July 10

v1:1573

The Congress, taking into consideration the foregoing Report, came to the following Resolutions:

Resolved, That all acts contrary to good faith, the laws of nature, or the customs of civilized nations, done by the officers or soldiers of his Britannick Majesty, or by foreigners or Savages taken into his service, are to be considered as done by his orders, unless indemnification be made, in cases which admit indemnification, and in all other cases, unless immediate and effective measures be taken by him, or by his officers, for bringing to condign punishment the authors, abettors, and perpetrators of the act:

That the plundering the baggage of the garrison at the Cedars, stripping them of their clothes, and delivering them into the hands of the Savages, was a breach of the capitulation on the part of the enemy, for which indemnification ought to be demanded:

That the murder of the prisoners-of-war was a gross and inhuman violation of the laws of nature and nations; that condign punishment should be inflicted on the authors, abetters, and perpetrators of the same; and that, for this purpose, it be required that they be delivered into our hands:

That the agreement entered into by General Arnold was a mere sponsion on his part, he not being invested with powers for the disposal of prisoners not in his possession, nor under his direction; and that, therefore, it is subject to be ratified or annulled, at the discretion of this House:

That the shameful surrender of the post at the Cedars is chargeable on the Commanding Officer; that such other of the prisoners as were taken there, showed a willingness and desire to fight the enemy; and that Major Sherburne, and the prisoners taken with him, though their disparity of numbers was great, fought the enemy bravely for a considerable time, and surrendered at last, but on absolute necessity; on which consideration, and on which alone, it is resolved, that the said sponsion be ratified; and that an equal number of captives from the enemy, of the same rank and condition, be restored to them, as stipulated by the said sponsion:

That, previous to the delivery of the prisoners to be returned on our part, the British Commander in Canada be required to deliver into our hands the authors, abetters, and perpetrators of the horrid murder committed on the prisoners, to suffer such punishment as their crime deserves; and also to make indemnification for the plunder at the Cedars, taken contrary to the faith of the capitulation; and that, until such delivery and indemnification be made, the said prisoners be not delivered:

That, if the enemy shall commit any further violences, by putting to death, torturing, or otherwise ill treating the prisoners retained by them, or any of the hostages put into their hands, recourse be had to retaliation, as the sole means of stopping the progress of human butchery; and that, for that purpose, punishments of the same kind and degree be inflicted on an equal number of the captives from them in our possession, till they shall be taught to respect the violated rights of nations:

That a copy of the above Report and Resolutions be transmitted to the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Forces, to be by him sent to Generals Howe and Burgoyne.

Adjourned to nine o' clock, to-morrow.