Additional Report of the Committee
to Digest the Resolutions of the Committee of the Whole respecting Canada
[17 June 1776]
The Committee to whom the reports from the Committee of the whole house was recommitted, have had the same under their consideration and agreed to the following resolutions.
Resolved º that it is the opinion of this Committee that an experienced general be immediately sent into Canada, with power to appoint a deputy adjutant general, a Deputy Quarter master general, and such other officers as he shall find necessary for the good of the service, and to fill up vacancies in the army in Canada, and notify º the same to Congress for their approbation. That he also have power to suspend any officer there till the pleasure of Congress be known, he1 transmitting to Congress as soon as possible the charge against such officer.2
Resolved º that no officer suttle or sell to the soldiers, on penalty of being fined one months pay and dismissed the service with infamy on conviction before a court martial.
Resolved º that the baggage of Officers and soldiers be regulated conformably to the rules in the British armies.
Resolved º that all sales of arms, ammunition, cloathing and accoutrements made by soldiers be void.
Resolved º that no troops employed in Canada, be disbanded there: that all soldiers in Canada ordered to be disbanded, or whose times of enlistment being expired shall refuse to re-enlist, shall be sent under proper officers to Ticonderoga or such other post on the lakes as the General shall direct, where they shall be mustered, and the arms, accoutrements, blankets, and utensils, which they may have belonging to the public shall be delivered up and deposited in the public store.
Resolved º that Doctor Potts be employed in the Continental service in the Canadian department or at Lake George as the General shall think best; and that his pay be dollars per month. But this appointment is not intended to interfere with the office of Doctr. Stringer.3
Resolved º that a Deputy Muster Master General be immediately sent into Canada.
Resolved º that the local Commissaries and Quartermasters appointed at the different garrisons or posts shall make weekly returns to the General of the provisions and stores in the places at which they may happen to be stationed.
Resolved º that the General to be sent to Canada be directed to view Point au fer, and to order a fortress to be erected there if he should think proper.
Resolved º that the General officers, Deputy Quarter master general, Local commissaries, Paymaster in Canada, and all other persons there who have received public monies be ordered without delay to render and settle their accounts; on which settlement no Brigadier not keeping a table shall receive the allowance for one, nor shall any Brigadier4 receive pay as colonel of a regiment.5
Resolved º that Commissioners be appointed to settle in Canada the debts due on Certificates given by officers to the Canadians for carriages and other services: and to settle also the accounts for such goods as may have been seized through necessity for the use of the army. That it be given in instruction to them to attend particularly to º the case of Mr. Bernard: and also that in settling the Certified debts they state carefully the names of all those who have given Certificates, the nature of the service and the time when performed; and to return the whole when settled and stated to the board of treasury to be by them finally examined and discharged.3
Resolved º that the Deputy Paymaster General be directed to transmit to Congress copies of the particulars beforementioned on the original certificates, with the report and remarks of the Commissioners thereon.3
Resolved º that General Schuyler be directed to make a good waggon road from Fort Edward to Cheshire’s; to clear Wood creek and to construct a Lock at Skenesborough, so as to have a continued navigation for batteaus from Cheshire’s into lake Champlain; to erect a grand magazine at Cheshire’s and to secure it by a stockaded fort; to erect a saw mill on Schoon creek; to order skilful persons to survey and take the level of the waters falling into Hudson’s river near Fort Edward and those which fall into Wood º creek and interlock with the former, particularly Jones’s run and Half-way brook, the latter of which is said to discharge itself into Wood creek at Cheshire’s. That he be directed to have a greater number of boats and hands kept on Hudson’s river, at the different stations between Albany and Fort Edward, in order to save the expence º of waggonage. That he be empowered to appoint proper officers to superintend the carriage by land and transportation by water of provisions, military stores and other things into Canada, that º neither waste nor delay may arise therein. That he build with all expedition as many gallies and armed vessels as in the opinion of himself and the General officer to be sent into Canada shall be sufficient to make us indisputably masters of the lakes Champlain and George: for which purpose it is the opinion of this Committee there should be sent to him a master carpenter acquainted with the construction of the gallies used on the Delaware, who should take with º him other carpenters, and models also if requisite. And that it be submitted to General Schuyler whether a temporary fortification or entrenched camp either at Crown point or opposite to Ticonderoga may be necessary.
Resolved º that the Commissary general be directed to supply the army in Canada with provisions, and to appoint proper officers under him to receive and issue the same at the several posts taking the º directions of the General: that he be impowered to contract with proper persons in Canada for supplying the army there with fresh provisions; that he be directed to purchase for them a quantity of Albany peas, and to furnish as much biscuit as may be necessary; and º that his pay be raised to6 dollars per month.
Resolved º that the Quarter-master General be directed to provide and forward such tents cloathing and utensils as are wanted for the army in Canada, subject to the direction of the commander in chief.
Resolved º that General Washington be directed to send into Canada º such small brass or iron field peices as he can spare: that he be instructed to issue orders that no certificates be given in future by any but Brigadiers, Quarter-masters and their deputies, or a feild officer on a march or officer commanding at a detached post.
Resolved º that General Washington be directed to order an enquiry to be made into the causes of the miscarriages in Canada and into7 the conduct of the officers heretofore employed in that8 department; and that the said enquiry be made at such times and places as in his judgment shall be most likely to do justice as well to the public as to the individuals; and that the result of the said enquiry together with the testimonies upon the subject be transmitted to º Congress. That moreover all officers accused of cowardice, plundering, embezzlement of public monies and other misdemeanors be º immediately brought to trial. And whereas Congress is informed that an opinion has prevailed that officers resigning their commissions are not subject to trial by a court martial for offences committed previous to such resignation, whereby some have evaded the punishments to which they were liable, it is hereby declared that such opinion is not just.
Resolved º that it is the opinion of this Committee that General Washington be authorized to fill up vacancies in the army by issuing commissions to such officers under the rank of feild officers as he shall think proper to supply such vacancy; he making a monthly return to Congress of such appointments which unless disapproved of by Congress on such return, shall stand confirmed: and that blank commissions be sent to the General for that purpose.3
Resolved º that letters be written to the Conventions of New Jersey and New York, and to the Assembly of Connecticut recommending to º them to authorize the Commander in chief in the colony of New York, to call to the assistance of that colony (when necessity shall require it) such of the militia of those colonies as may be necessary; and to afford him such other assistance as the situation of affairs may require. And that it be further recommended to the Convention º of New York to empower the said Commander in chief to impress carriages and water craft when necessary for the public service, and also to remove ships and other vessels in Hudson’s and the East rivers for the purpose of securing them from the enemy.
Resolved º that General Washington be permitted to employ the Indians that12 he may take into the service of the United colonies pursuant to a resolution of Congress of the13 in any place where he shall judge they will be most useful, and that he be authorized to offer them a reward of14 dollars for every Commissioned officer, and of15 dollars for every private soldier of the king’s troops that they shall take prisoners in the Indian country or on the frontiers of these colonies.
Dft (DLC: PCC, No. 19, vi). Without date or endorsement. The text given here represents TJ’s composition draft; deletions and insertions made in committee or in Congress are given in the textual notes.
This Report is printed in JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , v, 448–52, as part of the resolutions adopted by Congress on 17 June (see preceding document and notes thereon), though the resolutions as reported in the MS that were introduced or adopted at other times are printed in JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends under earlier or later dates. Thus G.6, struck out here, appears in a report submitted 10 May (iv, 344); C.2–4, also struck out, are printed under 18 June (v, 463); W.6–8 under 21 June (v, 472); W.9 under 25 May (iv, 392); and W.12 under 26 June (v, 483). Concerning the marginal symbols, the editor of JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends states a belief “that G. refers to such paragraphs as were suggested by Gates; C. to those of Congress or its committees; S. to those of Schuyler, and W. to those of Washington.” It seems more likely that they indicate the resolutions upon which those persons or Congress, respectively, were to act. But the whole story of these proceedings is as complicated and confused as the Canadian campaign itself.
1. Inserted in another hand: “giving his reasons for so doing in the orders of suspension and.”
2. Added in another hand: “provided that this power of suspending officers and filling up vacancies shall not be continued beyond the first day of October next.”
3. This paragraph deleted in committee or in Congress.
4. The words from the preceding semicolon to this point were struck out and the following substituted in another hand: “on which settlement no General officer.”
5. Added in another hand: “nor Field officer as Captain of a Company.”
6. Inserted in another hand: “One hundred and fifty.”
7. Preceding nine words struck out in committee; the marginal notation was added in Harrison’s(?) hand.
8. This word altered in another hand to: “the Canadn.”
9. In Harrison’s(?) hand.
10. Inserted in another hand: “Ten.”
11. Preceding three words altered in another hand to: “for the term of three years.”
12. Altered in Thomson’s(?) hand to: “whom.”
13. Inserted in Thomson’s(?) hand is the date “25 May last.”
14. Inserted in Thomson’s(?) hand is “One hundred.”
15. Inserted in Thomson’s hand is “Thirty.”