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Memorial from the Officers of the Military Association


Ordered to lie on the table.

A Memorial from the Officers of the Military Association for the City and Liberties of Philadelphia was presented to the House, and read, setting forth, that the Memorialists, with great concern, perceive that fatal mischiefs will arise to the Association from the lenity shown towards persons professing to be conscientiously scrupulous against bearing arms; that people sincerely and religiously scrupulous are but few in comparison to those who upon this occasion; as well as others, make conscience a convenience; that a very considerable share of the property of this Province is in the hands of people professing to be of tender conscience in military matters; that the Associators think it extremely hard that they should risk their lives and injure their fortunes in the defence of those who will not be of the least assistance to this great struggle; that the Memorialists therefore humbly conceive that some decisive plan should be fallen upon to oblige every inhabitant of the Province, either with his person or property, to contribute towards the general cause, and that it should not be left, as at present, to the inclinations of those professing tender conscience, but that the proportion they shall contribute may be certainly fixed and determined; that in order to give strength and permanency to the Association, the Memorialists thought it absolutely necessary that some general regulations should be formed, to be offered to the Associators for their government; that under this idea the Memorialists, concurred with the Members of the Commitees for the City, Liberties, and County, and the Officers of the County Battalions, in requesting the Committee of Safety, who appeared to be vested with extensive powers in the recess of the Assembly, to form rules and regulations adequate to the occasion; that those rules being formed, and recommended by the Committee of Safety, and by the Memorialists offered to the Associators, they refused to sign or agree to them, for the reasons contained in the paper herewith presented to the honourable House, in pursuance of their request; that the House will perceive the reason which pervades almost the whole of their objections is, the partiality and inequality of the Association, which being once obviated, the Memorialists respectfully offer it as their opinion, that the Associators will cheerfully put up with many inconveniences, and that all jealousies and suspicions about forms will cease; that the Memorialists therefore pray the honourable House will take the premises into their consideration, and fall upon some effectual plan to remedy the inconveniences attendant on their present situation, and to preserve together and properly direct the Associators, who express every wish to defend their Country in this season of difficulty and danger.

Ordered to lie on the table.