William Paulding & New York Committee of Safety to John Hancock, referred to Wythe & Committee, 26 March 1776
In Committee of Safety New York March, 26th 1776
In the Month of February last the Provincial Congress of this Colony received, amongst other things, Resolutions of the Honorable Continental Congress dated the 17th under the hands of the President & Secretary; “That the sum of 35,000 Dollars be advanced to the Convention or Committee of Safety of New York for the Support of the Troops employed for the defence of that Colony.” That it be Recommended to the Convention or Committee of Safety of New York to Contract with proper persons for Supplying the said Troops with the Rations allowed by Congress, and fuel and other necessaries on the most reasonable Terms in their power.”
To prevent Trouble we enclose an exact Copy of the said two Resolutions marked No 1.
The provincial Congress appointed a Committee to received proposals of Contracts for Supplying the said Troops which Committee caused the Rations and other Necessaries to be Supplied, to be published in the New York Newspapers; and agreeable to their Advertisements received all proposals offered for that purpose, Sealed up, to prevent Collusion as far as possible.
After every care and precaution taken, the Provincial Congress on the fifteenth of March Accepted of the proposals of Mr. Abraham Livingston for Supplying the said Troops, his being the most reasonable that were offered, and in the Sixteenth the Contract was perfected and executed by five Gentlemen from different Countries on behalf of the Provincial Congress, pursuant to the resolution above mentioned, and by Mr. Abraham Linvingston.
We inclose you a Copy of the Contract No. 2. And therefore need not repeat its Contents.
Mr. Livingston has by Bond given sufficient Surities in the sum of £5000 and to pay him £5000 at the Expiration of every month if the Support of the Troops by him Supplied shall amount to that sum.
In pursuance of those Agreements Mr. Livingston has purchased provisions to every large amount. The provincial Congress were induced to make the said Contract not only because it was the most reasonable Terms then in their power. But Considering the risqué and Expense of Transportation, should any force Obstruct the Navigation between this City and Kings County, or between the City and the High Lands, the Contract would be highly advantageous to the Continent.
Yesterday we saw a Resolution of Congres. “That Carpentor Wharton, Commisary, continued agreeable to his Contract to Supply with Nations tho Pennsylvania Battalions Serving, in New York and
and were favoured with a Letter from Mr. Duane recommending him as Contractor for the Requirements raised in this Colony on the same Terms he is allowed for the Pennsylvania Battalions.
We are Sorry that it is now out of our Power to Contract with that Gentleman. Even should he be willing to Supply the Troops raised here on the same Terms he does the others.
The Provincial Congress of New York were not only directed “to Contract for the Troops employed for the defence of that Colony” but the method directed appeared the most eligible, as the larger the Contract offered, the more Reasonable Terms were to be expected, and could be afforded.
Should Congress determine to Supercede what has been done in this Colony, as far as it relates to the Pennsylvania Battalions; we will endeavor to make the best Terms we can with Mr. Livingston as to that part of his Contract in and inclined to believed he will not take any unreasonable advantages of the Gentlemen bound to him in the Contract, or of the public.
Whatever further directions Congress may think proper in their Wisdom to give in the promises we would wish to receive with all convenient Speed.
We have the Honor to be
Your most obedient humble Servants
William Paulding. Chairman
Honorable John Hancock
The Hon. John Hancock Esq
President of the Continental Congress
Letter from the Convention of New York March 26. 1776.
Referred to Mr. Wythe