Primary tabs

Articles of Association in Pennsylvania


The Articles for regulating the Associators were transcribed, and this day read and approved of, and are as follows:


We, the Officers and Soldiers engaged in the present Association for the defence of American liberty, being fully sensible that the strength and security of any body of men, acting together, consists in just regularity, due subordination, and exact obedience to command, without which no individual can have that confidence, in the support of those about him, that is so necessary to give firmness and resolution to the whole, do voluntarily and freely, after consideration of the following Articles, adopt the same as the Rules by which we agree and resolve to be governed, in all our military concerns and operations, until the same, or any of them, shall be changed or dissolved by the Assembly or Provincial Convention, or in their recess by the Committee of Safety, or a happy reconciliation shall take place between Great Britain and the Colonies:

ARTICLE I. If any Officer make use of any profane oath or execration, when on duty, he shall forfeit and pay, for each and every such offence, the sum of five Shillings; and if a Non-Commissioned Officer or Soldier be thus guilty of cursing or swearing, he shall forfeit and pay, for each and every such offence, the sum of one Shilling.

ART˙ II. Any Officer or Soldier who shall refuse to obey the lawful orders of his superiour Officer, may be suspended from doing duty on that day, and shall, upon being convicted thereof before a Regimental Court-Martial, make such concessions as said Court-Martial shall direct.

ART˙ III. Any Officer or Soldier who shall begin, excite, cause, join in, or promote, any disturbance in the Battalion, Troop, or Company, shall be censured, according to the nature of the offence, by the judgment of a Regimental Court-Martial.

ART˙ IV. Any Officer or Soldier who shall strike his superiour Officer, or draw, or offer to draw, or shall lift up any weapon, or offer any violence against him, being in the execution of his office, shall, upon conviction before a Regimental Court-Martial, be dismissed, and shall be deemed to be thereby disgraced, as unworthy the company of freemen.

ART˙ V. Any Commanding or other Officer who shall strike any person when on duty, shall, upon conviction before a General Court-Martial, be in like manner dismissed and disgraced.

ART˙ VI. Any Officer, Non-Commissioned Officer, or Soldier, who shall make use of insolent, provoking, or indecent language, while on duty, shall suffer such censure or fine as shall be inflicted by a Regimental Court-Martial, according to the nature of the offence.

ART˙ VII. If any Officer or Soldier should think himself injured by his Colonel, or the Commanding Officer of the Battalion, and shall, upon due application made to him, be refused redress, he may complain to the General of the Pennsylvania Associators, or to the Colonel of any other Battalion, who is to summon a General Court-Martial, and see that justice be done.

ART˙ VIII. If any inferiour Officer or Soldier shall think himself injured by his Captain, or other superiour Officer in the Battalion, Troop, or Company to which he belongs, he may complain to the Commanding Officer of the Regiment, who is to summon a Regimental Court-Martial, for the doing justice according to the nature of the case.

ART˙ IX. No Officer, Non-Commissioned; Officer, or Soldier, shall fail of repairing, with their; Arms, Ammunition, and Accoutrements, upon any regular alarm, or at the time fixed, to the place of parade, or other rendezvous


appointed by the Commanding Officer, if not prevented by sickness or some other evident necessity, or shall go from the place of parade, without leave from the Commanding Officer, before he shall be regularly dismissed, on penalty of being fined or censured, according to the nature of the offence, by the sentence of a Regimental Court-Martial. But no Officer or Soldier shall be obliged to attend, to learn the military exercise, more than once in a week.

ART˙ X. Any Officer or Soldier found drunk, when under arms, shall he suspended from doing duty in the Battalion, Company, or Troop, on that day, and be fined or censured, at the discretion of a Regimental Court-Martial.

ART˙ XI. Whatever Sentinel shall be found sleeping upon his post, or shall leave it before he is regularly relieved, shall suffer such penalty or disgrace as shall be ordered by a Regimental Court-Martial.

ART˙ XII. Whatever Commissioned Officer shall be convicted, before a General Court-Martial, of behaving in a scandalous or infamous manner, unbecoming the character of an officer and a gentleman, shall be dismissed from the Association with disgrace.

ART˙ XIII. Every Non-Commissioned Officer or Soldier who shall be convicted, at a Regimental Court-Martial, of having sold, carelessly lost, wilfully spoiled or wasted, or of having offered for sale, any Ammunition, Arms, or Accoutrements, belonging to this Province, shall be dismissed such Battalion, Troop, or Company, as an unworthy member, and be prosecuted as the law directs.

ART˙ XIV. All disorders and neglects which Officers and Soldiers may be guilty of, to the prejudice of the good order and military discipline of the Association of this Colony, are to be taken cognizance of by a General or Regimental Court-Martial, according to the nature and degree of the offence, and be censured at their discretion.

ART˙ XV. That on the first meeting of every Battalion after subscribing these Articles of Association, and from thence forward, on the first meeting of every Battalion after the third Monday in September annually, there be chosen two persons, such as are entitled to vote for Members of Assembly, out of each Company in the respective Battalions, by the Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates, whose duty and office shall be, for the year following, to sit and join with the Officers in Court-Martial, which persons so chosen shall be styled Court-Martial Men.

ART˙ XVI. Every General Court-Martial shall consist of thirteen Members, six of whom shall be Commissioned Officers, under the rank of a Field-Officer, and six Court-Martial Men, who shall be drawn by lot out of the whole number; and these twelve are to choose a President, who shall be a Field-Officer, and have a casting voice.

ART˙ XVII. Every Regimental Court-Martial shall be composed of seven Members — three Officers, three Court-Martial Men, and a President, who is to be a Captain, and to be chosen by the six, and also to have a casting voice.

ART˙ XVIII. In all Courts-Martial, not less than two-thirds of the Members must agree in every sentence for inflicting penalties, or for disgracing any Associator; otherwise he shall be acquitted.

ART˙ XIX. The President of each and every Court-Martial, whether Regimental or General, shall require all witnesses, in order to trial of offenders, to declare, on their honour, that what they give in as evidence is the truth; and the Members of all Courts-Martial shall make a declaration to the President, and the President to the next in rank, upon their honour, that they will give judgment with impartiality.

ART˙ XX. All Non-Commissioned Officers, Drummers, Fifers, or others, that shall be employed and receive pay in any of the Battalions, Companies, or Troops, shall subscribe these Rules and Regulations, and be subject to such fines, to be deducted from their pay, and to such penalties as a Regimental Court-Martial shall think proper, upon being convicted of having transgressed any of these Regulations.

ART˙ XXI. All Associators called as witnesses in any case before a Court-Martial, who shall refuse to attend and give evidence, shall be censured or fined, at the discretion of the Court-Martial.

ART˙ XXII. No Officer or Soldier, being charged with transgressing these Rules, shall be suffered to do duty in


the Regiment, Company, or Troop to which he belongs, until he has had his trial by a Court-Martial; and every person so charged shall be tried as soon as a Court-Martial can be conveniently assembled.

ART˙ XXIII. The Officers and Soldiers of every Company of Artillery, or other Company, Troop, or party, that is or shall be annexed to any Battalion, shall be subject to the command of the Colonel or Commanding Officer of said Battalion; and the Officers shall sit as Members of Courts-Martial, in the same manner as the Officers of any other Company.

ART˙ XXIV. No penalty shall be inflicted, at the discretion of a Court-Martial, other than degrading, cashiering, or fining; the fines of the Officers not to exceed three Pounds, and the fine for a Non-Commissioned Officer or Soldier not to exceed twelve Shillings for one fault.

ART˙ XXV. The Field-Officers of each and every Battalion shall appoint a person to receive such fines as may arise within the same, for breach of any of these Articles, and shall direct those fines to be carefully and properly applied to the relief of the sick, wounded, or necessitous Soldiers belonging to that Battalion; and such person shall account with the Field-Officers for all fines received, and the application thereof.

ART˙ XXVI. The General or Commander-in-Chief of this Association for the time being shall have full power of pardoning or mitigating any censures or penalties ordered to be inflicted, for the breach of any of these Articles, by any General Court-Martial; and every offender convicted as aforesaid, by any Regimental Court-Martial, may be pardoned or have his penalties mitigated by the Colonel or Commanding Officer of the Battalion, excepting only where such censures or penalties are directed as satisfaction for injuries received by one Officer or Soldier from another.

ART˙ XXVII. Any Officer, Non-Commissioned Officer, or other person, who, having subscribed these Articles, shall refuse to make such concessions, pay such fines, or in any other matter refuse to comply with the judgment of any Court-Martial, shall be dismissed the service, and held up to the publick as unfriendly to the liberties of America.

ART˙ XXVIII. Upon the determination of any point by a Regimental Court-Martial, if the Officer or Soldier concerned on either side thinks himself still aggrieved, he may appeal to a General Court-Martial; but if, upon a second hearing, the appeal appears groundless and vexatious, the person so appealing shall be censured, at the discretion of the General Court-Martial.

ART˙ XXIX. Upon the death, resignation, promotion, or other removal of an Officer from any Battalion, Troop, or Company, (except Field-Officers,) or any Court-Martial Men, such vacancy is to be filled by the person or persons such Troop or Company shall elect.

ART˙ XXX. No Officer or Soldier shall be tried a second time for the same offence, except in case of appeal.

ART˙ XXXI. All Officers and Soldiers, of every Battalion, Troop, Company, or party of Associators, who shall be called by the Assembly, or Committee of Safety in recess of Assembly, into actual service, and be on pay, shall, when acting by themselves or in conjunction with the Continental Forces, be subject to all the Rules and Articles made by the honourable Congress for the government of the Continental Troops.

ART˙ XXXII. No Commissioned, Non-Commissioned Officer, or Private, shall withdraw himself from the Company to which he belongs without a discharge from the Commanding Officer of the Battalion, nor shall such person be received into any other Company without such discharge.

In testimony of our approbation and consent to be governed by the above Regulations, which have been deliberately read to, or carefully perused by us, we have hereunto set our hands.