Bermuda is the issue. Congress provides a controlled exemption to Bermuda under the non-exportation agreement. Silas Deane writes: “How long the present unnatural War may last is dreadfully uncertain.”
Journals of the Continental Congress [Edited]
Congress resumed consideration of the Report from the Committee of the Whole.
The Committee of the Whole, to whom were referred the several petitions from Bermuda, representing the distress to which they were exposed by the non-exportation agreement, report that they have come to the following resolutions:
That the Inhabitants of the island of Bermuda appear friendly to the cause of America, and ought to be supplied with the produce of these colonies, as may be necessary for their subsistence and home consumption as determined by Congress.
That the Inhabitants ought to pay for the above annual allowance in salt, but it is not the design of this resolution to exclude them from the privilege of receiving American produce to any amount in exchange for arms, ammunition, salt petre, sulphur, and field pieces, agreeable to a resolution of Congress, passed the 15th of July last.
That, to enable such of these colonies as can conveniently furnish the Island of Bermuda with the above-mentioned annual allowance, to divide whatever advantages may result therefrom, in proportion to their respective shares of the general expense. It is further the opinion of this Committee,
South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York shall supply Bermuda with rice, corn, beans, meat,
That the conventions or committees of safety of the above mentioned colonies ought to superintend the said exportation, provide against frauds, and take care that, in exchanging the said commodities of salt and provisions, no undue advantages be taken by either party of their mutual wants, and further, that no vessel employed in this business ought to load without their permission, and that when they shall, in pursuance of these resolutions, permit any of the said vessels to load, they do give notice thereof to the committee of Inspection of the county, city, or town where such vessel shall load, and inform them that the same is done under the authority and by order of this Congress.
That these resolutions ought to be kept as private as the execution of them will admit.
That they should be transmitted to the several conventions, assemblies, or committees of safety of the United Colonies, and to the island of Bermuda; and that the inhabitants of the latter be informed, that the Congress will afford them other necessaries (such as lumber, soap, and candles) whenever the quality and quantity of each of those articles used in the Island shall be ascertained.
The Congress resumed the consideration of the report of the committee on Volkert P. Douw’s letter, and the minutes of the late treaty at Albany, and after some debate, the same was postponed.
Adjourned to ten o’Clock tomorrow.
Silas Deane to Samuel B. Webb (Military Lieutenant and future aide-de-camp)
How long the present unnatural War may last is dreadfully uncertain, but should it close within a year, or two, you may as well lay the first Rudiments of Military knowledge…for War will continue in one part of the World, or another, until the Millennium arrive, & that is not, nor will soon I imagine.
Edited with commentary by Gordon Lloyd.