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Petition of the Committee of Privates


To the Honourable the Committee of Safety of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA.

The Petition of the Committee of Privates of the Association, belonging to the City and Liberties of PHILADELPHIA, humbly shewelh:

That as it is of the utmost consequence, in the prosecution of our present most righteous opposition to tyranny and arbitrary power, that none be commissioned as officers in the Continental service, but those who manifest the most sincere and warm attachment to the cause of liberty; and as the honourable Continental Congress has intrusted the appointment of all inferior, and the recommendation of all superior officers, for this Province to this honourable Board, your Petitioners do pray this honourable Board to appoint or recommend none, but such as have signed the Articles of Association given out by the honourable House of Representatives of the freemen of this Province, seeing this ought, at this time, to be considered as the strongest mark of attachment to the cause which our present circumstances will admit of.

As your Petitioners have the pleasure to assure this honourable Board that the signing the Articles of Association aforesaid is become very general in the City and Districts, and like to be universal among those who have heretofore associated, and as the Association is principally composed of tradesmen and others, who earn their living by their industry, they do further pray this honourable Board, that such of them as may be capable of performing such publick works as this honourable Board may have in charge to see executed, and have signed the Association aforesaid, may be employed, in preference to all others, and that such works may be as equally distributed among the signers of the Association as conveniently can.

The propriety of this application, your Petitioners humbly conceive, will speak for itself; and as they assure themselves that this honourable Board will consider the Associators, who sign the articles, as better to be depended on, and more worthy of encouragement, than those who do not, they take the liberty to request this honourable Board to show them these marks of their favour and countenance.

And your Petitioners will pray, &c.

Signed, on behalf of the Committee of Privates.


Philadelphia, February 5, 1776.

The Petition from the Committee of Privates being read, this Board resolved, that the matters therein prayed are reasonable and proper, and this Committee will pay a due regard to the same.

Extract from the Minutes: