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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3

Extract from the Minutes of the Continental Congress
Wednesday, September 25, 1776

The committee appointed to devise ways and means for providing cloathing, and other necessaries, for the army, brought in their report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon,


Resolved, That it be recommended to the general assemblies and conventions of the United States, to forward to head quarters, the cloathing, blankets and necessaries, which they may have provided in consequence of the resolution of Congress of the 19th of June last, drawing on the president for the cost and conveyance thereof; in which it is hoped the utmost diligence and expedition will be used, that those who expose themselves to danger in defending and protecting their fellow citizens, may suffer as little as possible from inclement seasons:

That a committee of Congress, consisting of one delegate from each state, be appointed, with authority to employ proper persons to purchase, in their respective states, a sufficient number of blankets and woollens fit for soldiers’ cloaths, and that they take the most effectual and speedy methods for getting such woollens made up, and distributed among the regular continental army, in such proportion as will best promote the public service: And that they also purchase all other necessary cloathing for the soldiers, in such proportion, as they judge, upon the best information, will be wanted; And that the said committee be authorized to draw on the president of Congress, for the sums necessary to execute this business; they to be accountable for the amount of their draughts and disbursements:

That Mr. Mease be directed to send immediately to General Gates, all the white shirts, shoes and stockings, he now has in his possession, and which are unappropriated, for the use of the northern army; and that he use the utmost diligence in buying, collecting and getting made, immediately, as many more of those articles as possible, making weekly reports to Congress of what he obtains:

That General Schuyler or the commanding officer at Albany, be desired to employ proper persons, immediately, to make up into soldier’s cloaths, the woollens mentioned in General Schuyler’s letter of the 29 of August last, and transmit the same, without delay, to the general commanding the northern army, for the use of such of the troops in that army, as have inlisted for three years, or will inlist during the war.

Resolved, That the commissaries and quarter master general, and deputy quarter masters general and their assistants, in the several departments, be directed to apply to Mr. Mease for such articles of cloathing, camp equipage, and other utensils, which they may want to purchase in the state of Pensylvania for the use of the army.

Congress then proceeded to the appointment of the committee, when the following gentlemen were chosen, viz.


Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Paine, Mr. Ellery, Mr. Williams, Mr. Floyd, Mr. Stockton, Mr. Ross,1 Mr. M’Kean, Mr. Paca, Mr. Wythe, Mr. Hewes, Mr. Middleton, and Mr. Hall.

Printed in Journals of the Continental Congress, 5:820–822 .


George Ross (1730–1779) practiced law in Lancaster, Penna., beginning in 1750. He was a member of the colonial assembly (1768–1776) and of the Continental Congress (1774–1777). In April 1779 he was appointed judge of the court of admiralty for Pennsylvania and served until his death in July of that year ( DAB ).

From Henry Knox
Know, Henry RTP
Dear Sir, Mount Washington Septr. 25 1776

Mr. Byers is at Hackinsack in the Jersey. I have written for him to come to me & when he does I will write you fully where the Copper is and what quantity. Had it not been for our bashfulness we might have been possess’d of every atom of Copper in N. York which in sound policy we ought to be. I am much oblig’d to you for your kind sentiments respecting my being a prisoner. The want of officiers has been and if some method be not fallen upon to draw young Gentlemen of merit in the army will be our destruction. In all our retreats and routs we have lost 5—6 lbrs. 13 lber. and two Howitzers brass. As to the Iron Cannon not having my papers with me I cannot tell the particular number but the number is not great nor the quality good. before the—from N. York we had carried the best of our Cannon and almost all our Stores. We are still powerful that way and I hope the good sense of the Continent will see the proper methods to make us a great people. I am Dear Sir Yours Affectionately,

Henry Knox

RC ; addressed: “Robert Treat Paine Eqr Philadelphia favor’d by Mr Barret”; endorsed.