Regulations for the Subsistence of Officers


Friday, January 12, 1776.

The Committee of Claims reported, that there is due to Henry Dewson, for Provisions to Captain Ross' s Company, the sum of 27.5 Dollars.

The said Committee report, that they have had under their consideration an Account exhibited by Colonel Turbot Francis, one of the Commissioners for Indian Affairs for the Northern Department, of goods purchased for the Treaty held with the Indians, at Albany, of his expenses in attending the Treaty, &c˙, amounting to the sum of £2470, Pennsylvania currency, including the sum of £242 13s˙ 4d˙, New-York currency, paid to Volkert P˙ Douw, Esq˙; in which Account he credits cash received of the Continental Treasurers, the sum of 6666 2/3 Dollars, equal to £2500, and two horses taken to himself at cost, £42 15s˙; that there is, therefore, a Balance in his hands, amounting to £72 15s˙; and by the same Account, it appears that Colonel Francis had left in the hands of Mr˙ Douw, two Mattresses, &c˙, about fifteen gallons of Wine, and some Spirits, to be accounted for by him when sold; it also further appears that there remains on hand, part of the goods, purchased for the said Treaty: 9 1/2 pieces Strouds, 1 1/2 pieces French Blankets, 3 1/2 pieces Striped ditto, 46 Rose ditto, 2 pieces of White Nap.

That there is due to Volkert P˙ Douw, Esq˙, for expenses attending the aforesaid Treaty, according to an Account rendered by him and examined by this Committee, (in which he credits the above-mentioned sum of £242


13s˙ 4d˙, and also credits cash received for Boards, which he had purchased for the Indian houses, the sum of £15 6s˙ 2d˙,) the sum of £868 15s˙ 4 1/2d˙, New-York currency; there will then remain in his hands the Mattresses, Wine, &c˙, and Spirits, before mentioned, and some Boards, which are not yet sold.

Ordered, That the above sums be paid Henry Dewson and Volkert P˙ Douw, Esqs˙, the debts to them due; the latter through the hands of James Duane, Esq.

The Committee appointed to inquire into the conduct of the Officers, who are prisoners, and the manner in which they are subsisted at present, brought in their Report, which, being taken into consideration, was agreed to, as follows:

Resolved, That the conduct of the Officers at Trenton, though in other respects unexceptionable, is, as to their manner of living, exceedingly extravagant, they being boarded at Taverns, and the Innkeepers supplying them in a luxurious manner, on the credit of the Continent.

That the Congress will, for the future, allow two Dollars per week for the Board and Lodgings of Officers, who are prisoners, (for which sum they may have decent lodgings,) to be repaid by the Officers before they are released from their captivity.

That the Accounts of the several Innkeepers, against the Officers, be paid by the Continent, which are, also, to be repaid by the said Officers before their discharge.

That no Tavernkeeper supply the said Officers, for the future, on the credit of the Continent.

That the Officers now at Trenton be directed to remove to some other place, at a proper distance from the publick post-road.

That the Officers at Trenton have liberty, consistent with former Resolutions of Congress, to choose the places of their residence.

That a copy of the above Resolutions, together with a copy of the Resolution granting Officers liberty to sell Bills for their subsistence, be transmitted to the several Committees where Officers, who are prisoners, reside, and that the said Committees be directed to apply to the said Officers for their bills, to discharge the debts already incurred, and, also, to inform them it is expected they will, from time to time, draw for their future, subsistence.

Ordered, That Rachel Stelle' s Account, amounting to 423.6 Dollars, for Subsistence of Officers to the 4th of January, 1776, be paid.

The Congress resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, to take into consideration the Trade of the United Colonies, and, after some time, the President resumed the chair, and Mr˙ Ward reported, that the Committee had taken into consideration the matter to them referred, but, not having come to a conclusion, desired leave to sit again.

Resolved, That this Congress will, to-morrow, resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole, to take into further consideration the Trade of the United Colonies.

A Memorial from the Field-Officers of the First Pennsylvania Battalion was presented to Congress:

Ordered, That the same be referred for consideration till to-morrow.

The several matters to this day referred being postponed,

Adjourned to ten o' clock, to-morrow.