Thursday, February 10, 2011

January 5, 1776

On January 5, 1776, the Naval Committee of the Continental Congress issued "Orders and Directions for the Commander in Chief of the Fleet of the United Colonies," Commodore Esek Hopkins. As its successor the Marine Committee did throughout the remainder of 1776, the Naval Committee urged kindness to prisoners:

You will carefully attend to such prisoners as may fall into your hands-see that they be well and humanely treated. You may also send your Prisoners on shore in such convenient places where they may be delivered to the Conventions, Committee's of Safety or inspection in order to their being taken care of and properly provided for.

For the Marine Committee's absorption of the Naval Committee's duties in 1776, please consult Paul H. Smith, editor, Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789: Volume 2: September 1775-December 1775 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1977), page 316, note1.  In its journal for 25 January 1776, the Continental Congress treated the "marine" and "naval" committee as interchangeable names for the same body (Worthington Chauncey Ford,ed., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789: Volume 4: January 1-June 4, 1776 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1906), page 90.  
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