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Piscataway and Bladensburgh (Maryland) Committee



Prince George' s County, July 19, 1775.

The Committee of Inspection for Piscataway and Bladensburgh having had information that Goods had been sold and landed by some persons belonging to ships lying in the Eastern Branch of Potomack River, met this day at Kerbey' s Landing, and chose Colonel Joshva Beall, Chairman:

When Robert Miller, Master of the Ship Diana, was called before the Committee, and being asked if he had not sold or delivered to Mr˙ Henry Bradford a barrel of Porter, who, after some evasive answer, acknowledged he had made Mr˙ Bradford a present of a barrel of Porter, in consideration of sundry services he had done him last voyage, and others he expected this present voyage.

Mr˙ Bradford being then examined, acknowledged, that at the repeated and pressing requests of Captain Miller, he had accepted of a barrel, which he believed was Porter, though he had not tasted it since he received it from him; that at that time he did not think he was doing wrong, as he did not purchase it, and was sorry to find he had erred in accepting it, and was ready and willing to deliver it up to the Committee in the order he had received it.

Captain Benjamin King being examined by said Committee, declared he heard Captain Miller say, on the Exchange of London, before he came out this voyage, that he would bring to America any Goods he pleased.

The Committee then examined James McKinsey, carpenter, and Samuel Pool, boatswain of the Ship Eolus, Captain Rankins. They acknowledged they had sold seven pair of Shoes to different persons, and also part of a piece of Linen to the Skipper of a Schooner down the river, his name unknown to them; they declared they did not know they were breaking the rules of the Continental Congress, and agreed to give up the money they had sold the Shoes for to the Bladensburgh Committee, to be disposed of by them as they should think proper.

Luke Jefferson, Robert St˙ Clair, and Baptist Kirbey, being examined, acknowledged they had bought Shoes of the above-named persons, viz: Luke Jefferson three pair, Robert St˙ Clair three pair, and Baptist Kirbey two pair; which they agreed to give up to the Bladensburgh Committee.

Captain Rankins being examined, declared he did not know that his people brought any thing for sale, and that he had, before they sailed, told them not, as he had received orders from his owners not to suffer any Goods to come put in the ship; that as soon as he had information that his people had been selling Shoes, he made a search in the ship, and could not find any thing his people had but what was necessary for the voyage.

Resolved by the Committee aforesaid, That the Porter and Shoes be destroyed in a publick manner, and the money for which the Shoes were sold to be applied to the relief of the poor of Boston; and it is the opinion of this Committee, that the several persons concerned in importing, vending, purchasing, and receiving the said Goods, have been guilty of violating the Association of the Continental Congress.