Wednesday, January 19, 2011

19 January 1776

On Jan. 19, 1776, Samuel Tucker, the President of the New Jersey Committee of Safety, wrote to John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, to acknowledge receipt of Hancock's Jan. 12 letter detailing Congressional resolutions "relating to the officers and soldiers, prisoners in this town...."

The Committee of Safety wrote of the prisoners, "The officers have made choice of Bordentown, for the place of their residence, and request that the band of musick, and their servants, may go with them, which was agreeeble to our Committee, and hope it will meet the approbation of Congress. They requested some short time to consider the matter respecting their drawing of bills, for the payment of the expense already incurred."

On Jan. 12, 1776, Congress resolved that the conduct of the British officers detained in Trenton, "though in other respects unexceptionable," was, "as to their manner of living, exceedingly extravagant, they being boarded at Taverns, and the Innkeepers supplying them in a luxurious manner, on the credit of the Continent." Congress expected officers, gentlemen of honor according to the eighteenth century laws of war, to write bills of credit for both necessities and luxuries. Congress resolved to pay the tavern keeper's expenses, "which are, also, to be repaid by the said Officers before their discharge." See also Charles Henry Metzger, S.J., The Prisoners in the American Revolution (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1971), page 156.
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