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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3

To Philip Schuyler
RTP Schuyler, Philip
Philada. Jany. 3d 1776 My dear Sr.,

being fully sensible how agreable to you are all Gentlemen of merit & accomplishments, I take the liberty to introduce to your acquaintance Major Thomas Hanson,1 a Gentleman of Family & fortune in Maryland; he has pleasured us with his Company for some months at Philadelphia & is now taking a Tour to the Northward. With my best Compliments to your Lady & family, I am your obliged hble. Serv.

R.T. Paine

RC (Gratz Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) ; addressed: “The honble. Philip Schuyler Esqr., Major General of the American Forces at Albany.” A draft of this note, dated Jan. 7, is attached to RTP to Robert R. Livingston, Jan. 26, 1776, in the RTP Papers.


Thomas Hanson was perhaps the man who served as captain of the Third Maryland Battalion of the Flying Camp, July to December 1776 (Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army, 273).

Extracts from the Minutes of the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
Friday, January 5, 1776

Resolved, That Mr. Paine be added to the committee on General Schuyler’s letters.1

Saturday, January 13, 1776

Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed to take into consideration the letter from the committee of safety of New York, and to confer with Mr. Romans,2 and report to Congress.

The members chosen, Mr. Paine, Mr. Dyer, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Wythe, and Mr. W Livingston.3

Monday, January 15, 1776

Resolved, That a committee of 5 be appointed to make an estimate of the number of cannon, that may be wanted for the defence of the United Colonies, and to devise ways and means for procuring them, and that it be an instruction to the said committee to enquire how large cannon can be cast in this country.4

The members chosen, Mr. Wisner,5 Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Rogers,6 Mr. Allen,7 and Mr. Paine.

Tuesday, January 16, 1776

Information being given to Congress by the delegates of South Carolina, that their colony, being in want of seamen, had given orders to offer high wages to such as would engage in their service, but least this should cause 131uneasiness among the seamen employed in the service of the colonies, they thought it proper to inform Congress the thereof, and take their opinion and direction thereon:8

Resolved, That this be referred to a committee of 5.

The members chosen, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Huntington, Mr. Paine, Mr. Morris,9 and Mr. Floyd.10

Printed in Journals of the Continental Congress, 4:35, 53, 55, 59–60.


This probably refers to the committee (John Dickinson, Thomas McKean, George Wythe, William Hooper, Thomas Jefferson, and John Langdon) appointed on Dec. 26, 1775, to consider the reports of the committee sent to Ticonderoga as well as the committee (William Hooper, Thomas McKean, and Thomas Jefferson) appointed on Dec. 18, 1775, to consider Schuyler’s letters of Nov. 19, 20, 24, and Dec. 8. On Jan. 8, the committee reported to Congress, which adopted a number of resolutions concerning the provisioning and transport of Schuyler’s troops (Journals of the Continental Congress, 3:436, 459 . ; 4:38–40).


Bernard Romans (c. 1720–c. 1784), a Dutch-born engineer, came to North America in the employ of the British government as a surveyor. In 1775 Romans became a member of the Connecticut committee to taken Ticonderoga and its outposts and singlehandedly captured Fort George on May 12. He was commissioned to build fortifications on the Hudson River opposite West Point, and in February 1776 was commissioned captain of a company of Pennsylvania artillery ( DAB ).


Oliver Wolcott was added to the committee on Jan. 17 (Journals of the Continental Congress, 4:63).


RTP chaired this standing committee of the Continental Congress, and its activities are documented by a number of the following letters. Several others were added to the committee later in the year: on Feb. 20:William Livingston; on Apr. 11: George Clinton and William Whipple; on July 18:Samuel Chase and Thomas Heyward; and on Dec. 24:Francis Lewis.


Henry Wisner (1720–1790) was a delegate from New York to the Continental Congress. He participated in the debates on the Declaration of Independence but was absent for its signing. Near Goshen, Orange Co., N.Y., he erected three powder mills from which he supplied the Continental Army. He served in the New York legislature both before and after the Revolution ( DAB ).


John Rogers (1723–1789), a Maryland lawyer, was a member of the provincial conventions in 1774, 1775, and 1776, and of the Continental Congress in 1775 and 1776. Rogers was chancellor of Maryland from 1778 until his death ( Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress ).


Andrew Allen (1740–1825) became attorney general of Pennsylvania in 1769, was elected to the Committee of Safety in 1775, and to the Continental Congress. He opposed the Declaration of Independence and resigned his seat in December 1776 and sought Lord Howe’s protection at Trenton. He was attainted for his loyalism. Although he was pardoned in 1792 and briefly returned to Pennsylvania, Allen spent most of his latter years in England ( DAB ).


The committee brought in its report on Jan. 17, and it was read. Congress considered the report on the Jan. 19 and resolved to recommend to Capt. Robert Cochran that he offer each abled-bodied seaman the wages of eight dollars per month, an enlisting bounty of nine dollars, and a further bounty of five dollars upon their arrival in South Carolina. Furthermore, Congress suggested that Cochran consult with General Washington to ensure that his enlistments of seamen “will be the least prejudicial to the continental service” (Journals of the Continental Congress, 4:64, 67–68).

132 9.

Lewis Morris (1726–1798), a 1746 Yale graduate, was a member of a great land-owning family of Westchester County, N.Y., and spent much of his time managing the estate. He represented New York in the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence ( DAB ).


William Floyd (1734–1821) was a member of the Continental Congress from New York (1774–1777 and 1778–1783) and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Later he also served in the First Federal Congress (1789–1791) ( DAB ).