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Report on General Lee' s Letters, April 19th and May 7th, Petition from Joseph Trumbull, Committee on regulating the price of Salt, Secret Committee directed to send a vessel to the West-Indies, to procure, if possible, ten thousand muskets, Mrs. Connolly directed not to leave Philadelphia till further orders of Congress


Saturday, May 18, 1776.

A Letter of the 17th, from General Washington, and three from the Commissioners in Canada, of the 6th, 8th, and 10th, were laid before Congress, and read.

Resolved, That the Committee to whom the former Letter from the Commissioners was referred, be augmented to the number of eight, and that these Letters be referred to them.

The additional Members chosen: Mr˙ R˙ Morris, Mr˙ Duane, Mr˙ R˙ H˙ Lee, Mr˙ Rutledge, and Mr˙ R˙ R˙ Livingston.

The Committee to whom was referred the consideration of General Lee' s Letters, of the 19th of April and 7th of May, brought in their Report, which was agreed to. Whereupon,

Resolved, That General Lee' s scheme of sending through the Colony of Virginia to purchase Rifles be, and is, approved.

That, as the Colony of Virginia is intersected with many navigable Rivers, six Galleys be built for the protection of the Troops in their transportaton across the said Rivers, at the Continental expense, on as cheap terms as the business for which they are intended will admit of; that such other defence of the Rivers and Bays as shall be requisite for the Colony, be at the particular charge of the inhabitants thereof; and that General Lee, or the Commanding Officer in Virginia, transmit to Congress, as early as possible, an account of the expense which shall be incurred in consequence of this Resolution.

That General Lee, or the Commanding Officer in Virginia,


be directed to set on foot the raising of two Companies of Carpenters, to consist of House and Ship builders.

That General Lee be permitted to order Rations and Forage for such Volunteers of Horse, not exceeding five hundred, as shall think proper to attend the service of their country in the Continental Army, agreeable to General Lee' s request and proposal.

That Captain Dohicky Arundel' s journey to Virginia be at his own, not Continental, expense.

That the pay of the Deputy Engineers be raised to 30 Dollars a month, and that they be allowed rations for themselves, and forage for their horses, when in camp, or necessarily absent upon Continental duty.

That a Continental Hospital be established in Virginia, and a Director to the same immediately appointed by Congress.

That the scheme of adding two Subalterns and forty Privates to the Company of Artillery, be adopted.

That the circumstances of affairs in the Middle and Eastern Department will not admit of Mr˙ Smith being sent to General Lee.

That Thomas Bullitt, Esq˙, the Deputy Adjutant-General in Virginia, be advanced to the rank of Colonel.

That from the uncertainty of the enemy' s design, and the number of Regiments already sent into Canada, it will be inexpedient, at present, to order any of the Troops raised in Pennsylvania, or the Colonies to the eastward thereof, to the Southern Department; nor can Congress, at present, supply such Troops as are raised in Virginia with Fire-Arms; but that General Lee' s application on this subject be attended to so soon as an importation, sufficiently considerable, will admit of his being supplied; and that he be assured the Congress will co-operate and aid him with their power, to render effectual his laudable endeavours to establish the rights and liberties of the good people of this Continent.

The Congress then proceeded to the election of a Director of the Hospital in Virginia; and the ballots being taken, William Rickman was elected.

Resolved, That the Hospital in Virginia be on the same establishment, and the pay of the Officers thereof the same, as the Hospital established in the Eastern Department.

That two Surgeons, one Apothecary, six Mates, one Clerk, one Storekeeper, and a Nurse to every ten sick, with Labourers occasionally, when necessary, be allowed to the Hospital in Virginia.

That the Director be empowered to nominate the Surgeons and Apothecary.

That the Mates be appointed by the Surgeons, and that the number of the Mates be diminished as circumstances will admit; for which reason the pay is fixed by the day, that they may only receive pay for actual service.

Resolved, That it be recommended to the Convention of Virginia to raise a Battalion of Riflemen on the same terms as the other Battalions raised in that Colony; to be taken into the pay of the Continent, when armed and mustered.

Resolved, That General Washington be directed, if the service will permit, to station a Battalion at Amboy.

A Petition from Joseph Trumbull, Commissary-General, was presented to Congress, and read.


Resolved, That it be referred to the Committee for superintending the Treasury.

A motion being made and seconded for regulating the price of Salt,

Resolved, That it be referred to a Committee of four.

The Members chosen: Mr˙ Morris, Mr˙ R˙ Livingston, Mr˙ Gerry, and Mr˙ D' Hart.

The Secret Committee having informed Congress of the arrival of one of the Vessels fitted out at the expense of the Continent, and that she has brought her returns in Cash,

Resolved, That the Secret Committee be directed to give orders for sending the said Cash, with all convenient despatch, to the Commissioners in Canada.

That the hard Money in the Treasury be immediately forwarded to General Schuyler.

The Secret Committee laid before Congress a Letter from Mr˙ Langdon; and, the same being read,

Resolved, That it be referred to the Committee of Secret Correspondence, and that the said Committee be directed to apply to the Marine Committee for the use of one or more of the Continental Fleet; and that they send the same to the French West-India Islands, in order to procure, if possible, a number of Muskets, not exceeding ten thousand; and, further, that said Committee be directed to endeavour to discover the designs of the French in assembling so large a Fleet with so great a number of Troops in the West-Indies, and whether they mean to act for or against America.

A Petition from Ignace Labat was presented to Congress, and read.

Resolved, That it be referred to the Commissioners for Indian Affairs in the Middle Department, who are directed to examine his claim, and pay him out of the money put into their hands, what they shall judge justly due to him.

Resolved, That Mrs˙ Connolly be directed not to leave Philadelphia till further orders of Congress.

The several matters to this day referred, being postponed,

Adjourned to ten o' clock, on Monday.