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RECOMMENDATION TO STATES AS TO LEGISLATION TOUCHING

SPECULATORS, FORESTALLERS, AND ENGROSSERS.

Whereas the scantiness of crops of wheat and other grain in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, and the wicked arts of speculators, forestallers, and engrossers, who infest every quarter of the country, and are industriously purchasing up grain and flour at the most exorbitant prices, render it impracticable to obtain timely and sufficient supplies for the operations of the army and navy, unless the most vigorous measures are, without delay, adopted, to restrain practices so destructive to the public weal:

Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to the legislative, or, where vested with sufficient power, to the executive authorities of the states above mentioned, to authorize and direct any civil magistrate within their respective jurisdictions, on an information given by the commissary or quarter master general, or by the deputy commissary or quarter master general of the respective districts, of any extraordinary quantity of grain or flour being purchased and in the possession of individuals, forthwith to issue his warrant empowering the informant to seize the same for the public use, (paying for the same such prices as may to the respective legislatures appear proper, to prevent the practice of engrossing those articles in future, not exceeding six dollars per hundred for flour, and in proportion for grain, which may be found in the hands of engrossers.)

And, whereas, the facilitating the supply of the army, which was one of the principal objects in laying the embargo, has been defeated by individuals purchasing up grain and flour with a view of exporting the same at the expiration of the term for which the embargo is laid in the respective states:

Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to the Legislative and Executive Authorities of the respective States to continue in Force the present Embargo subject to such Exceptions (See Amendment A) as are recommended by the Resolutions of Congress of

till the last Day of Jany. 1779, next or till such Time as Congress shall give Notice to the respective States that sufficient Supplies have been obtained for the Operations of the army and for the French Squadron; and that it be recommended to the said Legislatures to authorize the Seizure and Forfeiture of all Grain and Flour (other than what may be Sufficient for family use) which may be purchased up by Individuals during the continuance of such Embargo.

Resolved, That the embargo on provisions, which, by the resolution of the 8th day of June last, was laid until the 15 November next, be continued in force, subject to such exceptions as are rec

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ommended by the resolution of the 2d September, till the last day of January, 1779, or until such time as Congress shall give notice to the respective states that sufficient supplies have been obtained for the operations of the army and for the French squadron; and that it be recommended to the respective states to take the most effectual measures for carrying this resolution into effect.

On considering this part of the report, the committee having offered, as their opinion, “That it be earnestly recommended to the legislative or executive authorities of the respective states to continue in force the present embargo, &c.”

An amendment was moved, that Congress should continue the embargo, and recommend it to the States to take measures for enforcing it:

Upon which the question being put, and the yeas and nays required by Mr. (Joseph) Reed, New Hampshire,

Virginia,
Mr. Bartlett

ay}ay Mr. Harvie Massachusetts Bay,

R. H. Lee

ay Mr. S. Adams

ay

M. Smith
Lovell

ay ay

Griffin
Holten

North Carolina,
Rhode Island,

Mr. Penn
Mr. Marchant

ay ay
Harnett

ay ay Connecticut,

Williams

ay) Mr. Sherman

ay}ay South Carolina, New York,

Mr. Laurens
Mr. Lewis

-ау |

Drayton

aya Duer

Mathews
Pennsylvania,

Georgia,
Mr. Reed

no

Mr. Walton
James Smith

ay no

Telfair
Clingan
Maryland,
Mr. Stone

no)
Forbes

ayno Henry So it was resolved in the affirmative, and the report being amended, the resolution passed as above.

Resolved, That it be farther recommended to the legislatures of the several states to pass laws for the seizure and forfeiture of all grain and flour purchased up or engrossed, with such exceptions and under such limitations and restrictions as they may think most expedient.

And, whereas, there is reason to believe that the end proposed by Congress in recommending an exemption from embargo, by their resolution of 2 September, may not only be defeated by private purchasers enhancing prices, or by captains making false protests and bearing away to foreign ports; but in cases where vessels may

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actually arrive in some ports of the eastern states, the cargoes may be engrossed by individuals at an extravagant rate, with a view of preying upon the public; to guard against which evils,

Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to the legislative and executive authorities of the respective states, not to grant arty exemption from embargo to any vessels whatever, unless, in addition to the former security recommended, the persons applying for the same, comply with the following stipulations, to wit:

That the shipper or shippers of the cargo solemnly make oath, that no part of the flour or grain proposed to be shipped has been purchased or contracted for since the 10th day of October, 1778.

That the shipper and every man on board of the said vessels, whether seamen or passengers, solemnly swear that they will not, directly or indirectly, be privy to or concerned in any measure whatsoever, which may tend to defeat the arrival of the vessel at some safe port in one of the eastern states; but that they will, without any deception, mental reservation or equivocation whatever, take every measure to carry into effect the intention of the license granted:

That the shipper shall first agree with the commissary general, or person by him duly authorized, for such purpose, on the price for which the flour shipt shall be delivered at one of the ports in the eastern states for the public use.

Resolved, That the exemption from the embargo, as recommended by the resolution of Congress of the 2 September, be extended to vessels belonging to the middle and southern as well as those of the eastern states, under the restrictions and stipulations above mentioned. (XII Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), October 2, 1778, pp. 974, 975, 976, 977, 978, 979.)

DISPOSITION OF GOODS BELONGING TO ENEMIES.

Whereas, upon the evacuation of this city by the British army, certain seizures made of goods and effects, supposed to belong to the subjects of Great Britain, and other goods were taken up under contracts entered into with the inhabitants of this city by the officers, in the departments of quarter master, cloathier and commissary generals, and a committee hath been appointed by Congress to examine into the conduct of the said officers in making said seizures and contracts, that justice may be done to the public and individuals, but report hath not yet been made.

Resolved, That the Board of War direct such of the said goods, whether seized or contracted for, as may be wanted for the immediate use of the army, especially for cloathing, to be appropriated for that purpose; and that the Board of War direct that proper accounts be kept of the goods so appropriated, the quantity and quality,

and of whom seized, or with whom contracted for. (XII Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), October 22, 1778, p. 1055.)

RESOLUTION REGARDING OBTAINING OF SUPPLIES FOR THE

ARMY.

Resolved, That in all cases where forage is wanted for the troops, and cannot be purchased by the commissaries at reasonable rates, application be made to the executive or legislative authority of the State wherein the forage is required, or to some person or persons properly authorized by them for that purpose, for their interposition and assistance in procuring the necessary supplies:

That it be recommended to the governments of the states, wherein the army or any detachment or part thereof now is, or hereafter shall be, to take such measures, in aid of the forage masters, who shall first use every endeavour to purchase the same, for the procuring sufficient quantities of forage, at reasonable rates, as shall, in their opinion, be effectual, and most likely to procure a speedy supply. (XII Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), November 30, 1778, p. 1177.]

RESOLUTION RESPECTING PAYMENT FOR CLOTHING FOR

TROOPS.

Resolved, That a proper person be forthwith appointed and commissioned to settle and pay all accounts of arrearages of cloathing due to the troops of these states for the year 1777.

That this commissioner be authorized to call on the cloathier general and his deputies, for immediate and exact returns of all cloathing by them issued for the year 1777, shewing at what times, to whom, and for whose use the same was issued; which returns the cloathier general and his deputies are directed to make accordingly. The cloathiers in the several states are also desired to make to the said commissioner similar returns of all the cloathing by them issued for that year, on account of the United States, and the governments of the states respectively are requested to give the orders and assistance necessary for this end. And all officers of the army who have received cloathing for the troops, either of any continental or state cloathier, or by purchase or impressment, are directed to render to the commissioner aforesaid, a return of the same, and account with him for their due application: (XIII Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), March 2, 1779, p. 266.]

RESOLUTION REGARDING RETURN OF SEIZED MERCHANDISE.

Resolved, That the cloathier general be, and he is hereby, ordered, if there be any of the goods on hand, by him taken from the merchants of Philadelphia, at the time of the evacuation of the city by the enemy, and not fit for the use of the army, to return such goods to the persons from whom they were taken without delay; that for all such goods as he has sold to private persons, he pay to the persons from whom they were taken the sums for which they were sold:

With regard to the residue, a motion was made that the memorialists receive from the quarter master and cloathier general twelve hundred per cent. upon the sterling cost of the goods seized by them for the use of the army of these states; to which an amendment and substitute was moved as follows:

That the cloathier general and quarter master general pay to the memorialists from whom goods were taken for public use, the current price of the same at the time when the said goods were taken. (XIII Journals of the Continental Congress (Library of Congress), March 12, 1779, p. 308.)

RESOLUTION RESPECTING PROTECTION OF PROPERTY BELONGING TO OR USED OR OCCUPIED BY THE UNITED STATES.

Resolved, That it be recommended to the legislatures of the respective states, to make effectual provision by laws for the preservation of the buildings belonging to the United States within their respective jurisdictions, and for the punishment of those who shall seize upon or injure the same; and that in cases where there are considerable buildings which cannot be removed with convenience to the public, the proprietors of the ground be obliged to suffer the buildings to remain thereon, at least during the war, receiving therefor such compensation as shall be allowed by indifferent and proper persons duly appointed and authorized to appraise and value the same; that all grounds or places occupied for the purposes of defenco, although the property of individuals, shall remain during the war appropriated (if not before that time abandoned by orders of the proper authority,) for the military purposes intended by their being possessed by the troops; and that no encroachments shall be made on the said grounds or places; but the officer commanding at the post shall remove all such encroachments on the dependencies of the garrison, the forts or any out-works thereof, so that such extent of ground shall remain unoccupied for any private purpose round the forts or garrisons, as the defence of the same posts may require: [and that compensation be made to the proprietors of such grounds in the manner herein before mentioned:)

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