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Resolutions of the Congress


"December 26, 1775. — Whereas the Congress, on the 29th day of November, resolved that a further sum of three millions of Dollars be emitted in Bills of Credit:

"Resolved, That the thirteen United Colonies be pledged for the redemption of the Bills of Credit so directed to be emitted.

"That each Colony provide ways and means to sink its proportion of the said Bills, in such manner as may be most effectual, and best adapted to the condition, circumstances, and equal mode of levying taxes in each Colony.

"That the proportion or quota of each respective Colony be determined according to the number of Inhabitants, of all ages, including Negroes and Mulattoes in each Colony.

"That it be recommended to the several Assemblies, Conventions, or Councils, or Committees of Safety, of the respective Colonies, to ascertain, by the most impartial and effectual means in their power, the number of Inliabitants in each respective Colony; taking care that the list be authenticated by the oaths or affirmations of the several persons who shall be intrusted with this service, and that the


said Assemblies, Conventions, or Councils or Committees of Safety, do, respectively, lay before Congress a Return of the number of Inhabitants of their respective Colonies, as soon as the same shall be procured.

"That each Colony pay its respective quota in four equal payments; the first to be made on or before the last day of November, 1783; the second on or before the last day of November, 1784; the third on or before the last day of November, 1785; and the fourth or last on or before the last day of November, 1786.

"And that for this end the several Assemblies or Conventions provide for laying and levying Taxes in their respective Colonies towards sinking the Continental Bills. That the said Bills be received by the Collectors in payment of such Taxes, and be by the Collectors paid into the hands of the Provincial Treasurers, with all such other moneys as they may receive in lieu of the Continental Bills; which other moneys the Provincial Treasurers shall endeavour to get exchanged for Continental Bills; and where that cannot be done, shall send to the Continental Treasurers the deficiency in silver and gold, with the Bills, making up the quota to be sunk in that year; taking care to cut, by a circular punch of an inch in diameter, a hole in such Bills, and to cross the same, thereby to render them unpassable, though the sum or value is to remain fairly legible. And the Continental Treasurers, as fast as they receive the said quotas, shall, with the assistance of a Committee of five persons, to be appointed by the Congress then sitting, or by the Assembly or Convention of the Province of Pennsylvania, examine and count the Continental Bills, and in the presence of the said Committee, burn and destroy them.

"And the silver and gold sent them to make up the deficiencies of quotas, they shall retain in their hands until demanded in redemption of Continental Bills that may be brought to them for that purpose; which Bills, so redeemed, they shall also burn and destroy in the presence of the said Committee. And the Treasurers, whenever they have silver or gold in their hands for the redemption of Continental Bills, shall advertise the same, signifying that they are ready to give gold or silver for such Bills, to all persons requiring it in exchange.

"Resolved, That the Inspectors of the Press deliver the proof-sheets and checks of the Continental Bills to the Continental Treasurers, and that they deliver one of each to the Delegates of every Colony, to remain with the Provincial Treasurer to be appointed in such Colony, and to retain the rest in their hands.

"Whereas there is reason to believe that divers persons, either from inattention to the publick good, or with design to retard the recruiting service, have arrested and Imprisoned, for very trifling debts, many Soldiers who had engaged to risk their lives in defence of the rights and liberties of America; and as it has always been found necessary, in time of war, to regulate and restrain a practice of such pernicious tendency, and in such cases to abate the rigours of law:

"Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Legislatures in these Colonies, whether Assemblies or Conventions, to pass Acts or Ordinances prohibiting the arrests of Continental Soldiers for small debts. And in order that the same rule may pervade all the Colonies, that no such Soldier be arrested at the suit of any of his creditors, unless the said creditor make oath that the said Soldier is justly indebted to him in the sum of twenty-five Dollars over and above all discounts; and that the estate of no such Soldier be liable to attachment at the suit or for the benefit of all his creditors, unless their debts in the whole, on being ascertained by their oaths, shall amount to more than one hundred and fifty Dollars.

"Extract from the Minutes: