Congress continues to 1) direct the war effort in Canada and the southern department, 2) consider petitions seeking exemptions from Congressional controls on international trade. Of particular interest today is the loyalty oath required by General Lee. The availability of gunpowder also receives attention.
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
Resolved, That a letter be written to General Washington, directing him to send Captain Conner, of the riffle battalion, to Philadelphia so Congress could employ him in the southern department.
The committee appointed to prepare instructions for the commissioners going to Canada, brought in a draught which was read and ordered to lie on the table for the perusal and consideration of the members.
Trade Petitions from Mr. Stephen Decatur of Hispanolia, and John Babtisto Hugonene of Martinique, were presented, read, and decided on.
Resolved, That a committee of five–Thomas Johnson, John Jay, Samuel Adams, Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant, and Roger Sherman–be appointed to take into consideration the state of the colonies in the southern department:
Resolved, That fifty gentlemen be appointed to sign and number bills of credit
Resolved, That no oath by way of test be imposed upon, exacted, or required of any of the inhabitants of these colonies, by any military officers. [See letters from New York Delegates to the New York Committee of Safety, March 1, 1776; General Charles Lee to Congress, March 5, 1776.] Ordered, That the above be published. [Pennsylvania Gazette, March 13, 1776.]
Resolved, That the Secret Committee be directed to deliver one ton of powder to the delegates of Maryland, for the public service in that colony.
Several matters were postponed.
Adjourned to 10 o’Clock on Monday next.
Letter From Thomas Johnson and R Alexander to the Maryland Council of Safety
Immediately on Receipt of a Letter from Mr. Purviance by Express advising us of a Man of War being in your Bay, We applied to Congress for one Ton of Powder, which was readily granted. The Delegates of Virginia had sent off one Ton in a Wagon, this without Solicitation they offered us & We accepted & have sent their Order to the Waggoner to proceed to Baltimore.
Robert Treat Paine to Abraham Hunt
The Congress have appointed a Committee to Contract for the making Muskets & bayonets, in pursuance of which they have agreed with Ebenezer Cowel to carry on the manufacture of gunlocks for the use of the United Colonies.
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.