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Committee to Make Inquiry Relative


Monday, February 5, 1776.

Upon application of Mr˙ Phillips, Ordered, That Mr˙ Harling, the master-workman of the Powder-Mill erecting for the use of the Colony, have leave to repair to Andover at any time after he has given such directions concerning the Mill at Stoughton, as that the other workman employed in that business may proceed thereon in his absence, and assist the said Phillips in the Mill erecting at his risk. Whereas, representation has been made to this House, that Colonel Doane, of Barnstable County, has sent two Vessels to the West-Indies, loaded with the produce of the Colonies, and that Mr˙ Solomon Davis, of said Barnsiable, is now loading two Vessels, and Mr˙ Cutt, of Saco, another, and that a Vessel at Falmouth, Casco-Bay, is likewise loading with the like produce, contrary to the Resolutions of the AmericanCongress:

Therefore, Ordered, That Mr˙ Speaker, Major Cross, and Mr˙ Story, with such as the honourable Board may join, be a Committee to make inquiry into the matter, and report what is proper to be done.

The House made choice of Officers for the First and Second Regiments of Militia in the County of Cumberland.

Ordered, That Colonel Thompsonprocure all the Resolves of the Continental Congress that can be had.

Mr˙ Speaker was also desired to write to some of the Delegates of this Colony at the Continental Congress for four sets of all the Proceedings of said Congress, that are, or may from time to time be published.

The Commissary-General having asked some directions of the House with respect to procuring Cannon:

Ordered, That in this matter he use his best discretion in procuring the same as speedily as possible.


A Petition of Nathan Jones, of Goldsborough, setting forth, that a Vessel, &c˙, was taken from him in the month of August last, by sundry persons from Deer-Island, and praying to be heard thereon. Read, and committed to Mr˙ Davis, Mr˙ Whitney, and Mr˙ Allen.

A Petition of a number of the inhabitants of the Easterly part of the County of Lincoln, representing, that the Indians of St˙ John' s are in great want of Clothing and Ammunition; that the Government of Nova-Scotia have offered to supply them; that the said Tribes are willing to join the service of the Colonies, and have sent three of their Chiefs to wait on the Court; and praying that they may be supplied by the Court, and that a Truckmaster might be appointed for that purpose. Read, and committed


to Mr˙ Story and Colonel Smith, with such as the honourable Board may join.

And the Committee are directed to confer with the Indians on the subject.

The Committee on the Letter of Benjamin Fessenden, dated Sandwich, January 13th, reported. Read, and committed, with the papers accompanying, to the Committee of both Houses this day appointed to consider a representation made to this House of several Vessels loading with the produce of the Colonies, &c˙; and the Committee are directed to consider the matter at large, and report what is proper to be done, and to sit forthwith.

A Petition of Benjamin Foster, and others of Machias, praying the Court to purchase several Vessels, &c˙, which they took last summer. Read, and the Petitioners had leave to withdraw their Petition,

A Petition of Benjamin Foster and James Noble Shannon, in behalf of the Committee of Safety of Machias, praying that the Court would authorize some persons to lake charge of a number of Armed Vessels which were taken from our enemies the summer past, by the inhabitants of said Machias, together with some valuable articles which were in the Vessels; and also praying that the doings of said Committee may be established. Read, and committed to Mr˙ Davis, Deacon Stone, and Mr˙ Knowles.

Another Petition of the said Foster and Shannon, representing that Captain John Coulson sailed from Machias about the first of December last, for St˙ Croix, and agreed with the Committee of Safety at said Machias to bring from thence fifteen hundred weight of Powder, and praying the directions of the Court. Read, and committed to the same Committee.

Another Petition of said Foster and Shannon, signed also by James Lord, representing that one Ebenezer Beal was wounded in taking the Schooner Margaretta on the 12th June last, and is now in this place in a languishing condition, and praying that the Court would order him to be received into some Hospital. Read, and committed to the same Committee.

Benjamin White, Esquire, brought down the Report of a Committee of both Houses, appointed to consider the subject-matter of a Report of a Committee of this Court, the 10th ultimo, relative to the Petition of some of the inhabitants of Majabigwaduce, against the conduct of John Bakeman, Esquire.

In Council, February 7, 1776: Resolved, That William Lithgow, John Taylor, Ezekiel Pettee, Thomas Stinson, and Waterman Thomas, Esquires, Justices of the Peace for the County of Lincoln, or any three of them, (quorum unus,) are hereby required to make inquiry into the riot and injury committed by a number of persons, armed and disguised, against the person and property of John Bakeman, Esquire, and, also, respecting the conduct of some of the inhabitants of the County of Lincoln, in supplying the enemy with provisions and fuel, and of all breaches of the peace, and other disorders, committed in said County; and, also, to inquire what persons have been guilty of contravening the Resolves of the American or Provincial Congresses, or the Acts or Ordinances of the General Court of this Colony; and the said Justices are hereby empowered (A) to cause to come before them any persons accused in the premises, and such witnesses as may be found, and of them inquire, on oath, of all matters relative to the premises; and all persons who shall by such Justices be found so far guilty of the breach of the laws of this Colony, especially provided, or the breach of the peace, or of evil intent against the rights and liberties of America, as that, in their judgment, they ought to be brought to trial for their respective crimes and offences, that they cause such persons to recognise, with sureties, in such sums as shall appear to them reasonable, according to the circumstances of the accused, that they will appear and answer for their respective crimes and misdemeanors, at the Superior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize, and General Jail Delivery, next to be holden at Falmouth, in the County of Cumberland, within and for the Counties of Cumberland and Lincoln; and in default of their recognising, as aforesaid, thesaid person, or persons, to commit to prison, until they shall so recognise, or be legally


discharged; and all persons, of what quality or denomination, soever, within the said County of Lincoln, are hereby commanded to assist the said Justices in the inquiry into, and execution of all matters in the foregoing Order contained; which Justices, Officers, and Witnesses, shall be paid for their cost and expenses as in the law of this Colony is provided, in case of conviction; and in case there shall not be a conviction before the Court of Assize, they shall be paid as this Court shall hereafter order.

In Council, February 5, 1776: Read, and accepted.

Read, and concurred, with the amendment at A, viz: At A, add "and directed."

Ordered, That Major Brooks, Colonel Perry, and Captain Wilson, be a Committee to inquire for some proper persons to be appointed Assay-Masters for Saltpetre, and report to the House.

On a motion, Ordered, That Colonel Dwight, Deacon Plympton, and Colonel Norton, be a Committee to examine and make trial, or cause trial to be made, of any earths, mines, or materials, which may be thought proper for the production of Sulphur, at any place within the Colony.

On a motion, Ordered, That Major Brooks, Major Fuller, and Captain Brown, of Watertown, with such as the honourable Board may join, be a Committee to take into consideration the present high price of Goods, and report what is proper to be done, at the next sitting of the Court.

The House then adjourned till ten o' clock, to-morrow morning.