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Order of the 6th for a Committee to Wait on General Washington


Monday, January 8, 1776.

Voted, That the Order of the House, of the 6th current, appointing a Committee to wait upon General Washington, be reconsidered.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Cushing and Major Fuller, with such as the honourable Board shall join, be a Committee to inquire of General Washington, whether he thinks there will be a necessity of retaining any or all the Militia, now in camp, after the 15th current, and, if any, how many he shall stand in need of, and for what time.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Sewall, Doctor Flectcher, and Captain Parker, be a Committee to bring in a Bill for establishing the Fees of the Courts of Admiralty in this Colony.

The Committee on the Muster-Rolls of the Army having requested instructions with regard to some Rolls which contain the service of men, who marched on the alarm a short time before they inlisted,

Ordered, That such service be struck out of said Rolls, and made up in the Minute or Militia Rolls, agreeable to the directions of Court.

The Committee to whom was committed a Resolve of this House, for erecting a Powder-Mill at Andover, reported. The Report was considered, and recommitted.


The Committee to whom was committed a Resolve of this House, for erecting a Powder-Mill at Andover, reported. Read, and accepted.

Whereas, Mr˙ Samuel Phillips, Jun˙, has proposed to build a Mill with all expedition at Andover, for manufacturing Gunpowder, and this Court is willing to give all reasonable encouragement to so important and necessary an undertaking:

It is, therefore, Resolved, If the said Mill shall be erected within a reasonable time, in the judgment of the General Court, that during the term of one year next after the said Mill shall be erected and fitted to go, there shall be delivered to the said Phillips, by this Colony, from time to time, so much Saltpetre as shall be sufficient to keep the said Mill constantly employed, provided the same can be manufactured and purchased within this Colony, at the rate and bounty which is already, or that hereafter may be established by the General Court for the same; and, also, that the Committee of this Court (A) be not obliged to reserve by them, at any one time, a larger quantity than will be sufficient to keep the said Mill in employ for more than the term of one week, (B); and, if it shall be made to appear at the expiration of the year to the satisfaction of the said Court, that the Mill has been unemployed during part of the said time from the want of a supply of Saltpetre, there shall be delivered to said Phillips, to manufacture into Powder as aforesaid, sufficient quantity of Saltpetre to employ the Mill so long as to make up the lost time as aforesaid, and there shall be likewise delivered as much Sulphur, if the said Phillips shall require or need the same, as will be necessary to mix with said quantities of Saltpetre in manufacturing the same into Powder, the said Phillips paying the Colony so much for what Sulphur he shall receive therefrom, as said Sulphur shall cost the same. (C). Provided, That the said Phillips shall enter into bonds, as the Council shall order, that he will well and truly deliver the Commissary-General of this Colony, so many pounds of good merchantable Gunpowder as he shall be able to manufacture of the Saltpetre which he shall receive from the Colony, or any Committee appointed by the General Court, to manufacture or procure the same; and, also, be at the expense of transporting said Powder to the Colony Store, and of transporting to his said Mill such Sulphur and Saltpetre as the Colony, or the Committee of said Colony, shall deliver him; and, also, that he will cause to be published all the discoveries which he shall make relative to the construction of said Mill, and the manufacturing Powder as aforesaid.

And it is, also, Resolved, That the said Phillips shall be paid out of the publick Treasury of this Colony, eight Pence per pound, for as many pounds of good merchantable Gunpowder as he shall manufacture of the Saltpetre which he shall receive of the Colony as aforesaid, on his delivering such Gunpowder to the Commissary of the Colony.


And it is also, Resolved, That the several Committees that are, or may be appointed by the General Court, to procure Saltpetre, or Sulphur, are hereby directed to deliver said Phillips, from time to time, so much Saltpetre and Sulphur as shall be sufficient to keep the said Mill constantly employed as aforesaid, and to take duplicate receipts thereof, specifying the quantity of each, and also the price of the Sulphur-one whereof shall be lodged with the Commissary aforesaid, and the other the said Committee are directed to keep.

Resolved, That the Receiver-General of this Colony be, and he hereby is directed, to pay into the hands of the Honourable Benjamin Greenleaf, Esq˙, Captain Jonathan Greenleaf, and Major Stephen Cross, a Committee appointed by this Court to purchase Sulphur, the sum of three hundred Pounds, to enable them to make payment for the quantities of Sulphur they have, or shall engage to receive, they to be accountable to the General Court for the same.

The Committee on the Petition of John Bunker, reported. Read, and recommitted.

Moses Gill, Esq˙, brought down the Report of the Committee this day appointed to inquire of General Washington, whether he thought there would be a necessity of retaining the Militia now in camp, &c˙, viz: That from the best information his Excellency could get, the New-Hampshire Militia were determined to return home after the expiration of the time they engaged for; and he apprehended it would be necessary for the whole of the Militia of this Colony, now in camp, to remain there until the last of this month.
JOHN TAYLOR, per order.

Resolved, That three o' clock, to-morrow afternoon, be assigned for the choice of a Committee, to present the state of disbursemenis of this Colony in the defence of American liberty, to the honourable Continental Congress for approbation and allowance; and, also, for the choice of a Committee for certain purposes expressed in a Resolve brought in by Mr˙ Gerry.

The Resolve of Council, brought down the 6th current, recommending to the Militia now doing duty in the Continental Army, to tarry there a fortnight, or three weeks, after the 15th instant, was read, and Major Hawley, Colonel Orne, Mr˙ Gerry, Deacon Nichols, and Major Bliss, were appointed a Committee to consider the same, and report what is further expedient to be done.

Resolved, That next Thursday afternoon be assigned for the several members from each County to determine what division shall be made for the Regiments of Militia in their respective Counties. The extent of each Regiment when determined on, to be laid upon the table. Mr˙ Gerry, agreeable to order, reported the following Resolve, which was read, and accepted, viz:

Whereas, the Committee appointed to examine the Muster-Rolls of the Regiments raised by this Colony, new in the Continental Army, have represented to this Court, that some of the Colonels of the Regiments aforesaid, have made up their Rolls at fifteen Pounds for a chief Colonel, and the said Committee have applied for directions in this affair: And whereas, by referring to the Records of the Provincial Congress, it plainly appears, that on the 23d of April last, it was "Resolved, That the Colonels of Regiments, consisting of one thousand men, being part of the Army then voted to be raised by this Colony, should be entitled to fifteen Pounds per month, for a Colonel;" and, that on the 25th it was "Resolved, That each Regiment should consist of about five hundred and ninety men," and the Committee of Safety proceeded to issue inlisting orders, with copies of said establishment, wherein it appeared that each Colonel of a Regiment, consisting of five hundred and ninety-eight men, and raised as aforesaid, should be entitled to fifteen Pounds per month: And whereas, on the 29th of April aforesaid, the Congress having found that great uneasiness prevailed in the Colony and camp, and soldiers were prevented from inlisting on account of the high wages engaged to the Field-Officers, by the establishment aforesaid, sent a Committee to the camp to represent the circumstances of this affair to such Field-Officers as were then engaged, and recommended it to them to consent that their wages should be reduced to twelve Pounds for a Colonel, and in proportion for Lieutenant-Colonels, and Majors; and the


Committee reported that they had collected together all the Field-Officers who had inlisting orders, and could be found by said Committee, and that the said officers promised to acquiesce in the final determination of Congress relative to this matter, which established the said Colonels at twelve Pounds, and other Field-Officers in proportion: And whereas, this Court consents to the payment of the Field and other officers, according to the last mentioned establishment, notwithstanding few, if any, of said Regiments contained five hundred and ninety-eight men, agreeable to the terms thereof; but had no expectation that any of the Field-Officers would claim the first establishment, because it so happened that the general confusion of the Colony, and hurry of business, did not admit of the said establishments being recalled by the Congress, or Committee of Safety, and thus the Colonels were permitted to hold them; and such claim appears to this Court very unjustifiable:

Resolved, That the Committee on the Muster-Rolls aforesaid be, and they are hereby directed to cause the same to be made up, agreeable to the establishment made on the 29th April aforesaid, and to direct such Field-Officers (if any there be) who require wages agreeable to the establishment of the 23d April, to prefer to the Court a Petition for the wages which they may suppose to be due, in addition to what they will receive upon the last establishment, that they may he heard, and proper order be taken thereon, and that the said Committee show a copy of this Resolve to each of the Field-Officers who shall apply to them on this matter as aforesaid.

The Committee appointed to bring in a Resolve for disposing of the Estates of the Refugees, reported. Read and accepted.

Whereas, several persons belonging to this Colony have joined the Ministerial troops, and others, who are in an hostile manner endeavouring to further the measures of the British Administration for enslaving the uniting American Colonies, and several others belonging to this Colony have absconded and removed themselves out of this Colony, with intent either to promote and further the said measures of Administration, or to escape the trouble and expense of a necessary opposition to such wicked and arbitrary measures, and divers of both sorts have left estate, either real or personal, within this Colony; and whereas, much estate so left has been already wasted, and more thereof is liable to be wasted and perish; and whereas, some of the said absconding persons have, by various arts, procured the rents of their deserted real estates, and their personal estate itself, or the proceeds thereof, to be remitted to them:

Therefore, Resolved, That the Selectmen and the Committee of Correspondence of any town in this Colony, where the estate, either real or personal, or both, belonging to any such person, or persons, above described, shall be found, be, and hereby are empowered and directed, according to their best discretion and judgment, so to manage, order, and lease such real estate, as that waste may be prevented as much as possible for the future, and, also, to take possession of, order, and dispose of such personal estate as (A) above described, in such manner as that the same may not be embezzled or suffered to perish, and also in such manner as neither the rents of such real estate, nor the personal estate itself, nor the proceeds thereof, should get to the hands or use of any of (B) the above described persons, or any of them, in no case wherein such Selectmen and Committee shall judge it inexpedient and against the publick good of the Colony, any former orders or Resolves of Congress or General Court to the contrary notwithstanding.

And that such Selectmen and Committee of Correspondence keep such fair and full accounts of all their proceedings and doings in the premises, as that they may be able to inform the General Court thereof (C) whenever they shall be thereto required.

The House then adjourned to ten o' clock, to-morrow morning.