Congress discusses several letters and passes a number of Resolves concerning the war effort. Once again, the Journal of Congress, and Delegate Correspondence, show that Congress, especially through the committee system, is involved in the day to day making of war policy.
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
Letters from Lord Stirling, dated March 8th, 1776, enclosing three papers and one from the convention of New York, of March 7th, enclosing an application from Patrick Sinclair, a prisoner, for leave to return to Europe, were laid before Congress and read. The Congress, Resolved, That Sinclair be allowed to return to Europe.
Resolved, That an order be drawn on the treasurers in favor of John Alsop, Francis Lewis, and Roger Sherman, the Committee appointed to provide necessaries for the northern army to pay for shoes.
Resolved, That a committee of 3– Richard Henry Lee, William Whipple, and Edward Rutledge–be appointed to confer with General Lee, and devise the best ways and means for the defense of New York.3
The Committee of Claims reported that payment is due for 789 canteens. Ordered, That the above be paid.
Resolved, That the committee on applications and qualifications &c. be directed to provide 6 medicine chests for the 6 Virginia battalions.
The Congress took “some time” discussing the instructions to the commissioners going to Canada, and postponed further consideration until Tuesday.
Adjourned to 10 o’Clock tomorrow.
John Hancock to George Washington
Congress have not yet come to any resolutions on your former Letters.
[I] desire you to send Captain Morgan Connor of the riffle Battalion to Philadelphia, the Congress having occasion to employ him in the southern department. The Congress having promoted Edward Hand to be colonel of the riffle battalion in the room of Colonel Thompson whom they advanced to the rank of Brigadier General and James Chambers to be lieutenant colonel of the same, I have forwarded their commissions accordingly.
Robert Morris to Silas Deane
I was sorry to find by your Note of the 8th that you determined to wait at Chester for the Pilot Boat because certain Gentlemen seem exceedingly anxious that you should be gone & you know well how tedious & troublesome it is to obtain decisive orders on any point wherein Public Expense is to be incurred….
Yesterday arrived about 6 to 8 Tons of Powder by different Vessels from the West Indies. They bring English Papers later than any we had before & the King’s Proclamation for dividing Prize Money by which you will know the Act of Parliament for Cutting of all Trade & intercourse with us is passed and I suppose this will produce some decisive measures on our side.
A Man of War & two Tenders were within about 20 Miles of Baltimore and the People there preparing a Warm Reception for them. The Molly, Captain Lawrence, had got back into that Harbor and I think will be defended with others now lying there. Powder, Arms &c are on the way to them and I think no great harm will be done in that quarter. I think you should not lose one Moment, the sooner you are on the Ocean the better chance of arriving safe & of not being interrupted on your Voyage; but the Sea will Swarm with Men of War & some Privateers before long. The People in Antigua were applying for Commissions to fit out Privateers against us. I hope they will live to repent it.
A report is come up from Virginia that Colonel Corbin who went on board Lord Dunmore’s Fleet by his Lordships invitation was returned & says he saw General Clinton, that Commissioners are certainly Coming out from England to treat and offer the terms of 1763, but that they can only Treat with the Colonies separately & will have nothing to do with the Congress. If this be the case they may as well stay where they are.
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.