Petition from the Committee of Frederick County, praying*that the people called Quakers and Menonists may not be exempted from Militia duties, Petition of sundry natives of Great Britain

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Wednesday, June 19, 1776.

A Petition of the Committee of the County of Frederick was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth, that, by an Ordinance passed the 17th of July last, the people called Quakers and Menonists are exempted from serving in the Militia; that they have a tender regard for the conscientious scruples of every religious society, but at the same time beg leave to represent the injustice of subjecting one part of the community to the whole burden of Government, while others equally share the benefits of it; that they humbly suggest, that if, in lieu of bearing arms at general and private musters, the said Quakers and Menonists were subjected to the payment of a certain sum, to be annually assessed by the County Courts at laying the levy, and, in case the Militia should be called into actual service, they should be drafted in the same proportion as the Militia of the County, and on their refusal to serve, or to provide able-bodied men to serve in their places, respectively, that they were liable to the same fines as other Militia men, in the like cases are subject to, it would be more equal; and that they submit it whether it would not be reasonable to allow any person who should choose to contribute to the support of the publick, in lieu of attending musters, the same indulgence as to those who refuse from conscientious principles.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances; that they inquire into the allegations thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

A Petition of Edward Cowper was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth, that on the 26th of October last, Captain Squires, with a number of the enemy' s armed tenders, came to anchor off the Petitioner' s plantation, near the mouth of Hampton River; that, soon afterwards, the Captains Lyne and Nicholas went down with their Companies opposite to the tenders, and fired on them, which was returned, and an engagement ensued, and continued for some time; that afterwards, upon our troops leaving the place, the enemy landed, and set fire to your Petitioner' s dwelling-house, a dairy, hen-house, and corn-house, in which were about fifty or sixty barrels of corn, which, with many other valuable articles, were all consumed; and praying such compensation for his loss as shall be thought just and reasonable.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Committee of Publick Claims; that they examine the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

Mr˙ Cary, from the Committee appointed, presented, according to order, an Ordinance for making further provision for the defence and protection of this Colony; which was read the first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

Mr˙ Cary, from the Committee appointed, presented, according to order, an Ordinance to amend an Ordinance, entitled An Ordinance for augmenting the Ninth Regiment of Regular forces, providing for the better defence of the frontiers of this Colony, and for raising six Troops of Horse; which was read the first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

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Mr˙ Richard Lee, from the Committee of Publick Claims, reported, that the Committee had, according to order, had under their consideration several Petitions to them referred, and had come to the following Resolutions thereupon; which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk' s table, where the same were again twice read, and agreed to:

Resolved, That so much of the Petition of George Moffatt as prays to be reimbursed for a Horse therein mentioned, also an additional allowance of pay for Andrew Erwin, a soldier in his Company, is reasonable, and that the Petitioner ought to be reimbursed the sum of £9 for the said Horse, it appearing to this Committee that that sum was deducted out of his pay by the Paymaster for the said Horse, which he had never had possession of; and also that he ought to be allowed the further sum of 16s˙ 6d˙ for eleven days' pay of the said Erwin, as a soldier, which was omitted through mistake in his roll.

Resolved, That the residue of the said Petition, as far as it relates to an allowance for two Pack-horse drivers, be rejected, it appearing that they received soldiers' pay at that time, which this Committee think sufficient, as they had the care of only one Horse each.

Resolved, That the Petition of Robert Gilmore, John Backley, Alexander Campbell, Thomas Cooper, and Jonathan Skean, praying to be allowed their pay as Rangers in the late Indian expedition, is reasonable, and that they ought to be allowed as follows: Robert Gilmoreand Jonathan Skean the sum of 16s˙ 6d˙ each; John Backley, the sum of £2 11s˙; Alexander Campbell, the sum of £4 4s˙, and Thomas Cooper, the sum of £2 6s˙ 6d˙, for the same; it appearing to this Committee that the said Petitioners performed their duty as Rangers in the said expedition, and that their names were not entered on the rolls.

Resolved, That the Petition of John Smelley and Joseph Cutchin, Inspectors of Tobacco at Smithfield and Fulghmn' s Warehouses, praying to be reimbursed for six hogsheads of Tobacco stolen out of the said warehouses, weighing six thousand two hundred and twelve pounds net, which they have paid for at the rate of twenty shillings per centum, be rejected, it appearing to this Committee that at the time the said Tobacco was stolen the said warehouses had no doors.

On consideration of the Petition of Christopher Calvert, praying to be allowed for his Slave Davy, therein mentioned, or that he may be returned, it appears to your Committee that the said Slave was taken up by the Colony Troops on suspicion that he was attempting to escape to Lord Dunmore; that he was sent to Williamsburgh, and from thence, by order of the Convention, to the Lead Mines, where he is employed in the service of the country.

Resolved, That as the Petitioner is to receive hire for the said Slave during the time he continues in the service of the country, the said Petition ought to be rejected.

Resolved, That the Petition of Ephraim Peyton, praying to be allowed for his Horse, which was lost in the service of the Colony in the late Indian expedition, is reasonable and that the Petitioner ought to be allowed the sum of £10 for the said Horse.

Resolved, That the Petition of Thomas Price, a soldier in Captain Lewis' s Company, who was wounded in the late engagement with the Indians, praying relief from the publick, is reasonable; and that the Petitioner ought to be allowed the sum of £25 for his present relief, and for his Rifle, which was lost in the engagement.

Resolved, That the Petition of William Lonsdale, a soldier in Captain Moffatt' s Company, who was wounded in the late engagement with the Indians, praying relief from the publick, is reasonable; and that the Petitioner ought to be allowed the sum of £5 per annum, for four years, towards his support.

Resolved, That the Petition of Michael Coulter, a soldier in Captain McDowell' s Company, praying an additional allowance for his services as a carpenter, is reasonable; and that the Petitioner ought to be allowed the sum of £1 16s˙ for the same, exclusive of what has been allowed him by the Commissioners.

On consideration of the Petition of John Lyle, it appears to your Committee that the Petitioner was employed by Sampson Matthews as a master-drover of cattle in the country' s service, and purchased a considerable number for the expedition against the Shawanese, for which the said Matthews

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told him he should be paid as much as any drover in the station where he was to act, which was 7s˙ 6d˙ per day; that, at the time he engaged in that business, he was a Lieutenant in Captain McDowell' s Company, and received pay as such; that he has been allowed by the Commissioners, as master-drover, 5s˙ per day for forty-eight days, and 6s˙ per day for fourteen days, which last-mentioned time he furnished his own Horse.

Resolved, That the said Petition is reasonable; and that the Petitioner ought to be allowed the further sum of £7 1s˙ for that service, exclusive of the allowance made him by the Commissioners.

An Ordinance to amend an Ordinance entitled An Ordinance for augmenting the Ninth Regiment of Regular forces, providing for the better defence of the frontiers of this Colony, and for raising six Troops of Horse, was read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the whole Convention.

Resolved, That this Convention will to-morrow resolve itself into a Committee on the said Ordinance.

A Petition of sundry Natives of Great Britain was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth, that they came into this Colony in the time of its peace and friendly union with Great Britain, to transact commercial affairs for themselves and their friends, in which business they have been employed ever since; that they acknowledge with gratitude the kind treatment they have received from the good people of this Colony, with whom they lived in the most pleasing harmony and confidence until the unhappy disputes between Great Britain and the Colonies convulsed the empire; since which unfortunate period, they are concerned to say, they have not in general met with that kindness and friendship they formerly experienced, but that jealousies and suspicions, altogether groundless, have prevailed to their prejudice, and have been carried so far as to have occasioned some of your Petitioners to be exiled to the City of Williamsburgh without a hearing, and others to be treated with coolness, and even contempt, for no reason that they know of but their being foreigners, which has greatly distressed them; that though they cannot, as Britons, engage in arms against their friends and countrymen, yet do they most sincerely wish peace, freedom, and happiness to America in general and this Colony in particular; and as their residence in this Colony creates so much uneasiness to some of the inhabitants, and as they cannot enjoy any degree of peace or tranquillity in their present situation, they pray they may be permitted to depart the Colony, and, for that purpose, to purchase and fit out a vessel, and to apply to the commander of the British fleet for a passport for the said vessel, that she may not be stopped or delayed on her passage; that they do most solemnly declare they never held or entertained any opinion inimical to America, or even had it in thought to say or do anything which might in any manner prejudice the just rights of the people, and therefore hope they will be permitted to return to receive and collect their debts and effects in this Colony as soon as peace is restored, which is an event they most ardently pray for; that these indulgences being granted, they pledge themselves to do everything in their power, as far as their little influence can extend, to promote the peace and happiness of this Colony.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances; that they inquire into the allegations thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

The Convention proceeded to take into their consideration the Report and Resolution from the Committee of Publick Claims, made on Monday the 3d instant, on the claims of Joseph Cabell and Thomas Bachelor, which were then ordered to lie on the table; and the same were again read, and agreed to, with an amendment, allowing the said Joseph Cabell £10 17s˙ 9d˙ instead of £21 15s˙ 6d˙ therein mentioned.

The Order of the Day, for the Convention to resolve itself into a Committee on the state of the Colony, being read,

Ordered, That the same be put off till to-morrow.

Adjourned till to-morrow, ten o' clock.