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That any part of the militia in actual service, during the time of their actual service only, shall be subject to the rules made this convention, for regulating and governing the forces to be raised and employed in the service of this province, and shall be entitled to the same pay and rations as the regular forces, and no more ; but general and inferior court martials shall be composed of militia officers only, and the punishment of whipping shall not be adjudged against or inflicted on any man serving in the militia.
Mr. Joseph Dashiell has leave of absence.
TUESDAY, January 16, 1776. Convention met. All members present as on yesterday. The proceedings of yesterday were read.
A petition from a number of the inhabitans of the city of Annapolis was read and ordered to lie on the table.
On motion, Resolved, That where any person or persons chosen or to be chosen of the committee of observation for any county or district, shall refuse to act, if the number so refusing to act in one county or district, shall not at one and the same time exceed one fourth part of the whole number of the said committee, any part of the residue, of the same committee, not less than two third parts of the same residue, met together after notice, may elect one other of the most discreet freemen of the said county or district, to be of the committee in the stead of each person so refusing to act; and the place of any person dying may be filled up in like manner, and the same rule shall also be observed, where any member of a committee of observation shall, in writing under his hand, decline to act or shall be disqualified by the acceptance of a commission in the regular forces: but in case the vacancies shall at one and the same time exceed the said one fourth part, then a ma. jority of those who remain of the same committee, met together, may appoint and give ten days notice at least, by advertisements set up in the most public places of the county or district, as the case may be, of the election of committee-men, in the stead of those whose places shall be so vacant, and the election shall be made accordingly, by those who are qualified to vote for committeemen, in the presence of three at least of the same committee. Adjourned till 3 o'clock.
POST MERIDIEM. Convention met.
On motion, Resolved, That two hundred and forty copies of the association ordered by the last convention to be tendered to and
subscribed by the freemen of this province, be forthwith printed, and that forty of the said copies be sent to the committee of observation for Baltimore county, forty of the said copies to the committee of observation for the upper district of Frederick county, and the residue of them in equal proportions to the committees of the several counties; and the committees aforesaid of Baltimore county and the upper district of Frederick county, shall cause the said association to be tendered, on or before the first day of April next to every freeman in the hundreds of their county and district respectively, where the said association hath not been already generally tendered to the said freeman, to be subscribed by them, according to the resolutions of the late convention; and every person who shall not sign the said association at the time of tendering the same to him, or within ten days thereafter, shall be in the same condition as if the same had been tendered to him according to the said former resolutions, and he had refused or neglected to have subscribed the same; and the committee of observation for each county shall leave one or more of the association papers in the custody of some person or persons to be by them respectively appointed, at some house in their county town, and also at Georgetown and Hagerstown in Frederick county, and shall give public notice thereof by advertisements, so that such of the freemen of this province, who have not done so already, may subscribe the same.
That every freeman within this province who hath not already, nor before the eleventh day of April next shall have subscribed the association aforesaid, shall within five days after the said last mentioned day, deliver up to the committee of observation for this county, all fire-arms, if he hath any, except pistols, and every person who shall neglect to do the same, may be disarmed by order of the committee of observation for his county, in like manner as those who ought to enroll in the militia and refuse to do so, and the arms of the non-associaters shall and may be disposed of in the same manner as the arms of those who refuse to enroll in the militia ; and moreover the committee of observation of each county in this province, may in their discretion award and order any freeman of this province, not associating as aforesaid, found within their county, whether such freeman be a resident of their county or not, to enter into bond with good and sufficient security, in such penalty as they may think fit, payable to the president of the convention for the time being, by name, conditioned, that if such non-associator shall behave himself peaceable and quietly in the present unhappy contest between Great Britain and the colonies; that he shall not directly or indirectly betray or give intelligence to the
enemy of any councils or preparations of the congress, or any convention or assembly, or council or committee of safety of this or any other province or colony; and that he shall not directly or indirectly correspond, by letter, message, or otherwise, during the said contest, with any British minister, secretary of the state, member of parliament, or any person out of this province, holding an office, civil or military, immediately under the crown, or with any other per. son in arms against these colonios, knowing such person to be in arms, then the above obligation to be void. But if any such non-associator shall choose to quit this province and go beyond sea, then the committee of observation of the county to which he belongs, may and is hereby empowered to grant him a passport to leave this country in peace, and go beyond the sea, carrying with him his property, or any part thereof; and any person refusing to sign the said association, and to give bond as aforesaid, and continuing to reside within this province, may be imprisoned by the committee of observation of the county in which such non-associator resides or may be found, until the convention then next after such imprisonment shall have taken order therein. And in case any non-associators shall quit this county and leave an estate in this province, such estate shall be burthened with a proportionate part of the expense incurred by this province in defence of American liberty; but these resolu. tions are not to extend to the household of his exellency the gov. érnor. All which association papers that shall be subscribed as aforesaid, as well as a list of the names of all those who shall refuse or neglect to subscribe the same, and all original bonds taken as aforesaid, shall be returned to the next convention. Provided, that where any person hath not nor shall actually refuse to subscribe the association, but shall only have neglected to subscribe the same, if he doth afterwards sign the same before the committee of observation of his county, he shall not be disarmed for his neglect, nor compellable to give any such bond as before mentioned.
On motion, Resolved, That where there are any companies of militia in the several counties, which are left out of their battalions already formed, or where there may be any surplus companies in the several counties, after forming the militia into battalions, as directe ed by the last convention, the brigadier-general of the district may, at his discretion, form the said companies into corps, and return the same to the council of safety, who may appoint and commission such field-officers as may by them be judged proper and necessary to command such corps.
The following report was taken into consideration :
The committee appointed to consider the truth of the facts set forth in a memorial from the justices of Baltimore couuny court, and report their opinion thereon,
Do report, That the uneasiness in the minds of many of the inhabitants of Baltimore county arises from the uncommon increase of taxes therein, extraordinary assessments being made for the erecting public buildings and bridges, clearing, straightening, opening, grubbing, and stoning roads, and paying their proportion towards building a prison, court house, &c. in Harford county.
That sundry inhabitants of Baltimore county were and are averse to clearing, opening, and staightening said roads, and intended to petition the legislative body of this province for a repeal of the law authorising the same, or an alteration thereof in such parts as they apprehended aggreived them ; but being prevented by the unhappy disputes subsisting between the colonies and Great Britain from making application for redress of such apprehended grievances to the assembly of this province, they have been led into an unlawful and unwarrantable opposition to the collection of the public taxes, which the necessary embargo laid on our ports has tendered greatly to increase.
That a great number of the said inhabitants have paid the said taxes, and they being imposed by virtue of sundry acts of the assembly, your committee are of opinion, the residue of the said inhabitants are in duty bound to pay those already assessed, as they clearly had it in their power to discharge them, the ports being open and a price offered for all manner of country produce till the 10th of September last.
That the remainder of the said money, directed by the said acts of assembly to be levied, ought, by the justices of the said county, pursuant to the said acts, to be assessed; but if trade and commerce should not be restored in such manner as to enable the people of the said county to discharge the said taxes, that the legislative authority for the time being ought, in such circumstances, to suspend the payment of the same (except such part thereof as shall be assessed for the paying for the building of the poor house and inspection house in said county) or take order therein in such other way as to them shall seem most expedient.
That it is the opinion of this committee, that the money appropriated for loan, to the inhabitants of Baltimore county, for clearing and opening roads, by act of assembly, and delivered out by the commissioners for emitting bills of credit to the supervisors of said roads, or so much thereof as hath been expended, and all sums levied or hereafter to be levied on the inhabitants of said county, for the pur
pose of repaying the same, shall be paid into the hands of the said commissioners, to be by them let out upon interest (except so much thereof as hath been expended, in the same manner as by the said act they are directed to let out on interest the bills of credit of this province; and that the said sum of money so collected, or to be hereafter collected, of the said inhabitants (except so much thereof. as hath been expended) with interest thereon accruing, ought to be appropiated to such use of the said county as shall be ordered and directed by the legislative authority for the time being.
That the supervisors of the said roads in said county shall respectively render to the said commissioners, by them to be laid before the legislative authority for the time being, a true, full and fair account, on oath, of all monies by them respectively laid out and expended by virtue of the said act of assembly, and to whom and for what the same shall have been paid and expended.
That the sum of money collected or to be collected in said county for the building of a prison and court house in Harford county, &c. ought to be paid into the hands of the commissioners of Harford county aforesaid, and be by them put out on interest for the use of the same county, until the dispute in the same county relative to the place where said prison and court house, &c. shall be erected and built, be hereafter determined by the legislative authority for the time being
All which is submitted to the consideration of the honorable house.
After consideration of the same, the question was put, That the house concur therewith? Resolved, in the affirmative. Convention adjourns till to-morrow morning half after 9 o'clock.
WEDNESDAY, January, 17, 1776. Convention met. All members present as on yesterday, except Mr. J. Dashiell, and Mr. Ware. The proceedings of yesterday were read.
On motion, Resolved, That the residue of the sum of money directed by act of assembly to be assessed and levied on the inhabitants of Harford county, for building the court house, prison, &c., be pursuant to said act, assessed and levied by the justices of said county on the inhabitants thereof; but if trade and commerce shall not be restored, so as to enable the people of said county to discharge the said tax, the legislative authority for the time being will suspend the payment of the same, or otherwise order therein, as to them shall seem expedient.
That the money already collected, or hereafter to be collected for the same, shall be paid into the hands of the commissioners of Harford county aforesaid, and be by them put out on interest for the