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this desirable Circumstance, I hereby require and command all Per. sons in the Dependency of Pittsburg, to assemble themselves there as a Militia on the 25th Instant, at which Time I shall communi. cate other Matters for the promotion of public Utility. Given under my Hand, this 1st day of January, 1774.
The Board taking into Consideration the Commission of the Peace for Westmoreland County, and being of Opinion that an Addition should be made to it, and several Persans living at Pittsburgh and other Parts of the County, being recommended to the Governor for that Purpose, it was agreed that a new Commission be issued, and that the Names of those who were now recommend. ed be inserted therein; and a Commission was accordingly Issued, appointing the following Gentlemen Justices of the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, and of the County Court of Com. mon Pleas for the said County, viz':
The Members of the Proprietary and Governor's Council, and; William Crawford,
George Wilson, Arthur St. Clair,
William Thompson, Thomas Gist,
Aneas M'Kay, Alexander M'Kee,
Joseph Spear, Robert Hanna,
Alexander M'Clean, William Lochery,
Esquires. William Bracken,
Alexander Ross, James Pollock,
John Carnaughan, Samuel Sloan,
Andrew M'Farlane, Michael Rugh,
Oliver Miller, Van Sweringen,
Devereux Smith, Thomas Scott,
The Governor laid before the Board a Message from the Assembly, which was read and follows in these words, Viz :
A Message to the Governor from the Assembly.
"May it please your Honor:
“We have taken into our serious Consideration your Message of the 14th Ulto, the Petition from the Inhabitants of Northumber. land County, with the Papers respecting the Claim of Connecticut Government to a Part of Pennsylvania, and as we esteem a due Obedience to the Laws, and the preservation of the Public Peace,
to be of the first Moment to the Happiness and Welfare of the People, we heartily concur in Sentiments with your Honor, that the violent Outrages committed within the known Limits of this Province, by the Emigrants from the Colony of Connecticut, and the Protection they have given to the most atrocious Offenders, in open defiance of the Laws of the Country, call for the particular attention of Government.
"Since we find, from repeated Experience, that the mild Laws of this Province have proved insufficient to restrain these lawless Disturbers of the Peace within any Bounds, we have thought it necessary to prepare and pass a Bill with more severe Penalties, which we hope will, in future, deter them from the Execution of their unwarrantable Designs, and restore the public Tranquility..
“ The Hands of Government being thus strengthened, we have no doubt but your Honor will pursue the proper measures to effect so desirable a Purpose; and yet, that we may not seem deficient in our Duty on so extraordinary and alarming an Occasion, which por. tends the greatest Mischiefs to the Province, and that those ill-disposed People may know that they are acting in Opposition to the weight of the whole Government, we cannot avoid shewing our abhorrence of their Conduct by most earnestly entreating your Honor to give special Directions to the Magistrates, Sheriffs, and other Officers concerned in the Administration of Justice, to be Vigilant and active in the discharge of their Duty within their respective Jurisdictions, and to exert themselves in suppressing all acts of Violence, and every illegal attempt to dispossess the peaceable Inhabitants of this Province, by putting the Laws in strict Execution.
“From the Papers communicated by the Secretary, we are sorry to find the Government of Connecticut has given Countenance to the lawless Possession of these Emigrants, by resolving to prosecute a Claim, not only to Lands they have lately seated themselves on, but to a great Part of the Province. We do not mean, nor is it our Duty, to decide on the Merits of the Dispute between them and the Proprietaries, and yet we cannot help thinking it very extraordinary, that after a total Silence with respect to any Claim, the most perfect acquiesence with the Settlements made under the Royal Grant of this Province for the space of near a Century, and their late refusal, when called on by His Majesty in Council, to prosecute such Claim, if any they had, we should now find them of a sudden adopting so contrary a measure. But what appears to us still more extraordinary, is their declining in their late Negotiations with your, Honor, after they have assumed their Claim, to prosecute it on the Merits before His Majesty in Council, the only proper Judicature where this unhappy Controversy can be decided, as this Conduct carries with it the appearance of a Design to delay a matter of which the Peace and Tranquility of both Colonies require an immediate Determination, if not to continue their unjustifiable Proceedings in support of their Claim.
“ To prevent the mischievous Effects of this unkind and un.. neighbourly Disposition in the Government of Connecticut, we beg leave earnestly to request, that your Honor will pursue every effectual measure to call the Claimants before His Majesty in Council, and to bring their claim to an immediate Decision. “ Signed by Order of the House.
“JOSEPH GALLOWAY, Speaker. January 18th, 1774.”
The Governor also laid before the Board three Bills entituled as follow, Viz:
“An Act to prevent Tumults and riotous Assemblies, and for the more speedy and effectual punishing the Rioters.”
« An Act to prevent Frauds in the packing and preserving of Shadd and Ilerring for Exportation.”
“An Act for regulating Pedlars, Vendues, &c.".
Which were severally read, and the two first being considered, were ordered to be returned to the House, with a Verbal Message that the Governor agreed to pass the first, and with the following Amendments made to the second, vizt:
Amendments to the Bill entituled “An Act to prevent Frauds in the packing, and preserving of Shadd and Ilerring for Exportation.”
Page 14, Lines 3 & 4. Dele the words [the Assembly appoints another) and instead thereof, insert the words [another shall be appointed by Act of General Assembly).
Page 16, Lines 2 & 3. Fill up the Blank with the Name of [William Milnor).
And the other Bill was referred for further Consideration. .
The Consideration of the two following Bills was then resumed, viz': “An Act for regulating the Fishery in the River Conestogo, in the County of Lancaster.'
" An Act to oblige the Trustees and Assignees of Insolvent Debtors to execute their Trusts."
Which being agreed to, were also ordered to be returned to the Assembly, with the Governor's Assent.
At a Council held at Philadelphia, on Thursday 20th Jan. uary, 1774.
Edward Shippen, Jun". Esquires. James Tilghman,
The Draught of a Letter of Instructions to Arthur St. Clair, Esquire, was laid before the Board, and some Alterations being
made thereto, it was ordered to be transcribed and dispatched by the Express without Delay, with the new General Commission of the Peace; the said Letter follows in these Words, Viz' :,
" PHILADELPHIA, 20th January, 1774.
“I am extreamly obliged to you for your great Attention to the Interest of this Government in transmitting, with so much dispatch and Care, the Intelligence contained in your Letter of the 12th of this Month, to Mr. Secretary Shippen, and the Papers it inclosed.
“I cannot help being greatly surprised to find that Dr. Conolly hath published an Advertisement, asserting bis Appointment by Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, to act as Captain Commandant of the Militia of Pittsburgh, and its dependencies; and that, in consequence of such appointment, he had taken upon him to Assemble the People as a Militia, under the Government of Virginia, and to appoint Magistrates of Pittsburg.
" As his Lordship must certainly know that the Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania hath been exercised at Fort Pitt, and in the Neighbourhood of it, for several years past, and hath not given me the least intimation of any Design to extend his Government there, I am much inclined to conclude that Mr. Conolly hath, on this Occation, assumed Powers which Lord Dunmore never gave him. However, I shall, without loss of Time, dispatch a Messenger to Williamsburg, with a Letter to his Lordship, in order to obtain an explanation of this very strange Affair. In the mean Time I would, by all means, have you and the other Magistrates of your County assert the Right of Pennsylvania, and protect the People in every Part within its known Limits, as Fort Pitt most certainly is.
"The Meeting of a number of People under Arms, in Consequence of Mr. Conolly's Summons, will undoubtedly be an Act of a criminal Nature, for which they may be indicted and punished, and comes properly under the Idea of an unlawful Assembly, . with an intention to disturb the public Peace; you will, therefore,
do right in apprehending him and some of his principal Partizans, after such meeting, and holding them to reasonable Security for their appearance at the next Sessions, to answer for their Conduct.
“I expect the magistrates, on this Occasion, will do their Duty with Spirit, in which they shall be supported by the Government; and if any of Conolly s pretended Magistrates shall presume to proceed judicially within the known Limits of the Province of Pennsylvania, I desire that proper Actions may be commenced by the Party aggrieved, not only against the Officer who executes the Process, but the Magistrate also under whose Authority he shall act; And you may be assured that such actions shall be prosecuted and supported at the Expence of this Goverment.
"In order to strengthen the Hands of the Magistracy on this Occasion, in the course of their Duty, I send you a Copy of the Riot Act made by the present Assembly, which has received my Assent, and will pass the Seals before this comes to your Hands, and extends to all parts of the Province. But, as the execution of it may be attended with the most serious Consequences, the proceedings under it should be conducted with the utmost Caution, and great Care must be taken to extend it only in such Places as are certainly within the Limits of the Province, of which you can make the best Judgment of any body, by the share you had in running a Line to ascertain the Situation of Fort Pitt.
“I have made an Addition to the Bench of your County, and send the Commission for the new Magistrates by this opportunity.
“I would have you get Possession, if you can, of some of Connolly's original advertisments. "I am, Sir, Your most Obedient, humble Servant,
“ JOHŃ PENN. "To ARTHUR ST. CLAIR, Esquire,
"at Ligonier, iu Westmoreland County."
A member of Council laid before the Board a Draught of a Mes. sage proposed to be sent by the Governor to the Assembly, recommending it to them to make further provision for compleating the Fortification carrying on at Mud Island, the money appropriated by the Legislature for that Purpose appearing to be wholly expended; which, being approved, was ordered to be transacted, and carried to the Assembly this afternoon. The said Message follows in these Words, Viz':
A Message from the Governor to the Assembly.
« Gentlemen :
“I am to inform you that the Commissioners appointed by the Act of General Assembly, passed in the eleventh Year of his present Majesty's Reign, and empowered with the Consent and Appro. bation of the Governor to apply and dispose of the Sum of fifteen thousand Pounds theretofore granted, for and towards the building such Fortifications as might be necessary for the Security and Defence of the City of Philadelphia, have lately laid before me their Accompts, by which it appears to me, that they have expended the whole Sum appropriated to that Use in the Purchase of a small Island, about eight miles down the River, most conveniently situated for the Purpose intended, and in constructing a great Part of such a Fortification, as by the Opinion and Advice of a Skilful Engineer, recommended by General Gage, was absolutely necessary to answer the End proposed. You will, on enquiry, find that the Work, so far as it has been executed, is done in a Masterly Manner, and that Materials, to a considerable Value, are on the Spot, ready to continue it as soon as