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Petitions from Sundry Prisoners


Tuesday, October 8, 1776.

Two Letters, of the 4th and 5th, from General Washington, with sundry Papers enclosed; one, of the 4th, from the Convention of New-York; one, of the 27th of September, from the Council of Massachusetts-Bay; one, of the 2d instant, from John Livingston; and one from John Heyleger, dated St˙ Crow, 4th September, were read:

Ordered, That the Letter from John Heyleger be referred to the Board of War; that the Letter from John Livingston be referred to the Secret Committee, who are directed to send to Mr˙ Livingston' s Mill the ten tons of Saltpetre sent last winter to Massachusetts-Bay.

Three Petitions from sundry Prisoners were read, and referred to the Committee on the state of the Prisoners.

Resolved, That a Member be added to the said Committee:

The Member chosen, Mr˙ Rush.

Whereas it is necessary that the most speedy and effectual measures be taken for raising the new Army,

Resolved, That it be recommended to the Assemblies, Conventions, and Councils of Safety of the several States which have any Regiments now in the Continental service, either at New-York, Ticonderoga, or New-Jersey, that they forthwith appoint Committees to proceed to those places, with full powers to appoint all the officers of the Regiments to be raised by their States under the new establishment, that such officers may proceed immediately to inlist such men as are now in the service, and incline to reinlist during the war, and that such Committees be instructed to advise with the General Officers, and promote such officers as have distinguished themselves for their abilities, activity, and vigilance in the service, and especially for their attention to military discipline.

That the said Committees be also instructed not to appoint any officer who has left, or shall leave, his station in the Army, and is absent without leave from the General, or some other officer having authority to grant the same.

Ordered, That a copy of the above Resolutions be sent to each of the United States.

Congress resumed the consideration of the Reports of the Committee on the General' s Letters, and of that which went to the camp: Whereupon,

Resolved, That, for the further encouragement of the non-commissioned officers and soldiers, who shall engage in the service during the war, a suit of Clothes be annually given to each of the said officers and soldiers: to consist, for the present year, of two linen hunting-shirts, two pair of overalls, a leathern or woollen waistcoat with sleeves, one pair of breeches, a hat or leathern cap, two shirts, two pair of hose, and two pair of shoes, amounting, in the whole, to the value of twenty Dollars, or that sum to be paid to each soldier who shall procure those articles for himself, and produce a certificate thereof, from the Captain of the company to which he belongs, to the Paymaster of the Regiment.


Resolved, That it be recommended to the Assemblies and Conventions of the respective States, from Virginia to New-Hampshire, inclusively, to take the most effectual measures for completing, by the 10th of November, their proportions of the levies to be raised during the war.

As the Army has greatly suffered through the defect of some of its regimental officers,

Resolved, That it be recommended to the Assemblies and Conventions of the respective States, to use their utmost endeavours that all the officers to be hereafter appointed be men of honour and known abilities, without a particular regard to their having before been in service.

Resolved, That the further consideration of the Reports be postponed till to-morrow.

The Secret Committee having informed Congress that a vessel was arrived with sundry articles by them imported on account of the Continent,

Ordered, That the said Committee deliver to the Board of War such articles as are suitable for the Army, and to the Marine Committee such as are for the Navy, and to Mr˙ J˙ Mease such as are for Clothing, to be made up for the soldiers.

The several matters to this day referred being postponed,

Adjourned to ten o' clock to-morrow.