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Report on Lord Stirling' s Letters Considered and Agreed


The Committee to whom the Report on Lord Stirling' s Letters were recommitted brought in their Report, which, being taken into consideration, was agreed to, as follows:

That the President acquaint his Lordship, that the Congress has provided against the inconvenience of vexatious arrests of the men inlisting in the Continental service.

That the Barracks in the Colony of New-Jersey be prepared for the reception of such of the Battalions as may not be in readiness to proceed to New-York, and that the Ministerial troops, or prisoners, at present occupying them, be accommodated in the said Colony, in such manner as the Committee of Safety for said Colony shall think most prudent and convenient.

That Mr˙ Lowrey, the Commissary, be directed to supply the said Battalions with Stockings, and that the Delegates for the Colony of New-Jersey transmit to Lord Stirling six dozen printed copies of the Articles of War.

That considering not only the defenceless condition of the Colony of New-Jersey, for want of Ammunition in case of a hostile invasion of that Colony, but the evident want of the assistance of those Battalions for the defence of New-York, where an attack of the enemy is most probably to be apprehended, a requisition be made by the Congress to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania, of four hundred weight of Powder for the said Battalion.

That the same Fire-Wood, Camp-Equipage, and Barrack-Utensils be allowed to each of the New-Jersey Battalions as are allowed to the Battalion raised in Pennsylvania.

That the hundred stand of Arms supplied by the Colony of New-York for the New-Jersey Battalions, be paid for by the Convention of New-Jersey; and that in order to enable the said Convention to make such payment, as well as to furnish such of the men belonging to the said Battalions, as are yet unprovided with Arms, the further sum of 1000 Dollars be advanced to the said Convention; and that the price of the Arms be deducted out of the wages of the Privates belonging to the said Battalions.

That Lord Stirling be directed to seize and secure all the Ammunition and Warlike Stores belonging to the enemy, which now are, or hereafter may be, imported into the Colony of New-Jersey, and keep them till he shall receive the orders of Congress respecting them; and further, that he do, from time to time, give aid and protection to all the friends of America, who may be employed in importing into the said Colony, Ammunition, or other commodities not prohibited by the Association and Resolves of this Congress.

Whereas, it has been represented to this Congress, that divers honest and well-meaning, but uninformed people in these Colonies, have, by the art and address of Ministerial Agents, been deceived and drawn into erroneous opinions respecting the American cause, and the probable issue of the present contest:

Resolved, That it be recommended to the different Committees, and other friends to American liberty, in the said Colonies, to treat all such persons with kindness and attention; to consider them as the inhabitants of a country determined to be free, and to view their errors as proceeding


rather from want of information than want of virtue or publick spirit; to explain to them the origin, nature, and extent of the present controversy; to acquaint them with the fate of the numerous Petitions presented to His Majesty, as well by Assemblies as by Congresses, for reconciliation and redress of grievances: and that the last from this Congress, humbly requesting the single favour of being heard, like all the others, has proved unsuccessful; to unfold to them the various arts of Administration to ensnare and enslave us, and the manner in which we have been cruelly driven to defend, by arms, those very rights, liberties and estates, which we and our forefathers had so long enjoyed unmolested in the reigns of His present Majesty' s predecessors. And it is hereby recommended to all Conventions and Assemblies in these Colonies, liberally to distribute among the people, the proceedings of this and the former Congress, the late speeches of the great patriots in both Houses of Parliament relative to American grievances, and such other pamphlets and papers as tend to elucidate the merits of the American cause, the Congress being fully persuaded, that the more our right to the enjoyment of our ancient liberties and privileges is examined, the more just and necessary our present opposition to Ministerial tyranny will appear.

And, with respect to all such unworthy Americans, as, regardless of their duty to their Creator, their country and their posterity, have taken part with our oppressors, and, influenced by the hope or possession of ignominious rewards, strive to recommend themselves to the bounty of Administration, by misrepresenting and traducing the conduct and principles of the friends of American liberty, and opposing every measure formed for its preservation and security:

Resolved, That it be recommended to the different Assemblies, Conventions, and Committees or Councils of Safety in the United Colonies, by the most speedy and effectual measures, to frustrate the mischievous machinations, and restrain the wicked practices of these men: And it is the opinion of this Congress, that they ought to be disarmed, and the more dangerous among them, either kept in safe custody, or bound with sufficient sureties to their good behaviour.

And in order that the said Assemblies, Conventions, Committees, or Councils of Safety, may be enabled with greater ease amd facility to carry this Resolution into execution,

Resolved, That they be authorized to call to their aid whatever Continental Troops, stationed in or near their respective Colonies, may be conveniently spared from their more immediate duty; and the Commanding Officers of such Troops are hereby directed to afford the said Assemblies, Conventions, Committees, or Councils of Safety, all such assistance in executing this Resolution as they may require, and winch, consistent with the good of the service, may be supplied.

Resolved, That all detachments of Continental Troops, which may be ordered on the business in the foregoing Resolution mentioned, be, while so employed, under the direction and control of the Assemblies, Conventions, Committees, or Councils of Safety, aforesaid.

Resolved, That it be recommended to all the United Colonies to aid each other, on request from their respective Assemblies, Conventions, Committees, or Councils of Safety, and County Committees, on every emergency, and to cultivate, cherish, and increase the present happy and necessary union, by a continual interchange of mutual good offices.

And whereas, the execrable barbarity with which this unhappy war has been conducted on the part of our enemies, (such as burning our defenceless towns and villages, exposing their inhabitants, without regard to sex or age, to all the miseries which loss of property, the rigour of the season, and inhuman devastation, can inflict, exciting domestick insurrections and murders, bribing the Savages to desolate our frontiers, and casting such of us as the fortune of war has put in their power, into jails, there to languish in irons and in want; compelling the inhabitants of Boston, in violation of the treaty, to remain confined within the town, exposed to the insolence of the soldiery, and other enormities, at the mention of which decency and humanity will ever blush) may justly provoke the inhabitants of these Colonies to retaliate:


Resolved, That it be recommended io them to continue mindful that humanity ought to distinguish the brave; that cruelty should find no admission among a free people; and to take care that no page in the annals of America be stained by a recital of any action which justice or Christianity may condemn; and to rest assured, that whenever retaliation may be necessary, or tend to their security, this Congress will undertake the disagreeable task.

Resolved, That the Assemblies, Conventions, or Committees, or Councils of Safety, be requested forthwith to transmit to this Congress copies of all the Petitions, Memorials, and Remonstrances, which have been, by the respective Colonies, presented to the Throne, or either House of Parliament, since the year 1762; and that they, also, inform the Congress whether any, and what, answers were given to them.

Resolved, That Mr˙ Bartlett be appointed one of the Committee of Claims, in the room of Mr˙ Langdon, and Mr˙ Samuel Adams, in the room of Mr˙ Cushing, who have leave of absence.

Adjourned to ten o' clock, to-morrow.