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Further Resolutions condemning the conduct of Samuel Purviance


The Convention, taking into consideration the Resolutions of Saturday last, on the charge against Samuel Purviance, Jun˙, of Baltimore Town,

Resolved, That Samuel Purviance, Jun˙, be called before this Convention, and be informed by Mr˙ President of the Resolutions had on Saturday last on the articles of charge against him; and further, that this Convention highly disapprove and condemn his conduct in usurping the power to direct the operations of the military force of this Province, and in using his character of Chairman, and engaging the countenance and promising the protection and indemnity of the Committee, without the orders of the Committee, assembled as such. That it appears to this Convention that the said Samuel Purviance, in his usurpation of the power to direct the military force of this Province, was considerably influenced by a person not residing in this Province, nor having any interest or property therein, and that it would be of the most dangerous tendency to the peace of this Province, and to the safety and security of the good people thereof, to suffer any person or persons, other than those entrusted with the proper authority by this Province, and more especially such as do not reside nor have any interest therein, to interfere in the direction of the internal affairs, civil or military, of said Province. That this Convention hath no intention or desire to prevent any person from freely examining into the conduct of the Convention, or any other publick body within this Province, or into the conduct of any individuals thereof, or to exercise his judgment, or to communicate his sentiments as to the abilities or fitness of any man to fill the office to which he is appointed. That it is necessary, for the purpose of filling the places of highest trust with the best and most approved characters in the community, and for the preservation of publick liberty, that there should be such free investigations. But that it is equally necessary for maintaining order, that the publick bodies should not be wantonly and licentiously traduced by misrepresentations of them and their conduct, to those especially who stand high in the present system of authority or command in America. That if the representations of the said Samuel Purviance concerning the Convention and Council of Safety to the President of the Congress and General Lee were true, such representations could not be serviceable to the publick, because neither the President of the Congress nor General Lee could displace, nor could properly have any influence towards displacing any individual of either of those bodies, however unequal he might be to his publick station; but that such representations being indeed false, the calumny might have proved highly prejudicial to the cause of America in general, and to this Province in particular.

That this Convention are therefore of opinion, that justice would well warrant a more exemplary punishment to be inflicted on the said Samuel Purviance for his said misdoings; but that, in consideration of his active zeal in the common cause, and in expectation that he will hereafter conduct himself with more respect to the publick bodies necessarily entrusted with power, mediately or immediately, by the people of this Province, and will be more attentive to propriety, this Convention hath resolved that the said Samuel Purviance for his said conduct be censured and reprimanded, and that Mr˙ President do from the chair censure and reprimand him accordingly, and that he be thereupon discharged.

And thereupon the said Samuel Purviance, Jun˙, being


called in, and being at the bar of this House, Mr˙ President communicated to him the resolve of Convention, and did censure and reprimand him accordingly.