Journals of the Continental Congress

Second Continental Congress: April 19, 1776

April 19, 1776

Instructions to George Morgan, Agent, Indian Affairs in the Middle Department.

Link to date-related documents.

Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]

A letter from Governor Trumbull, of the 2d, with a petition from Noah Phelps, was presented to Congress, read, and referred to the Committee on Qualifications.

A motion for ascertaining the value of several species of gold and silver, was referred to a committee of seven. The members chosen: James Duane, George Wythe, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Joseph Hewes, Thomas Johnson, and William Whipple.

The Committee of Claims reported, that there are three claims due.

Ordered, That the claims be paid.

Resolved, That letters directed for any general in the continental service, commanding in a separate department, be carried free of postage, by the constitutional post.

The committee appointed to prepare instructions to George Morgan, brought in their report, which being read, was agreed to as follows:

Instructions to George Morgan, Agent, Indian Affairs in the Middle Department

You are required to provide that the great belt presented to the Indians last fall at Pittsburg, be forwarded, with all convenient expedition, to the Sachems and warriors of the western nations, and endeavor, to the utmost of your power, to convince them of the good wishes and good intentions of the Congress for and towards them, and to cultivate harmony and friendship between them and the white people; and to give Congress the most early intelligence of any interruption thereof, or of any disturbance which shall arise, and which you cannot quiet.

Acquaint the Indians that Congress have formed the best plan they could devise to import foreign goods for their use, and have neglected no probable means to procure them in time; and if they should not be supplied so soon as they may be wanted, the misfortune is to be ascribed to the common enemies of them and us, who, by obstructing our trade, as well as in numberless other instances, are daily injuring and distressing both; but that we have well grounded hopes of speedy relief, in expectation of which, and of greater advantages in prospect, the present inconveniencies are borne more patiently.

All differences and disputes that shall happen between the Indians and the white people, you will have adjusted and determined in the mode prescribed by a resolve of Congress, of which you have a copy: and you are directed, in a particular manner, to prevent, as much as you are able, any impositions upon the former by those who deal with them. Treat all those people, whom you may meet with, kindly and hospitably. Inspire them with sentiments of Justice and humanity, and dispose them to introduce the arts of civil and social life, and to encourage the residence of husbandmen and handicrafts men among them. Advise the Congress, from time to time, of all occurrences that may, in your opinion, deserve their attention.

The Report of the committee to whom General Washington’s letter of the 15th Inst., as well as other letters, were referred, was considered and agreed to.

Resolved, That the resignation of James Warren, as pay master general of the army, be accepted. That another pay master general be appointed, and the General informed.

Reverend Dr. Samuel Langdon who performed the duty of a chaplain to several regiments, and the army at large, receive compensation.

Resolved, That three tons of powder be immediately forwarded to Virginia, for the use of the army in the southern department.

Resolved, That General Washington grant General Lee’s request for an artillery company, consistent with the general good of the service.

Resolved, That a supply of arms, shoes, and blankets, be furnished for the troops in Virginia subject to the orders of Congress.

Resolved, That Mr. Ephraim Blaine purchase Blankets not exceeding five thousand, and also five thousand pair of shoes, to be sent to Virginia.

Resolved, That Monday next be assigned for the election of a pay master general.

Resolved, That Thomas Lowry, commissary, purchase and forward to General Schuyler, with all convenient dispatch, two thousand barrels of pork, for the use of the army in Canada, and that he be recompensed for that purpose.

Resolved, That the committee appointed to confer with Mr. Price bring in a resolve to enable Messrs. Price and Heywood to draw for the balance of the money ordered to be paid them by the resolutions of the 3d and 16th Instant.

Resolved, That Seven Canadian prisoners, at Bristol, be permitted to come to Philadelphia in order to purchase clothes and other necessaries, and to remain there ten days, and then to return to Bristol.

The committee to whom were referred the letter from General Washington, of the 4th Instant, and the letter of General Schuyler, of the second, delivered their report.

The committee to whom the letter from Major General Schuyler, dated the 2nd of April, was referred, recommend that Congress 1) approve the measures he pursued for the easy, expeditious and cheap transportation of the troops marching to Canada, with their baggage and provisions, 2) are well-pleased with his behavior towards the Indians, and with his message to them, and 3) know that his vigilance and influence will frustrate the attempts of our enemies to disturb us from that quarter; and 4) inform him of the provision made for supplying the army in Canada with pork.

The Committee on Prisoners, having collected from the journals the several resolutions of Congress respecting prisoners, with some amendments, submitted the same to Congress.

Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Monday.

Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.