Sunday, March 09, 2008

In Congress, "be empowered and directed to purchase, and, if they cannot purchase, to impress arms", Nov. 23, 1776

IN CONGRESS, NOVEMBER 23, 1776.

RESOLVED, That a Committee of Five be appointed, with full powers to devise and execute measures for effectually reinforcing General Washington, and obstructing the progress of General Howe's army, and that they proceed immediately on this business.

The members chosen, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Smith, Mr. Chase, Mr. Clymer, and Mr. Stockden.

JOHN HANCOCK, PRESIDENT.

THE Committee before mentioned have come to the following Resolutions--

RESOLVED, That is be recommended to the Commanding Officers of the several battalions of Associators in Pennsylvania immediately to call together the battalions respectively under their command; and to select out of each battalion one company, or, if possible, two companies of Volunteers.

That each company consist of seventy-six privates, one Drummer, one Fifer, four Corporals, and four Serjeants, under the command of a Captain, two Lieutenants, and one Ensign.

That the field officers of each battalion, or such of them as shall be present, with the approbation and concurrence of the Volunteers, appoint the commissioned and non-commissioned officers of each company.

That the companies be engaged in the service of the United States till the tenth day of March next, unless sooner discharged by Congress; and be entitled to a pair of shoes and stockings, and to the same rations and the same monthly pay with the other troops on the Continental Establishment, to commence from the time of their enrolment.

That the form of the enrolment be as follows: I--hereby promise and engage to enter into the service of the United States, and to serve them till the tenth day of March next, unless sooner discharged by Congress; and to observe and obey the orders of Congress, and the orders of the Generals and Officers set over me by them.

That in order to supply the companies with arms, accoutrements, and other necessaries, the field officers of each battalion, or any of them, be empowered and directed to purchase, and, if they cannot purchase, to impress* arms, cartouch-boxes, blankets, shoes, stockings, and other necessaries for the use of the said companies.

That the articles impressed be appraised by persons to be appointed by the field officers or any of them for that purpose.

That the field officers or any of them give certificates of the value of the articles so purchased or appraised, which certificates shall be deemed sufficient vouchers to the persons to whom they shall be given, or to their assigns, for the respective sums therein mentioned, and shall be paid at the Continental Treasury.

That the Captains march their companies with the utmost expedition, and join the army under General Washington.

That the Council of Safety of Pennsylvania be empowered and directed to form the said companies into battalions; and to adopt such farther measures as they may find necessary for the march and equipment of the said companies; and particularly to collect, in the city of Philadelphia and its neighbourhood, blankets and other necessaries for their use, and to seize such articles, paying the value of them, if they cannot otherwise be procured.

That one month's pay be advanced to each Volunteer upon his enrollment; and that the Council of Safety be supplied with money for this purpose.

That the Council of Safety be requested to forward by express the foregoing Resolutions to the Commanding Officers of the several battalions of the State of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia, November 24, 1776.

JAMES WILSON,
GEORGE CLYMER,
JAMES SMITH,
SAMUEL CHASE.

* - im·press(2) [v.
im-pres; n. im-pres] verb, -pressed or (Archaic) -prest; -

pres·sing; noun –verb (used with object)

1. to press or force into public service, as sailors.

2. to seize or take for public use.

3. to take or persuade into service by forceful arguments:
The neighbors were impressed into helping the family move.

An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

Library of Congress - American Mmeory

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