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certificates or receipts for the same, expressing the quantity and quality of the goods; provided, that such laws do not extend to any goods, wares, or merchandise which are, or shall be, bona fide, imported into the respective states on account of any persons not citizens of any of these United States, so long as the same shall continue their property, and no longer: and that they inflict such penalties as may be deemed proper on such persons possessed of any of the above enumerated goods, wares, and merchandise, or other articles of cloathing suitable for the army, who, to evade the good intention of the said laws, shall falsely affirm or declare the same to be the property of persons not citizens of any of the said United States.
2. That it be further recommended to make provision in the said laws to empower the commissary general of purchases, or any of his deputies, or such other persons as the respective legislatures may deem expedient, to seize all stock and every kind of provision necessary for the army, which may have been purchased up or engrossed by any person with a view of selling the same, giving to the person, from whom such stock or provisions have been taken, certificates as aforesaid.
3. That the value of all such goods, wares, and merchandise as are above enumerated, or other articles of cloathing, stock, or provisions necessary for the army, which shall be so seized and taken, be ascertained at the rate at which the said articles shall be stated by the convention of the committees of the several states, to be held agreeable to the recommendation of Congress of the 22 day of November last: the articles of cloathing to be paid for by draughts made by the respective states upon the cloathier general; and the stock or provisions by the purchasing commissaries receiving them.
4. And it is further recommended to the respective states to cause to be made up so much of the cloathing aforesaid as they can complete within a reasonable time, and to send the whole of the cloathing so taken or seized, as well that part which may be made up, as that which may remain unmade, excepting so much as may be necessary for cloathing the recruits inlisted in the states for their respective batallions in the continental service, to the cloathier general, to be distributed in the first instance to the supply of the troops belonging to the state furnishing such cloathing, and the residue in such manner as the commissioners of the war office or the cloathier general shall, from time to time, direct: provided, that this resolution shall not repeal or affect any part of the seventh proposition recommended to the legislatures of the respective states, the 22d November last, relative to the additional cloathing to be furnished by the several states to their respective batallions. And it is further resolved, that the cloathier general transmit, from time to time, to the respective states, an account of the cloathing furnished to their batallions out of the stock by them collected and sent forward, in order that each state may be satisfactorily informed that their troops receive immediate advantage from its exertions in the common cause.
5. And whereas, great waste of cloathing has arisen from the want of fidelity or skill in the persons employed to make up the same;
Resolved, That it be recommended to the respective states to appoint one or more suitable persons to superintend and direct the tradesmen employed to make up the cloaths to be collected as aforesaid, who shall conform themselves to the instructions of the Board of War relative to the form thereof, provided that no delays be suffered to take place from the want of such instructions.
6. And whereas, the comfortable support of the army of these states may hereafter greatly depend on the supplies which they may be able to draw from their own internel resources; it is therefore most earnestly recommended to the said states, to employ a sufficient number of manufacturers and tradesmen to supply the cloathing wanted for their respective batallions, exempting them, under proper regulations, from military duty; and authorizing suitable persons to collect and supply, at the stipulated prices, cotton, wool, flax, leather, and other articles for carrying on the soid manufactures.
7. And whereas, certain persons, devoid of, and in repugnance to every principle of public virtue and humanity, instigated by the lust of avarice, are, in each State, assiduously endeavouring, by every means of oppression, sharping, and extortion, to accumulate enormous gain for themselves, to the great distress of private families in general, and especially of the poorer and more dependent part of the community, as well as to the great injury of the public service. For the effectual suppression of such nefarious practices it is most seriously recommended to the several legislatures aforesaid, forthwith to enact laws, limiting the number of retailers of goods, wares, and merchandise in their several countries, towns, and districts, and obliging them to take license and enter into bonds for the observance of all laws made for their regulation; to make provision in the said laws that no person be allowed to sell by wholesale except the importer, and he only to persons having such license, or the certificates hereafter mentioned; and that such of their inhabitants as are not licensed as aforesaid, be restrained from purchasing a greater quantity of such goods, wares, merchandise than is requisite for their own private or family's use or consumption. And that it be farther recommended to the several states to prohibit any persons whatever, not citizens of their respective states, to purchase within the same, any articles of cloathing or provision necessary for the use of the army, (unless so much as may be requisite for their own private or family's use or consumption, excepting only such person or persons as shall produce a certificate, under the seal and sign manual of the supreme executive authority of
the respective states, purporting that the said person or persons are employed or permitted to make purchoses either on account of the public or for the use or benefit of the inhabitants of the State of which he or they are members; and to inflict such punishment upon all atrocious offenders before described, as shall brand them with indelible infamy.
8. And whereas, there is good reason to apprehend that many of the emissories and abettors of General Howe are dispersed through the United States, under various pretences of amusement or business, whereby they are enabled to spread disaffection, intimidate the people by false news, depreciate the currency of the United States, and avoid serving in the militia, or paying their fines; to prevent these mischiefs it is most earnestly recommended to the supreme executive power of each State, to take the most effectual measures to cause all persons whose character and business is not well known and approved of, to be apprehended, and if they cannot give a good and satisfactory account of themselves, that they be obliged immediately to return to their own states, or be confined in gaol. [IX Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), December 20, 1777, pp. 1043, 1044, 1045.]
RESOLUTION CONCERNING IMPRESSMENT.
That General Spencer, or the commander of the forces aforesaid, be informed, that if provisions cannot be procured at reasonable rates, and he shall be obliged to impress them, he shall direct certificates to be granted, promising payment at such rates as shall be settled by the convention of committees to meet et New Haven, the 15 instant, in pursuance of a resolve of Congress of the 22 November last; and that this resolution have retrospect as to all accounts not liquidated for provisions or services supplied or performed to the 1st day of November, which are to be paid at the convention prices, (and all other unliquidated accounts for services or provisions supplied or performed since that period to the date of this resolution, to be paid for at the prices for which they are contracted.] X Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), January 13. 1778, pp. 46, 47.)
RESOLUTION REGARDING IMPRESSMENT AND PRICES.
That the commissioner or commissioners be empowered to hire or impress waggons sufficient to make the necessary transportation of the flour to the places where it is to be deposited, and to pay the hire of the said waggons, at the same rate paid by the quarter master general:
That the Board of War be empowered to limit the prices to be given for the said wheat and flour, and to give such orders and directions to the commissioners as they shall think proper or necessary, from time to time: provided, that no limitation to be made by the Board of War, with respect to price, shall contravene any acts of the legislature of Pennsylvania, or any of the regulations which may be made hereafter by the convention of committees which is to meet at New Haven, in Connecticut, on this fifteenth day of January. [X Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), January 15, 1778, pp. 54, 55.)
RESOLUTION REGARDING SEIZURE OF RUM FOR ARMY.
A remonstrance from John Jeffers was read, praying to be paid for rum, seized by order of the Board of War, for the use of the army: Whereupon,
Resolved, That all applications for payment of rum, seized by order of the Board of War, for the use of the army, be made to the said Board, who are hereby directed and authorized to liquidate and adjust the same as they shall think equitable and proper.
(XI Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), May 13, 1778, pp. 491, 492.)
RECOMMENDATION THAT PRICE FIXING STATUTES BE REPEALED
AND EXPORTS PREVENTED.
The committee to whom was referred the letter of the 27, from J. Wadsworth, with the papers enclosed, brought in a report, which was taken into consideration: Whereupon, Congi ess came to the following resolution:
Whereas, it hath been found by Experience that Limitations upon the Prices of Commodities are not only ineffectual for the Purposes proposed, but likewise productive of very evil Consequences to the great Detriment of the public Service and grievous Oppression of Individuals:
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several States to repeal or suspend all Laws or Resolutions within the said States respectively limiting, regulating, or restraining the Price of any Article, Manufacture or Commodity.
AGREED, THAT AN EMBARGO SHALL BE LAID.
Whereas, the Practice of exporting Wheat, Rice, Rye, Indian Corn, Flour, Bread, Beef, Pork, Bacon, live Stock, and other Provi. sions hath been attended with the pernicious Consequences not only of raising the Price of such Articles and strengthening the Armies of these States for subsistence, but also of affording Supplies to their Enemies, thereby enabling them more effectually to prosecute the present unjust War.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several States to take effectual Measures for preventing the Exportation of the said Articles, or any of them, excepting so much as may be necessary for the Crews of Ships or Vessels of War, or of such as may be laden with other Merchandizes until the
next, and for punishing all Persons who under Color thereof may
Resolved, that the Governors of Virginia and Maryland be requested to forward immediately by Water to the Head of Elk, the Provisions purchased for the Use of the continental Army, within those States, and which lie contiguous, or convenient to Navigation, and to take such Measures for that Purpose as they shall deem most expedient.
Whereas, by a change of circumstances in the commerce of these states, the regulation of prices lately recommended by Congress may be unnecessary; and the measure not being yet adopted by all the states: therefore,
Resolved, That it be recommended to the legislatures of the several states that have adopted it, to suspend or repeal their laws made for that purpose. (XI Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), June 4, 1778, pp. 569, 570.)
RESOLUTION REGARDING DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY IN PHILA
DELPHIA IN CASE OF ITS EVACUATION BY THE ENEMY.
Resolved, That should the city of Philadelphia be evacuated by the enemy, it will be expedient and proper for the Commander in Chief to take effectual care that no insult, plunder, or injury of any kind, may be offered to the inhabitants of the said city:
That, in order to prevent public or private injury from the operations of ill disposed persons, the General be directed to take early and proper care to prevent the removal, transfer, or sale of any goods, wares, or merchandize in possession of the inhabitants of the said city, until the property of the same shall be ascertained by a joint committee, consisting of persons appointed by Congress, and of persons appointed by the supreme executive council of the State of Pensylvania, to wit, so far as to determine, whether any, or what part thereof may belong to the king of Great Britain or to any of his subjects. (XI Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), June 4, 1778, p. 571.)