Congress continues with what Samuel Huntington calls the “very arduous as well as Important” business of settling claims, selecting military officers, and providing an adequate number of soldiers and equipment, including surgical instruments.
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
Resolved, That Sixty Dollars be advanced to Monsr. Arundel, to be deducted out of his pay, and that he be directed immediately to repair to the southern department, and put himself under the direction of General Lee.
Resolved, That Monsieur Dechambault, and his companion, be permitted to come to Philadelphia and transact some private business, and then return to Bristol.
The Congress elected two Engineers–John Stadler and Monsieur Massenbach–for the Southern Department
The Congress took into consideration the letter from the committee of safety of New Jersey: Whereupon,
Resolved, That the minute men employed by Congress under the command of Colonel Heard, in the expedition to Long Island, be paid as Continental troops, agreeable to the pay and rations allowed in the Middle Department and that the New York delegates be a committee to prepare an answer to the letter from the committee of safety of New Jersey, and assign the reasons of the foregoing resolve.
The Committee of Claims reported several claims for various army provisions and sundries. Resolved, That the above be paid.
The committee appointed to confer with Major Wrixon, brought in their report on surgical instruments which was read and postponed until Monday.
Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Monday.
Samuel Huntington to James Cogswell (Regimental Surgeon)
On Sunday morning the 17th Inst my attention from my Chamber window was Suddenly called to behold a mighty Cavalcade of Plebeians marching through the Street with drums beating and at every Small distance they halted & gave three Huzzas. I was apprehensive Some outrage was about to be Committed, but Soon perceived my mistaken apprehensions & that it was a Religious exercise of the Sons of Saint Patrick. It being the anniversary of that Saint the morning Exercise was ushered in with the ceremony above described. However Sir Should I leave you to Judge of the Religion of this City from the above Story only; it would not be Just, there are devout pious people in this City, a number of pious & Excellent preachers, & he who does not lead a virtuous & religious life here must accuse himself. Every man has Liberty to pursue the dictates of his own Conscience.
My Business is very arduous as well as Important. We commonly Set from Ten in the morning until between four & five in the afternoon intent on business without any refreshment. It was very tedious at first but by usage is become Tolerable. I have by divine blessing enjoyed a very good State of Health ever since my recovery from the Small Pox. I cannot forget my native Country; & prize Connecticut higher than ever I did before…. I herewith send you a Resolve of Congress for a general Fast though it may likely appear in the public papers. [Editor’s Note. See March 16 Resolution]
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.