to the public welfare, that Congress should adjourn to some place more remote than this city from the scene of action, in order that its deliberations may be conducted without interruption; therefore,
Resolved, That General Washington be authorized and directed to suspend all officers who shall misbehave, and to fill up all vacancies in the American army, under the rank of brigadiers, until the pleasure of Congress shall be communicated; to take, wherever he may be, all such provisions and other articles as may be necessary for the comfortable subsistence of the army under his command, paying or giving certificates for the same: to remove and secure, for the benefit of the owners, all goods and effects which may be serviceable to the enemy; provided, that the powers hereby vested shall be exercised only in such parts of these states as may be within the circumference of 70 miles of the head quarters of the American army, and shall continue in force for the space of 60 days, unless sooner revoked by Congress.