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Apr.1, Treasury Office of Accounts established, Commission to Commanders of private Ships-of-War


Monday, April 1, 1776.

Resolved, That Captain D˙ Arundel be allowed 48˙5 Dollars, in full for pay and subsistence of a Captain, from the 8th of February, the time he was recommended to General Schuyler, to the 19th of March, when he received his Commission.

Resolved, That Mr˙ J˙ Mease, Commissary, be directed to advance Captain Romans one month' s pay for himself and the officers and men of his Company, and also subsistence money to Albany.

The Committee to whom the application of Captain White-Eyes was referred, brought in their Report, which was read.

Resolved, That the same be referred for consideration till to-morrow.

The Congress having, on the 17th of February last, appointed a Standing Committee for superintending the Treasury, with power, among other things, to employ and instruct proper persons for liquidating the publick accounts; and the said resolutions not being sufficiently explicit, with respect to the manner and place of settling those accounts, and it being a matter of great consequence that the publick accounts should be regularly stated and kept, and justly liquidated and settled:


Resolved therefore, That a Treasury Office of Accounts shall be instituted and established, and that such office shall be kept in the city or place where Congress shall, from time to time, be assembled and hold their sessions.

That the said Office of Accounts be under the direction and superintendence of the Standing Committee for the Treasury.

That an Auditor-General, and a competent number of Assistants and Clerks, be appointed by Congress, and employed for stating, arranging, and keeping the publick Accounts.

That all accounts and claims against the United Colonies for services or supplies, where the rates or prices have not been ascertained by Congress, shall be presented to the Committee of Claims, liquidated by them, and reported to and allowed by Congress, previous to their being passed and entered at the Treasury Office; that all other accounts and claims, consisting of articles the price or value of which shall have previously been fixed by contract, or otherwise ascertained by Congress, shall be liquidated and settled at the Treasury Office, and reported for the allowance of Congress, by the Committee for superintending the Treasury, and then passed and entered at the Treasury Office.

That all contracts, securities, and obligations, for the use and benefit of the United Colonies; shall be lodged and kept in the Treasury Office of Accounts; and that all persons to whom publick moneys have been or shall be advanced or paid, shall be charged with the same in the books of the said office; for which purpose every warrant on the Treasury, which shall issue after the said office shall be opened, shall, previous to its being paid, be entered at the Treasury Office, and the entry certified on the warrant, by one of the Committee on the Treasury, the Auditor-General, or one of his Assistants or Clerks: Provided, however, That all orders or warrants issued by Committees appointed and authorized by Congress to draw on the Treasurers for particular purposes, shall be paid and charged to the account of the said Committee respectively, until they shall settle and have their accounts passed by Congress, when the debits against them shall be discharged in the Treasury Office, by such credits as Congress shall agree to and allow.

That all Assemblies, Conventions, Councils or Committees of Safety, Commissaries, Paymasters; and others, entrusted with publick moneys, shall, within a reasonable time after being called upon for that purpose by the Committee of the Treasury, produce their accounts and vouchers at the Treasury Office, in order to their being settled and adjusted in the manner before directed.

That the Committee for superintending the Treasury shall be authorized to apply to the Commanding Officers and others, in the Continental service, for such materials and information as the Committee may judge to be useful, for stating, explaining, or checking the publick accounts, in order to their being fairly and justly settled. That the Auditor-General and his Assistants or Clerks, before entering upon their offices, shall, respectively, take an oath, to be administered by one or more of the Committee of the Treasury Office, (a certificate whereof shall be filed in the Treasury Office,) well and faithfully to execute the trust reposed in them, as Auditor, Assistant, or Clerk, (as the case may be,) of the Office of Accounts, established by Congress, according to the best of their skill and judgment, and to disclose no matter, the knowledge of which shall be acquired in consequence of such their office, which they shall be directed to keep secret.

That the Committee for superintending the Treasury shall be authorized to hire suitable places, and procure books of accounts and other necessaries at the publick expense, for the establishing, and doing the business of the said office.

Resolved, That Major James Hewes, a prisoner at Elizabethtown, be allowed and ordered to come to Philadelphia for the benefit of his health, and there to wait on the Committee for Prisoners, and take their directions with respect to the place of his future residence.

Resolved, That Mr˙ McKean and Mr˙ Paine be directed to examine the Jail of Philadelphia, and particularly the apartments where Kirkland, Connolly, Smith, and Cameron, are confined, and report what is necessary to be done to have them safely and securely kept.

Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed to


confer with James McKnight, and examine his Account, and the nature of his claim, and report thereon to Congress.

The Members chosen, Mr˙ R˙ Morris, Mr˙ McKean, and Mr˙ De Hart.

The Committee on Qualifications having recommended Jacob Kemper, Jun˙, to be appointed an Ensign in Captain Howells Company, in the First New-Jersey Battalion, in the room of Cyprus De Hart, who has resigned,

Resolved, That he be appointed, and that a Commission be granted to him accordingly.

Resolved, That the President, in his next Letter to General Schuyler, desire him to send an account of the Lead at Ticonderoga.

A Letter from Alexander McDonald, George Gillespie, and J˙ W˙ Sounders, of the 12th of March, was presented to Congress, and read:

Resolved, That it be referred to Mr˙ R˙ Morris, Mr˙ McKean, and Mr˙ De Hart.

The several matters to this day referred being postponed, Adjourned to ten o' clock, to-morrow.