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Mr. Hollyday, Mr. Goldsborough, and Mr. Tilghman, were elected by ballot a committce accordingly.
On motion, Resolved, That the appointment of field officers for the militia in Kent county be postponed till the next session of convention.
The convention proceeded to ballot for field officers for the militia in Baltimore county, when the following persons were elected, to wit:
Gunpowder Battalion. Walter Tolley, jun., colonel ; Darby Lux, lieutenant colonel; James Gittings, 1st major; Thomas Sollers, 2d; Benjamin Rogers, quarter master.
Soldier's Delight Battalion. Thomas Gist, sen., colonel; Samuel Owings, lieutenant colonel; John Craddock, lst major; Isaac Hammond, 2d; Joseph Gist, quarter master.
Baltimore town Battalion. William Buchanan, colonel; John Moale, lieutenant colonel; Benjamin Nicholson, 1st major; Thomas Jones, 2d ; James Calhoun, quarter master. Convention adjourns till to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock.
SATURDAY, May 25, 1776. Convention met. All members present as on yesterday, except Mr. Ringgold, and Mr. William Harrison. The proceedings of yesterday were read.
On motion, Resolved, That a committee be appointed to prepare a passport for his excellency governor Eden, and to draught a letter to the committee of safety of Virginia; and Mr. Paca, Mr. T. Johnson, and Mr. Hollyday, were elected by ballot a committee for
Mr. Handy appeared in the house. Mr. Ewing has leave of ab
Mr. Hollyday brings in and delivers to Mr. President, a report from the committee to whom the memorial of the battalion of regulars was referred, which was read and ordered to lie on the table.
Mr. Paca brings in and delivers to Mr. President, a report from the committee appointed to devise a proper establishment of a court of admiralty, for the trial of such captures and seizures as may be made pursuant to the late resolves of the continental congress on that subject, and brought into any port or district within this province, which was read and ordered to lie on the table.
A memorial from captain George Stricker was read and ordered to lie on table.
Mr. Turbutt Wright has leave of absence.
The convention took into their consideration the report from the committee appointed to devise a proper establishment for a
court of admiralty, for the trial of such captures and seizures as are or may be made pursuant to the late resolves of the continental congress on that subject, and brought into any port or district within this province, and thereupon came to the following resolutions, to wit:
Resolved, That a court of admiralty be established for the trial of such captures and seizures, with full power to take cognizance of all libels on account of such captures and seizures, and to proceed to a final determination and decree thereupon. Which court shall consist of a judge to hear and determine, a register to record the proceedings, and a marshal to call the said court and execute the several processes thereof; the said judge be nominated and commissioned by the convention, or in the recess thereof, to be nominated and commissioned by the council of safety for the time being; and the said register and marshal to be nominated and appointed by the judge of the said court; the commission of the said judge, and the nomination and appointment of the said register and marshal, to be during the will and pleasure of the convention for the time being; the process and form of proceeding to be as usual in the courts of admiralty: but if either libellant or defendant, or any controverted material fact between them, demand a trial of the said fact by a jury, in such case shall order and direct the marshal to summon out of the neigborhood where the court is held, a jury of freeholders to find and say the truth of the said fact on oath, and upon the verdict of the said jury, shall pronounce his decree accordingly: the final determination and decree of the said judge to be subject to such appeal, and in such manner, as recommended in the resolutions aforesaid of the congress. The fees for proceedings in this court to be the same with the fees heretofore allowed the court of admiralty by an act passed in 1763, entitled, "An act for amending the staple of tobacco, &c." the said fees to be paid in money at the rate of 12s. 6d. common money per hundred; and the allowances to juries and witnesses to be the same as heretofore made to juries and witnesses in the common law county courts of this province. This court to be held at such place as the judge shall think convenient for the trial of such captures and seizures as are or shall be made as aforesaid.
William Hayward, Esq. was unanimously elected judge of the said court of admiralty.
The committee for that purpose appointed, bring in a passport for his excellency governor Eden, and a draught of a letter to the committee of safety of Virginia, which was read and agreed to.
Adjourned till 3 o'clock.
Met according to adjournment.
Whereas his Britannic majesty King George has prosecuted, and still prosecutes, a cruel and unjust war against the British Colonies in America, and has acceded to acts of parliament, declaring the people of the said colonies in actual rebellion: and whereas the good people of this province have taken up arms to defend their rights and liberties, and to repel the hostilities carrying on against them, and whilst engaged in such a contest, cannot, with any sincerity or devotion of heart, pray for the success of his majesty's arms; therefore Resolved, That every prayer and petition for the king's majesty, in the book of common prayer and administration of the sacraments and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the church of England, except the second collect for the king in the communion service, be henceforth omitted in all churches and chapels in this province, until our unhappy differences are ended.
On reading a second time the report from the committee to whom the memorial of the officers of the battalion of regulars was referred, the convention took the same into consideration, and thereupon Resolved, That it will be most conducive to the public service, that the council of safety be at liberty to prefer such persons, as shall appear to them to be most meritorious, in which promotions the convention doubt not the council will give a proper attention to justice.
That as the contract for furnishing the troops with rations includes the officers, as well as privates, and the emolaments of the contractor being to arise upon his furnishing the rations in specie, the officers cannot be allowed the alternative of receiving the ration or cash, during the subsistence of the present contract, without a breach thereof on the part of the public.
That no person or persons shall, after the first day of June next, deal or barter with any private soldier, knowing him to be such, without the license in writing of the colonel or major of the battalion, or captain, or commanding officer for the time being, of the company or party to which such soldier shall belong, under the penalty of such sum, not exceeding fifty shillings common money, as shall be adjudged by the committee of observation for the county where such soldier shall be stationed, or where the offender shall reside. And that upon complaint of the colonel, major, captain, or other commanding officer, as aforesaid, to such committee, of any breach of this resolve, the said committee shall have power to call the
offender before them, and, upon inquiry into the complaint and conviction of the offender, to impose such fine upon him or her, as in their discretion they shall adjudge, not exceeding the said sum of fifty shillings. And, upon non-payment thereof may, by warrant under their hands, empower any person they shall judge proper to levy the same, by distress and sale of the goods of the offender; which fine, when so levied, shall be paid into the hands of the captain or commanding officer for the tinie being of the company or party to which such soldier shall belong, and by him paid to the treasurer of that shore where the offence shall be committed.
That a court martial shall be empowered to punish theft, coinmitted by any soldier enlisted in the service of this province, by fine, not exceeding forty shillings common money, or by whipping on the bare back, not exceeding thirity-nine lashes for any one offence, at the discretion of such court martial.
On motion, Resolved, That it be recommended to the commit. tees of observation to require the owners of cattle kept on the islands, where they may think such cattle will probably otherwise fall into the hands of the enemy, to remove such cattle and afford them the necessary assistance to do the same.
The convention took into consideration the report from the committee appointed to consider the expediency of exempting the masters and scholars of the public and private schools from at tending musters, and thereupon Resolved, That the masters and scholars of the several schools, both public and private, in the pro, vince of Maryland, except the masters and scholars of the free. school at Chestertown in Kent county, shall hereafter be exempted from exercising either in the several militia companies, wherein they are or may be enrolled, or in battalion upon battalion days, and instead thereof shall exercise in companies, whereof the masters and tutors shall act as officers, at least once every week. It being the sense of this, convention, that the masters and scholars shall be exempted from exercising with the militia, but that no master or scholar, between the ages of six teen and fifty, shall be exempted from enrolling in the militia, and, upon an alarm, marching with the respective companies, in which they now are, or may be enrolled.
On reading a second time the report from the committee appointed to consider and report proper alterations and additions to the resolves of convention, for erecting a powder mill, and for examination of the accounts of the supervisors of the public salt-petre works, the convention took the same into consideration, and came to the following resolutions thereon.
Whereas, at a convention held at Annapolis the 26th day of July last, it was Resolved, That a sum not exceeding one thousand pounds, commou money should be appropriated for erecting and working a powder mill, on the account of this province. And, by a resolution of the last session of convention, the council of safety were empowered to advance on loan for two years without interest, on bond with good security, any part of the said one thousand pounds to such person or persons as would undertake and give good security for erecting and working a powder mill, on the terms in the same resolution mentioned; the same powder mill to be erected within"fourteen and not less than six miles from Baltimore town; but no contract having been yet made for erecting a powder mill in this province, owing in some measure to the limitation of the distance from Baltimore town, within which the said powder mill is directed to be built, and because it is hoped and expected that a greater quantity of salt-petre will be manufactured in this province than can be made into gunpowder at one mill, and one mill cannot make a sufficient quantity of gunpowder for the use of the inhabitants of this province; it is therefore Resolved, That the said one thousand pounds, or any part thereof that may be necessary, be applied and expended by the council of safety for the time being, in erecting and working a powder mill within this province, on account of the public. And that a sum of money not exceeding £500 be advanced by the council of safety for the time being, to any person who will undertake and give security for erecting a powder mill at any place within this province, which shall be thought proper by the council of safety, on the terms of the said resolution of the last session of convention. And to encourage and induce the good people of this province to make crude nitre, it is Resolved, That to every person who will carry in and deliver at the said public powder mill, within one year next after the same shall begin to work, any quantity of good crude nitre manufactured within this province, there shall be delivered good gunpowder, after the rate of three quarters of a pound of powder for one pound of good crude nitre.
That instead of the two shillings per pound, directed to be paid by the supervisors of salt-petre works, to private persons manufacturing and delivering crude nitre, there be allowed and paid, after the rate of three shilings and nine pence for every pound of good crude nitre so manufactured and delivered.
And whereas the several supervisors of the public salt-petre works, except those of Kent, Queen Anne's, Prince George's, and Calvert counties, have omitted to lay their accounts before this