Congress continues its meticulous and arduous regulation of the war effort. Richard Smith informs us that An Order concerning shipping was “passed after long Debate.” R. Alexander admits that “with me every Idea of Reconciliation is precluded by the Conduct of G. Britain, & the only Alternative, absolute Slavery, or Independency. The latter I have often repudiated both in public & private, but am now almost convinced the Measure is right & can be justified by Necessity.”
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
Monsignor Dugar was reimbursed for his services “in the Cause of the United Colonies in Canada,” and recommended to be advanced “to a post in the army, suitable to his merit and services.”
Congress acted on the report of the committee, “to whom the letters from Christopher Leffingwell and others, concerning the brig Nancy,” made their report
The Congress received the report of the committee appointed to consider into what military departments the five middle and four southern colonies ought to be formed, and organized them into two consolidated departments. The one middle department would be run by “one Major General, and two Brigadiers General with proper staff,” and the one southern department placed “under the command of one Major General, and three Brigadiers General with proper staff.”
Resolved, That Friday next be assigned for the election of the Majors General, Brigadiers General, and staff officers in the two above departments.
Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.
Richard Smith’s Diary
An Order passed after long Debate that all the Shipping in the United Colonies now bound to G Britain, Ireland or the British West Indies in Virtue or under Color of a former Resolve allowing Produce to be exported for importing Military Stores, shall be immediately stopped till further Order & this resolution to be published, & the further Consideration of that Subject & whether the Custom Houses shall be shut up was referred to a Committee of 5.
Letter to the Maryland Council of Safety, signed by R. Alexander
[According to Lord North’s Conciliatory Act] all American Vessels found on the Coasts of Great Britain or Ireland are to be seized & confiscated on the first Day of January-all American Vessels sailing into or out of the ports of America after the first of March are to be seized & confiscated-all foreign Vessels trading to America after the first of June to be seized-all Communication between Great Britain or Ireland or the British West Indies with America to be cut off-All Captures made by British Ships of War or by the Officers of the King’s Troops in America adjudged by this Act to be lawful Prizes and as such Courts of Admiralty to proceed in their Condemnation-all orders for the Regulation of Courts of Admiralty in America, heretofore made by the King in Council or which may hereafter be made, are confirmed. The Boston Port Bill, the Fishery Bill, and the restraining Act are repealed by this Bill, the Colonies being in the like Circumstances & Situation.
What Measures Congress may pursue in Consequence of this Act, I know not; with me every Idea of Reconciliation is precluded by the Conduct of G. Britain, & the only Alternative, absolute Slavery, or Independency. The latter I have often repudiated both in public & private, but am now almost convinced the Measure is right & can be justified by Necessity.
I make no doubt you have heard Mr. Chase is ordered to Canada. He sets off in a few Days. Mr Rogers has Leave of Absence; should he leave Congress, Maryland will be without Representation. I mention this, to show the Necessity of your requesting Messrs. Johnson & Stone to attend. I wrote Mr Tilghman, but have not any Answer; Although my private Business requires my Presence in Maryland, I shall not leave this City, until a sufficient number of my Brethren arrive.
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.