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Committee for fortifying the Harbour of Boston appointed a Committee of War


Wednesday, May 8, 1776.

Present in Council: Honourable James Otis, Walter Spooner, Caleb Cushing, John Winthrop, Thomas Cushing, Benjamin Chadbourn, John Whetcomb, Jedediah Foster, James Prescott, Eldad Taylor, Benjamin Lincoln, Michael Parley, Joseph Palmer, Samuel Holten, Jabez Fisher, Moses Gill, Benjamin White, Esquires.

Whereas, William Wood, Robert Ayles, and others, who were taken in bringing supplies to the enemy of the United Colonies, have obtained leave from this Court to proceed to Great Britain on their parole; but the said Wood, Ayle, and others, having delayed their voyage, and being now on board a Schooner in the Harbour of Gloucester, with design to proceed on the voyage aforesaid; and as a powerful Fleet


and Army are now on our coast, and their having information of the present circumstances and movements of this Colony may be of dangerous tendency,

It is therefore Resolved, That the Committee of said Gloucester be, and they hereby are, empowered and directed to haul up and strip said Schooner, and detain the said Wood and Ayle, and all other persons designing to go to England in said Schooner, until the further order of the General Court.

Resolved, That the Committee for fortifying the Harbour of Boston be a Committee of War, whose business it shall be, until the first meeting of the next General Court, to direct the Commissary-General of this Colony respecting taking in and delivering out the warlike Stores of this Colony to and from the publick Magazines, as the exigences thereof may require; and, also, to appoint agents, and in all respects provide for and give such instructions to the Commanders of the Armed Vessels that are or may be fitted out on account of this Colony, from time to time, and at all times, in all respects, as to them shall appear necessary for the defence and interest of this Colony, or the United Colonies, and not contrary to the Resolves of the Continental Congress, or any Law or Resolve of the General Court. And the said Committee are further empowered to direct the Commissary-General of this Colony to procure all such warlike Stores as they may find necessary for the defence and security of this Colony. And the Council are hereby empowered to grant Warrants to the said Committee, on the Treasurer of this Colony, for such sum or sums of money as the Committee aforesaid may have occasion for; and that said Committee be accountable for the expenditures of the money so received.

Resolved, That there be allowed to the Officers and Soldiers of the Militia of the Colony, that were called in at the request of his Excellency General Washington, when the Continental Army took possession of the Heights of Dorchester, Rations, in such proportion as are allowed in the said Continental Army, from the time of the said Militia marching from their places of abode until their return to their respective homes; and the Officers of said Militia are directed to make up their Rolls accordingly.

Whereas Captain White, in Colonel Whitney' s Regiment, who had Beating Orders, has declined the service; and others who have received Beating Orders, may do the same; and the General Court being about to rise:

Resolved, That the honourable Council be empowered to issue Orders to some meet persons for raising a Company, instead of the said White, or any other person or persons who may resign their Orders for raising Soldiers for the said Regiment, and make Commissions for such persons as may receive such new Orders, if they shall judge them proper persons therefor.

A Bill entitled "An Act in addition to an Act for fixing out Armed Vessels for the defence of America," having had two several readings, passed to be enacted.

A Bill entitled "An Act in addition to an Act to supply the Treasury with fifty thousand Pounds," having had two several readings, passed to be enacted.

Whereas the Commissary-General of this Colony was directed by a late Resolve of this Court to procure ten Cannon for the defence of the Town of Falmouth; and whereas the same has not yet been provided for that purpose,

Therefore Resolved, That the said Commissary be, and he hereby is, directed to deliver to Samuel Freeman, Esq˙, or his order, ten Cannon, of the sizes mentioned in said Resolve, or as near the size thereof as can be, out of the Cannon now in the Town of Boston, as soon as they are put in repair, provided the Committee for fortifying the Harbour of Boston are of opinion that the same can be spared consistent with the general interest and safety of the Colony.

Resolved, That upon Peter Coffin, Esq˙, of Gloucester, making application to the Commissary-General of this Colony, the said Commissary be directed to deliver to the said Coffin, two Cannon, of eighteen-pounders, provided the Committee for fortifying the Harbour of Boston judge that it may be done, and thirty Balls fit for the same; and, also, sixty nine-pound Balls, and take his receipt for the same.

Whereas by an Act for regulating the Militia passed by this Court, in their session in January last, it was provided


that sundry Intrenching Tools, as by the said Act it is expressed, should be procured by the Selectmen in the Colony; and whereas there is the greatest reason to expect that a formidable Fleet and Army will soon invade this Colony; and it being absolutely necessary to the preservation of the lives, liberty, and property of the good people thereof, that the Militia should be put in the best posture of defence:

It is therefore Resolved, That the Selectmen of the several Towns in this Colony be, and they hereby are, directed and strictly enjoined, as they regard the lives of this people, to provide all Intrenching Tools, as by the Act aforesaid is directed, without the least delay, and that returns of the same, be made by said Selectmen to the General Court, on the 3d day of the next session thereof.

And it is Ordered, That the foregoing Resolve be published by the Secretary in the Boston, Watertown, and Worcester Newspapers, as soon as may be.

Adjourned to nine o' clock, to-morrow morning.