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Memorial to the Assembly


A Memorial to the Assembly was this day drawn up, read, and agreed to, with an Estimate of the Moneys expended and to be expended for the use of this Province, and are as follows, viz:

To the Honourable the Representatives of the Freemen of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA, in General Assembly met. The Memorial of the Committee of Safety respectfully sheweth:

That the said Committee, in obedience to the orders of the House, have taken upon them the execution of the important trust committed to them, and have proceeded to such measures as appeared to them necessary to effectuate the purposes for which they were appointed. The minutes of their transactions, together with an estimate of the expenses incurred for the putting this Province into a proper state of defence, are with great deference submitted to the consideration of the House.

From these it will appear that the sum of money granted by the House, at their last sessions, has been either wholly expended or remitted for the purchase of Arms and Ammunition. That a considerable sum is still necessary to fulfil the engagements already made for the above purposes, and for the paying and victualling of the men in the service.

It must be obvious to the House that much yet remains to be done to accomplish their salutary intentions, particularly if the British Ministry should obstinately persist in their present arbitrary measures. Should this be the case, (which, from the present appearance of things, seems but too probable,) this opportunity may, perhaps, be the only one we shall be possessed of, to prepare the necessary means for the defence of our just rights; for there can be no doubt that vigorous exertions will be made to intercept future supplies. The Committee, therefore, apprehend it to be their indispensable duty earnestly to recommend to the House to grant such farther liberal aids, at their present sessions, as may, in their wisdom, be judged adequate to the exigencies of the Province at this very important crisis.

They beg leave, also, to represent to the House that there appears to be an immediate necessity for constructing a Magazine or Magazines to receive the Powder already in the Province, and such as may arrive hereafter; large quantities are shortly expected, and there is no place where it can be stored with safety, or any way guarded against accidents, which that article, from its nature, must be exposed to, and which it is of considerable moment to prevent.

The Committee having thus laid before the House the steps they have already taken, and their opinion of some measures which appear proper to be adopted, beg leave, before they conclude this report, to submit to the House a matter interesting to the publick welfare.


The Military Association, entered into by numbers of the good people of this Province, has received the approbation of the House, and undoubtedly deserves every encouragement; as a body of freemen, animated by a love of liberty, and trained to the use of arms, afford the most certain and effectual defence against the approaches of slavery and oppression. It is to be wished, therefore, that this spirit could have been more universally diffused; but the Associators complain, and with great appearance of reason, that whilst they are subjected to expenses to accoutre themselves as soldiers, (and their affairs suffer considerably by the time necessarily employed in acquiring a knowledge of the military art,) very many of their countrymen, who have not associated, are entirely free from these inconveniences. They conceive that when the liberty of all is at stake, every man should assist in its support; that where the cause is common, and the benefits derived from an opposition are universal, it is not consonant to justice or equity that the burdens should be partial.

The Committee, therefore, would submit it to the wisdom of the House, whether, at this time of distress and general danger, some plan should not be devised to oblige the assistance of every member of the community. But as there are some persons who, from their religious principles, are scrupulous of the lawfulness of bearing arms, this Committee, from a tender regard for the consciences of such, would venture to propose that their contributions to the common cause should be pecuniary, and for that purpose a rate or assessment be laid on their estates, equivalent to the expense and loss of time incurred by the Associators. A measure of this kind appears to be founded on the principles of impartial justice, calculated to appease the complaints which have been made, likely to give general satisfaction, and of course beneficial to the great cause we are engaged in.

Your Committee beg leave to represent that it will be necessary to appoint a Commodore or Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Boats, which has been delayed hitherto out of respect to your honourable House.


September 29, 1775.

An Estimate of Moneys already expended, and to be expended, for the defence of the Province of PENNSYLVANIA. Submitted to the honourable House of Assembly by the Committee of Safety, SEPTEMBER 29, 1775:
Remitted to several parts of Europe, by sundry conveyances, for the purchase of Arms, Ammunition, and Medicines, £20,300 00 0
Remitted to different parts of America, for the same purposes, 8,200 00 0
Paid for Medicines brought here, and now ready for the service of such as may be wounded or fall sick in the service, 420 00 0
Thirteen Armed Boats or Gondolas, built, armed, and equipped, estimated at £250 each, 7,150 00 0
Seventeen Chevaux-de-Frise, or defensive machines, to be sunk in the River Delaware, to prevent enemy ships coming against the City of Philadelphia, at £100 each, 1,700 00 0
Cannon and Grape-Shot bought, 522 00 0
Small Arms bought, 119 00 0
Pattern Muskets, &c˙, for the Counties, 57 10 0
Robert Towers' s Account for various expenses and services, 61 17 0
Thomas Savage' s services, &c˙, 22 17 6
Sundry contingent expenses, supposed not less than 500 00 0
Four thousand five hundred Muskets and apparatus, ordered by Assembly for Minute-Men, supposed will cost 23,625 00 0
Twenty-six Howitzers for the Boats, 169 00 0
Swivel Guns, Small Arms, &c˙, for Boats, 2,500 00 0
Three months' pay, and victualling fifty-three men in each Armed Boat, including Officers, estimated at £202 6s˙ 3d˙ per month, each boat, 7,890 39


Besides the money actually remitted for the purchase of Ammunition and Arms, credits are given to the Agents employed in that service, to draw on London and this place to the extent of ten thousand Pounds, if they can obtain the articles wanted; and remittances must soon be made to answer these credits, some Members of this Committee having pledged their private credits on behalf of the publick, £10,000 00 0
Freights of sundry Ships employed to bring the Arms and Ammunition, with the commissions of a Factor, sent in each Ship to make the purchase. This article cannot be exactly ascertained; but the quantity being considerable, may be reasonably supposed at 4,000 00 0
  £87,237 8 3

Expense of building a Magazine or Magazines, with other charges and expenses that may be expected to arise if this most unhappy contest continues.

N˙ B. It should be observed that the great expense appears by this estimate to be for Arms and Ammunition, and these are worth the full sum they will cost, or might at this time be disposed of to profit.