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William Pewell, of Salem, Permitted to Send a Schooner of Sixty Tons to Europe


Wednesday, December 27, 1775.

A Petition of David Pratt and others, a Committee of Spencertown, in the County of Albany, and Colony of New-York, setting forth, that early last Spring the inhabitants of that town formed a company of Minute-Men, who, on the 23d of April last, set out on their march for Boston, but being stopped by the advice of Colonel Fellows, and that of the Committee aforesaid, who became bound to pay them for their service until the 25th of May following, as represented in said Petition, they then received orders to march to Lake-George, but General Schuyler having refused to pay them for any service before the said 25th May, without the desire of this Court, they pray the Court to signify to him their opinion hereon.

Read, and committed to Doctor Whiting, Mr˙ Whitney, and Deacon Wood.

On the Memorial of William Powell, entered the 21st instant:

Resolved, That the Schooner of about sixty tons, mentioned in the Memorial of William Powell, of Salem, in the County of Essex, be permitted to proceed .on a voyage to any part of Europe, or to the West-Indies, (the Dominions of Great Britain excepted,) for the purpose of procuring Gunpowder, or other necessary stores, provided the owner of the vessel enter into bonds, with sufficient sureties, in the sum of one thousand Pounds, to be taken by the Committee of Safety of Salem, in the name of the Treasurer of this Colony; that said Schooner shall proceed on said voyage with cash only, (as is proposed in the Memorial,) with all possible despatch, and bring nothing back except Gunpowder, or other Military Stores, if a full load of the former cannot be obtained, and land the same in some part of this Colony, Boston and Nantucket excepted.

Moses Gill, Esq˙, brought down a Petition of Mrs˙ Deborah Cushing, wife of the Honourable Thomas Cushing, Esq˙, one of the members of the Continental Congress, setting forth, that Mr˙ Cushing, being at the time of commencing hostilities by the Ministerial troops, called out of Boston on publick business, was prevented from getting out any of his household furniture, except one or two beds;


and, therefore, praying the Court to grant her the use of the furniture which belonged to the late Governour Hutchinson, now in the hands of the Committee of Correspondence, for the Town of Milton.

In Council, December 27, 1775: Read, and Ordered, That Moses Gill, Esq˙, with such as the honourable House shall join, be a Committee to consider said Petition, and report.

Read, and concurred, and Mr˙ Pitts and Deacon Nichols are joined.

Resolved, That a Committee be appointed, with whom the Commissary-General may advise and consult, with respect to the purchase of Military Stores, and that Mr˙ Devans, Mr˙ Phillips, and Mr˙ Pitts, be a Committee to bring in a Resolve stating the commission of such a Committee.

The Committee on Accounts were directed to allow Doctor' s Accounts, so far as they were for services done before the first day of August last.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Partridge bring in a Resolve directing the Committee for procuring Saltpetre to deliver what they procure into the care of the Commissary-General.

Resolved, That three o' clock in the afternoon be assigned for the consideration of the Report of the Committee appointed to consider the state of the Boston and Charlestown Poor.

Ordered, That a message go to the honourable Board to desire they would send down the Resolve which passed this House relative to the Estates of the Refugees.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Speaker, Mr˙ Gerry, and Colonel Thurston, with such as the honourable Board may join, be a Committee to consider the Petition of the Town of Harvard, entered the 25th current.

Resolved, That Colonel Porter, Deacon Cheever, and Mr˙ Pitts, be a Committee to advise with the Commissary-General in procuring and depositing such Ordnance and other Military Stores as this Court have ordered to be purchased for the use of the Colony.

The House considered the Petition of Charles Chauncy, Esq˙, in behalf of Neal McIntyer, brought down December 20th, and the Vote of Council thereon.

Read, and concurred, and Colonel Thompson and Mr˙ Hopkins are joined.

James Prescott, Esq˙, brought down the Resolve of this House relative to disposing of the Estates of the Refugees.

The Committee appointed to inquire what quantity of Saltpetre will be procured by the Committee on Saltpetre, having acquainted themselves relative to the matter, and being persuaded that in a month or two, one ton of Saltpetre at least will be procured by them, which, at seven Shillings per pound, amounts to seven hundred Pounds:

Therefore, Resolved, That the Receiver-General of this Colony be directed to pay Captain Peck two hundred and fifty Pounds; Dr˙ Whiting, one hundred and fifty Pounds; Deacon Baker, one hundred and fifty Pounds; and Mr˙ Phipps, the other one hundred and fifty Pounds, which completes the sum above-mentioned-those gentlemen being the Committee upon Saltpetre, and that they severally be accountable to this Court for the above said sums.


The Committee to whom was referred the Petition of the Committee of Frenchman' s Bay, relative to a quantity of Grain, &c˙, from Virginia, consigned to the Committee of Donations for the Poor of Boston, reported, that said Petition be handed to the Committee of Donations, that they may act thereon as they shall judge proper.

Read, and accepted, and, accordingly, Ordered, To be handed to the said Committee of Donations, they to act thereon as they think proper.

Mr˙ Watson, by order of the Committee of Accounts, laid before the House the appointment of Joseph Pearse Palmer, as Quartermaster-General of the Massachusetts Forces, and an Account of his services, and requested the instructions of the House;

Whereupon, Ordered, That the Committee do not take the same into consideration until the said Palmer makes application by way of petition.


It was moved that the sense of the House be taken on this question, proposed by the Committee on Accounts viz: Whether they ought to allow such Accounts of Tavernkeepers, for billeting soldiers, as are so general that the Committee cannot determine whether they are reasonable or not? And the question being put, it passed in the negative.

Ordered, That a message go to the honourable Board, to know if they have passed upon a Resolve of this House, directing how the Bills of Credit should be signed.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Hobart, Colonel Cushing, and Mr˙ Pitts, be a Committee to consider what shall be done with those Bills of Credit which specify a different denomination on the back to what is expressed on the face of the Bill, and to determine how they shall be received in payment.

Ordered, That a message go to the honourable Board, desiring that they would send down the Resolve of thus House relative to the payment of Muster-Rolls, if they have not passed upon it.

John Taylor, Esq˙, brought the same down accordingly, and, also, brought down a Resolve, certifying the appointment of the gentlemen delegated by the Court to represent this Colony at the Continental Congress, and expressing their commission.

Resolved, That the Committee appointed by this Court to purchase Saltpetre, be, and they hereby are directed to deliver all the Saltpetre they shall purchase, in pursuance of their commission, to Richard Devans, Esq˙, and take his receipt for the same.

Resolved, That Henry Gardner, Esq˙, Receiver-General of this Colony, be, and he hereby is directed to pay unto Thomas Crafts, Esq˙, and others, (a Committee appointed by this Court to provide for such of the Poor of Boston as have, or may be sent out of said town to Point-Shirley,) the sum of one hundred Pounds, for the purpose aforesaid, said Committee to be accountable to this Court therefor.

The House considered the Resolve for stationing Forces to guard the Sea-Coasts.

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