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July 4, Number of the Inhabitants of the Colony ordered to be taken, in compliance with the Resolution of the Continental Congress, Inventory of all property, real and personal, of suspected persons, to be taken by the Committees within their respective Counties


Thursday, July 4, 1776.

Met according to adjournment.

Whereas the Continental Congress, in order that an equal and general representation should be made in the Thirteen United Colonies, on the 26th day of December last did resolve that the most effectual means should be taken in each Colony by the Assemblies, Councils, or Committees of Safety, to ascertain an impartial list of the number of the Inhabitants in their respective Colonies:

Resolved, therefore, That the Committees of the several Counties and Towns within this Province take the most effectual method to obtain an exact list of the number of Inhabitants in their respective Counties and Towns, distinguished as directed by the Resolve of the Provincial Congress at Hillsborough, in 1775; and that the Chairman of the said Committees transmit to this Board such list, properly authenticated, by the persons who shall be intrusted with this service, within three months from this time, in order that the same may be transmitted to the Continental Congress.

Resolved, That the Captain of each Company of Continental Troops raised in this Province do pay to such persons as may apprehend and deliver to them any deserting Soldier belonging to his Company, such a sum of money as may be reasonable and equal to the trouble and expense of apprehending such Soldier or Soldiers, not exceeding £5, and deduct the same out of the pay of such Soldier.

The Council, taking into consideration the present alarming and dangerous situation of this Province, and reflecting, with the greatest concern, that a number of people, nursed up in the very bosom of the country, who, by their pretended neutrality, virtually declare themselves enemies to the American Union, while others, more daring, refuse to receive in payment the publick Bills of Credit of this Province issued for the very purpose of securing to our posterity the most inestimable blessings of peace, liberty, and property; and whereas the King and Parliament of Great Britain have, under colour of law, directed their Troops to seize and destroy the persons and properties of the good people of this Province: In order, therefore, to secure the property of such instruments of despotism, and prevent the fatal effects that might otherwise result from their conduct:

Resolved, That the Committees of the several Counties in this Province do immediately call on every such person within their respective Counties to render an inventory, on oath, of all and singular their real and personal estate; and in case of neglect or refusal, they do direct the Commanding Officer of the County forthwith to cause such suspected person to be brought before this Board.

The Council being informed that the Committee of the County of Dublin have taken into their possession a large quantity of Salt, the property of Mr˙ John James; and it appearing that Salt may, at this time, be purchased at or near Wilmington, and that the said Mr˙ James hath contracted to procure Provisions for the use of this Province:

Resolved, That the said Committee do suffer Mr˙ James to retain in the County, for the purpose aforesaid, any quantity of Salt, not exceeding two hundred bushels; and in case the remainder should be wanted by the inhabitants of the said County, that they do allow him the sum of 10s˙, Proclamation, per bushel, for the same; and that they do not sell more than two bushels to any one family.


Whitmill Hill, Esq˙, one of the Commissioners appointed by the Provincial Council to charter a Vessel or Vessels, and agree with Masters and Seamen, to proceed on a voyage, at the expense of this Province, for Arms and Ammunition, exhibited his Account, whereby it appears that he hath received from the publick Treasury the sum of £1,500; that he hath regularly laid out and expended in cargoes, which he shipped on board Captain James Butler and Captain Daniel Cartwright, on account of this Province, the sum £1,499 14s˙ 7d˙, which leaves a balance of 5s˙ 5d˙ in the hands of the said Whitmill Hill due to the publick, which balances his Account.

Adjourned till to-morrow morning, eight o' clock.