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Report on the Most Effectual Method


The Committee for proposing the most effectual method for encouraging the manufacturing of Fire-Arms reported again. Read and accepted, as follows:

Whereas it is of the utmost importance to the welfare and happiness of these Colonies, that the manufacturing of Fire-Arms and provision of Military Stores by effectually promoted and encouraged, agreeable to the recommendation of the honourable Continental Congress:

Therefore, Resolved, That for every effective and substantial Fire-Arm which shall be manufactured in this Colony, with a barrel of three feet and nine inches in length, that will carry an ounce ball, a good bayonet with a blade not less than eighteen inches in length, a steel ramrod with a spring to retain the same, two loops for gun strings, and the maker' s name stamped or engraved on the lock, and which shall be delivered at Watertown, to Richard Devens, Esq˙, Commissary, on or before the 1st day of June next, and resemble in construction, and, as nearly as may be, equal in goodness with the King' s new arms, there shall be allowed and paid out of the publick Treasury, to the owner thereof, the sum of three Pounds.

And for the accommodation and convenience of such manufacturers,


It is also Resolved, That Colonel John Baker, of Ipswich, in the County of Essex; Captain Ichabod Goodwin, of Berwick, in the County of York; Captain Oliver Witt, of Paxton, in the County of Worcester; Captain Elijah Hunt, of Northampton; Mr˙ Aaron Ashley, of Springfield, in the County of Hampshire; Captain David Bush, of Pittsfield, in the County of Berkshire; Doctor David Cobb, of Taunton, in the County of Bristol; Mr˙ Michael Blackwell, in the County of Barnstable; and Captain James Hatch, of Pembroke, in the County of Plymouth; be, and they hereby are respectively empowered to receive for the Colony, at the price and during the time aforesaid, all Fire-Arms which shall be offered them for sale, and manufactured as aforesaid; and they are directed to deliver the same once a month to the Commissary, and, taking his receipt therefor, to apply to the Council for a sufficient sum wherewith to pay for such Fire-Arms, the charges of transportation, &c. Provided, always, That the owner of each Fire-Ann which shall be received for the Colony, shall prove the same at his own risk, by four inches and a half of powder, a ball and wads on each, in presence of one of the Committee aforesaid, or, in failure thereof, before the Commissary.

And it is hereby recommended to the Committee of Correspondence and Selectmen of each Town in this Colony, to apply to the manufacturers of Fire-Arms in their respective Towns, and afford them all necessary encouragement, and to post this Resolve, that the inhabitants of each Town may promote this salutary measure.

[Thus far is proposed to be published.]

Resolved, That the honourable Council, or a major part of them, be, and they hereby are empowered to allow and pay out of the publick Treasury, for Fire-Arms which shall be delivered to the Commissary as aforesaid, such sums as by his receipts shall appear due to the Committee aforesaid, or venders thereof, together with the charges of purchasing and transportation, and also at any time to order such sums to be delivered to the Commissary, for payment of Fire-Arms which he may receive in their recess or adjournment, as they shall judge necessary, the Commissary to be accountable to this Court for the same.

Resolved, That there be paid out of the publick Treasury to Richard Devens, Esq˙, the sum of one bundled Pounds, to be forthwith invested by an Armourer, or some other judicious person, to be by him appointed in Steel, Files, and other tools, necessary to carry on the manufactory aforesaid; and he is hereby directed to supply with said articles the manufacturers in this Colony who shall need them, and pay him therefor, at such advanced prices as shall be sufficient to pay the charges of purchasing and transportation, and to account with this Court for the same. And he is further directed to hire or provide, at Concord, a suitable building for an Arsenal, and a guard therefor, when furnished with Colony Arms, and to cause said Arms to be marked on the barrel, near the lock, with the letters M˙B˙, and also to be numbered, and to employ an Armourer when necessary, for this and other purposes; and the Commissary is also directed to procure good Sheaths for the Bayonets.

In Council, November 4, 1775: Read and concurred.