Proceedings on the application of Major Hoisington for bounty and pay for the Rangers, Questions asked of the Deputies from Cumberland County, and their answers

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Major Henry Schenck, one of the Deputies of Dutchess County, came into the room, who, with the other Members before named, were a sufficient number to form a Convention.

They therefore proceeded as a Convention.

The Convention then took info consideration the application of Major Joab Hoisington, from Cumberland County, for money for the Bounty for the Rangers, and paying their Wages and Subsistence.

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The Letter or application of Major Hoisington was read. The Return of the Officers of the Companies of Rangers, under the command of Major Hoisington, signed by James Clay, Chairman of the Committee of Cumberland County, was also read.

The Letter from Cumberland County Committee, of the 21st day of June last, to this Committee, was also read.

Debates arose on the application from Major Hoisington, occasioned by the said Letter of the 21st day of June last.

The following Questions, by order of the Convention, were asked of the Deputies from Cumberland County, and their answers are here inserted, viz:

Question. Were you elected by the people of the County at large, or by the Sub-Committees in the Towns?

Answer, (by Mr˙ Sessions and Mr˙ Stevens.) We were elected by the people of the County at large.

Question. How is your County Committee formed?

Answer. By two Members sent from the Committees of each Town.

Question. Were those Committees appointed or elected by thepeople of the County, before or after your election as Deputies?

Answer. The Committees were elected long before the late election for Deputies to represent that County.

Question. Have your County Committee any power or authority from the people to give such instructions or directions, or to make such declarations or reservations, as are contained in the said letter of the 21st of June?

Mr˙ Sessions, in answer, declares; that he is very confident that the Sub-Committees or Committees in Cumberland County, had not any directions or instructions from the people or inhabitants of Cumberland County, to give such instructions or directions as are contained in the said letter, of the 21st of June, or to make such declarations or reservations as are therein mentioned. Mr˙ Stevens makes the like declaration, and says that the letter of the 21st June was agreed to prevent any division in the County, as some few towns in the County were opposed to sending Deputies to Convention, unless with such instructions. That he had not any particular instructions from the people of the town in which he resides, and believes the people of the other towns did not give any. That he conceives the credentials from the County give him full and unrestrained power in forming a Government. That he conceives himself no further bound by those instructions than his vote, and then only in cases where the instructions are agreeable to his own judgment.

Mr˙ Sessions says he shall think it his duty to pay regard to his instructions so far as to lay them before the House, and obtain a compliance with them, so far as they shall appear to be right and beneficial.

The Deputies from Cumberland County were then asked whether, if on debate it should appear that a matter contained in or directed by those instructions, would be injurious to the State, they would think themselves bound by those instructions?

They respectively answered, by no means. That they did not think themselves bound by those instructions whenever they might work any injury to the State, or whenever they should be out-voted.

The Convention were informed that the Committee to whom were referred the said Letter of the 21st of June to this Convention, have not made any Report thereon, and that the greater part of the Members appointed on that Committee are now absent.

Ordered, That the said Letter of the 21st of June last, and the application of Major Joab Hoisington for money to pay and subsist the Companies of Rangers mentioned in the Returns thereof by him made, with the said Returns, be committed to a Committee.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Duer, Mr˙ Duane, and Mr˙ Zephaniah Platt, together with Mr˙ Sessions and Colonel Stevens, be a Committee for that purpose, and that they report such facts relating to this matter, and what will in their opinion be most eligible to be done in the premises, with all convenient speed,

Resolved and Ordered, That the Committee appointed on the 21st instant, "for the express purpose of inquiring into, detecting, and defeating all conspiracies which may be formed in the State against the liberties of America," be and hereby are authorized and empowered at their discretion to place Guards at such place or places as they may think

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proper, for apprehending Deserters from the American Army, and for detecting and defeating all conspiracies which have or may be formed in the State against the liberties of America, and to give such instructions to those Guards as the said Committee may think necessary for those purposes.