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At the date of tlie publicution of the first series of Pennsylvania
Archives in lSo3, us appears by tlie remarks of the late Samuel
Hazzard, tlie editor, on pa^e 258, Vol. Y, " the minutes of the State
Boards of War and Navy could not be found." In the summer of
1873, while making some necessary repairs to the offices of the State
Department, the boolcs and papers of tlie old Comptroller-(Jeneral\s
ollice, which had remained undisturbed since their removal to Ilar-
risburg, in 1.S12, were examined, and the minutes in (piestion
brought to light.

The publication of a second series of the Pennsylvania Archives
was thereupon suggested by His Excellency John F. Ilartranft,
Governor of the State, in his annual message to the General As-
sembly, January 7, 1874, of which the following is an extract:

"The late Governor William F. Johnston, in his annual message
in January, 18.51, advised the selection and arrangement for publi-
cation of the large body of original papers in the State Department
connected with our Cohmial and Revolutionary history.

" In accordance with his advice an act was i)assed, and during
subsequent administrations supplementary acts were passed, which
vresulted eventually in the publication of the invaluable repository
()f Pennsylvania history, known as the "Colonial Records"' and
•' Pennsylvania Archives." The minutes of the Board of AVar and
Navy Board could not at the date of that publication be found, and
have only been recovered since the commencement of my oliicial
term. They cover an important period of our Revolutionary his-
tory, and are accompanied by vouchers and correspondence, includ-
ing muster-rolls of soldiers and the names of oliicers, marines and
vessels of the Pennsylvania Colonial navy.

" As these minutes and accompanying documents are valual)le in
an historical point of view, and the Colonial Records and Archives
incomplete without them, I respectfully call the attention of the
Assembly to the propriety of publishing and preserving them."'

In pursuance of this recommendation the Legislature i)assed —

AX ACT for the publication of the minutes of the Board of War and Navy Hoard
of the state of Pennsylvania, and other original papers In the ofllee of the Secre-
tary of the Commonwealth, heretofore unpiildlslied.

Section 1. Be it enacted hij tlie Senate and ILmse of Jlejn-cscnta- of the Commonwealth of Pennsi/lvania in General Assembly
met, and it is herthij enacted b;/ the author it'/ of the same, That the
Secretary of the Commonwealth be and he is hereby authorized and


required to publish tlie recently recovered minutes of the Board of
^Y■lY •md Navy Board of the State of Pennsylvania, together with
such other papers belonoing to the same as are of historical value
and have not been already published, including those ot the year
one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, relatnig to what is
known is the " Avhisky insurrection," and the years from one thou-
sand eicrht hundred and twelve to one thousand eight hundred and
fifteen "both inclusive, relative to the last war with (xreat Britain,
in a manner uniform with and in volumes of not less than eight
hundred pages, not inferior to the volumes of Tennsylvania Ar-
chives heretofore published, to the number of fifteen hundred copies

of each volume. . ^ i ,

Section 2 That two hundred copies thereof, when printed and
bound, shall be placed at the disposal of the Governor, to be by him
distributed among learned societies and public libraries in other
States, at his discretion : that three copies shall be presented to the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania ; one copy to each of the countj^
historical societies of this State, or where there is no such historical
society then to the law library of such county, if there be one;
one copy to the Philadelphia library : one copy to the Franklin In-
stitute • one copy to each of the public libraries and colleges of this
State- one copy each to be placed at the disposal of the members
'ind clerks of the present Legislature ; one copy shall be placed in
each of the ofiices of the heads of Departments of this State ; three
copies in the State Library, and the balance shall be disposed of by
subscription opened at the ofiices of the several county treasurers,
to be filled in the order of their presentation at the ofiice ot the Sec-
ret'vrv of tlie Commonwealth, at the price of one dollar per volume,
the proceeds of which shall be paid into the State Treasury and
applied towards the payment of the expenses incurred m editing
and publishing the same.
Approved the 13th day of May, A. D. l^li.^ hARTRANFT.





]\[akch 14, 1777, TO August 7, 1777


Tlie Suineme Executive Council of the Coriwionwealth of Pennsyl-
vania :
To David Rittenhoiise, Owen Biddle, William ISIoore, Joseph
Dean, Samuel Morris, Senr., Samuel Cadwalader Morris, John
Bayard, George Gray, and John Bull, Esquires, send Greeting:
Whereas, The civil department of this Commonwealth requires
great attention, and will for some time fully employ this Council
to discharge the duties thereof. And as it is also of great Import-
ance that a due attention be still paid to the War which we are en-
gaged in, And in your Abilities and integrity, We do ap-
point you a Board of War for the Land service of this State, hereby
giving to you or any three of you, full power and authority to do
and perform all matters and things necessai'y in said Department,
subject nevertheless to the directions and examination of this
Council from time to time as We may judge expedient, and saving
to ourselves always the power of appointing officers agreeable to
the Frame of Government of tliis Commonwealth ; Tiiis Commis-
sion to continue in force until revoked by this or a future Supreme
Executive Council.

Dated at Philadelphia this Thirteenth day of ]Vrarch, in the year of
one Lord one Thousand seven Hundred and seventy-seven.
(Signed) THO. WHARTON, Juxr.,

Attest :
Ty. Matlack, Sec^y.


DAVID RITTEN HOUSE, the celebrated mechanician and astrono-
mer, was born near Gerniantown, on the 8th day of April, 1732. His
I'atlier, Matliias Ritteniiouse, emigrated from Holland and settled on
the Wissahiclvon. I'ntil his (ifteentii year lie was (engaged in the duties
of the farm. His meclianical genius, wln'ch manifested itself at an early
period, completely unfitted him for a farmer. In liis eigliteenth year
he built himself a worlcshop by the side of a public road, and set up
the business of a cloclc and matliematical instrument maker. At tsven-
ty-tliree, he planned and made an "Orrery" by wliich he represented
the revolution of tlie lieavenly bodies more completely than ever had
been done before. This master-piece of mechanism was purchased \)y
tlie college of Princeton, New Jersey. He made anotlier for tlie col-
lege of i'hiladel])liia. June 3, ITHQ, in conjuction with Rev. Dr. Wil-
liam Smitli, Provost of the University, John Ijukens, Surveyor Gen-
eral of Pennsylvania, and John Teller, a member of the Assembh"
from Cliester county, he observed the transit of Venus, and on the 9tli
of November he observed the transit of Mercury. His reports of these
events gave him a great reputation. During the same year he was em-
ploj-ed in seitling the boundaries between New York and New .lersey,
afterwards l)etweeu Pennsylvania and ^'irginia, Pennsylvania and New
York, and the latter State and ISIassaciiusetts. He held tlie ollice of
treasurer of Pennsylvania from 1777 to 1789, and in 1792 was a[)pointed
director ot the mint of tlie United States, in which he continued until
1795, when lie resigned on account of ill-heatlli. He was electecl a
member of the Aiiierican Academy of Arts and Sciences, at Boston, in
1782, and of the Royal Society of London, in 179"). In 1791 he suc-
ceeded Dr. Franklin as president of the American Philosophiwil So-
ciet}', which office he held till his death. He died in the city of Phila-
delphia on the 2(;tli day of June, 179(5, in his sixty-tifth year, greatly
lamented in both hemisplieres. His remains lie in the grave-yard at-
tached to the Presb^^terian church, Piiu; street, Philadelphia.

OWEN DIDDLE was born in Philadelphia, A. D. 1737, and died in
tlie same city, March 10, 1799, aged (Jl years. He was a great graiul-
son of William Riddle, one of the ijroprietors of West Jersey, and for
many years of the Governor's Council of that Colony. He was a
brother of Col. Clement Riddle, Quarteruirs;er General for Pennsylva-
nia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey, and afterward Commissary
General under General Greene. He was engaged in commercial
l)ursuits, and with his brother Clement signed the celebrated non-
importation resohuions of October 2o, 17G5. His name also uppcars in


a list of some eighty Philadelphia merchants, headed by Robert Mor-
ris, who became personally bound for various sums amounting in the
aggregate to over £260,000 sterling for purchasing provisions for the
army, at a time when there was great difficulty in procuring supplies.
During the Revolution he served as a member of the Convention of
177(5, of the Committee of Safety, and was acting Commissary General
of Forage. His residence during this period was on the site now oc-
cupied by the Girard college grounds, and when the British took pos-
session of Philadelphia they destroyed his house, probably because
of his connection with the Continental armJ^ From an early period
of the existence of the American Philosophical Society of Philadel-
phia, he was an active member, and was one of the Curators of the
society from 1769 to 1772, and Secretary from 1773 to 1782, when he be-
came one of the Councilors, continuing a member until his death. He
was one of the committee of thirteen appointed by the society to ob-
serve the transit of Venus on 3d of June, 1769. These observations
were made with eminent success by three members of the committee,
Mr. Rittenhouse being stationed at Norristown, Dr. Ewing atPhiladel-
phia, and Mr. Biddle at Cape Henlopen. Mr. Riddle's descendants
have always taken a prominent part in the benevolent and business
enterprises of Philadelphia,

WILLIAM MOORE, who subsequently became President of Penn-
sylvania, was a native of Philadelphia, and a warm and ardent patriot
of the Revolution. Transferred from the Committee of Safety, by
the Executive Council, to the Board of War, he was active and ener-
getic in the cause. The period during which Mr. Moore was at the
head of the State government was one of great financial distress,
owing to the enormous depreciation of bills of credit. The authori-
ties were in arrears in paying the troops, who were not only despon-
dent, but on the eve of mutiny. At this juncture, Robert Morris
of Pennsylvania was called to the head of the finance department,
and tlirough his exertions, couijled with the aid of the President
and the Executive Counciil of the State, the credit of the government
revived. Mr. ISIoore served three j-ears as President, and under the
Constitution of 1776 he was ineligible as a candidate for re-election.
In 1784 he was elected a member of the Assembly, and until his
death, which occured in 1793, he took an active part in ijublic affairs.
Mr. Moore married Sarah, daughter of Thomas Lloyd, and was brother-
in-law of President Wharton, who married Susanna Llojal. They left
three children. Col. Thomas Lloyd Moore, an officer of the Revolution,
Elizidjeth, married to the Marquis de Marbois, P^ench charge d'affaires,
Avho negotiated the treat3' for the cession of Louisiana, and Robert Kear-
ney Moore.

JOSEPH DEAN wa.s the son of the Reverend William Dean, a Pres.
bytcrian clergyman, and was born at Ballymenagh, county of An-
trim, Ireland, tlie 10th day of August, 1738. His father was licensed
by the New Brunswick inesbj'tery, October 12th, 1742, and was sent
to Neshaminj' and the forks of the Delaware. In 1745 he went into
Virginia, but the 3'ear following he was ordained pastor of the con-

BOA HI) OF WAli. 9

gregatioti at the forks of Braiuiy wiiu'. lie died Julj^ 9, 1748, at the earh'
age of twenty-nine, and his remains lie in the grave-yard at Brandj-
wine ]Manor. He was an aciive, zfalons aiul faitlilnl minister, lie had
four sons, Joseph, Benjamin, John and William, and one daughter,
who married a Mr. Fleming residing on tlie Suscjuehanna. Joseph
Dean became a large importing mercliant in Philadelphia, previous to
the Revolution. He was a signer of tlie celebrated non-importation
resolutions. At the outset of the war he loaned the general govern-
ment some sixty thousand dollars, wliich he lost. In December, 1776,
he was appointed by the Assembly on the Committee of Safety, and
on the organization of the Board of War, a member of that body. In
Januar}^, 1781, the Supreme Executive Coimcil appointed him one of
the auditors "to settle and adjust the accounts of the troops of this
State in the service of the United States," and in October following a
Avarden of the port of Philadelphia. In 1790 he was chosen aut^tioneer
of that city. Joseph Dean inircliased large quantities of real estate at
the close of the Revolution, the property of attainted persons. He
died September 9, 1793. Mr. Dean was twice married, tirst to Frances
M'Craclcen, who died March 1, 1776, second to Hannali Boyd, wlio
departed this life June 28, 1823. Their remains lie interred in the Mo-
ravian liurying ground, at the corner of Franklin and Vine streets.
A portrait of Joseph Dean, by Peale, is in the possession of William
F. Dean, Esq., Philadelphia. .lohn Dean, a brother, was a major in
the armj'of the Revolution; and William, another brotlier, a colonel
in the same service, who done valiant duty at Princeton, Trenton, and

SAMUEL MORRIS, Sr., was the son of Anthony and Plueljo Mor-
ris, born in Philadelphia, in the 3^ear 1711. His father was an influen-
tial member of the Society of Friends, was mayor of the cit}- and
rnemlier of the Proviiujial Assemblj', dj-ing in tlie year 1762. I^ike
the father, the son took an active part in the affairs of the Province.
In January, 1756, he was connnissioned In^ Gov. Robert Hmiter Mor-
ris auditor to settle the accounts of the ill-fated Braddock expedition.
Although well advanced in years at the outset of the Revolution, he
was a zealous advocate for independence. He was a member of the
Conunittee of Safety' and of the Board of War. He was register of
Philadelphia in 1780, the last oincial position he perchance held. He
was a public-spirited citizen, and his long life was devoted to his native
city and State.

SAMUEL CADWALf.ADER MORRIS, son of Samuel ^[o^ris, Sr.,
born in Philadelphia, was a merchant of that cit}-. He took a promi-
nent part in organizing the military service of the State, and w:us an
officer during the Revolution. In the issuing of bills of credit by the
State in 1775, he was among the number of those who were directed
to sign them by the Assembly. He served as a member of the
Council of Safety in 1776, and of the l?oard of War at its organization.
He assisted in fitting out the State navy, and was appointed to have
the care of the prisoners of war witiiin the State bj- direction of Con-
gress. He served at Trenton and Princeton, in command of a com-


Y)imy of militia or associators. In a letter of the 24th day of December,
1776, he expresses himself in this emphatic language to the Council
of Safety: "Be not afraid, ye Tories shall not Triumph over us yet.
We will 3'et have our day & make thesn Tremble. Do let me know
what ye Council is doing. The militia was promised a pair of Shoes
& Stockings for each man that turned out, why are they not giving
them? It would be worth more than 3 times as much money; they
ought to have it, for upon their turning out has hitherto depended the
Salvation of Philada. This is not a Random opinion, for as sure as
there is a God in Heaven, the Jiritish Army Avou'd have been in
pos'sion of our city had it not been for the city militia." In the same
letter he deprecates the precipitate removal of Congress from Philadel-
phia, as "it has struck a damp on ye Spirits of many." On the return '
of his company from the Jersey's, Mr. Morris again assumed his civil
duties, and to the close of the struggle for independence, he was ever
readj^ to assist the cause by his purse or liis sword, notwithstanding he
belonged to the Societj' of Friends, although disowned by them. To
distinguish him from his first cousin. Captain Samuel Morris, who was
called Christian Sam, he w^as known as gentleman Sam. He died the
first part of the present century.

JOHN BAYARD was born in Cecil county, MarA-land, August 11,
1738. At the breaking out of the Revolution he was a prominent mer-
chant of Philadelphia. Being a warm patriot, he was selected a member
of the Committee of Safety and subsequently of the Board of War.
Major of the Second Philadelpliia Battalion, whicli he commanded at
the battle of Trenton, he won honor and promotion. He was for several
years Speaker of the Pennsj-lvania Assembly, and with Reed and Rit-
tenhouse a commissioner on the funded loan ; also, member of Congress
in 1785-6. He subsequently removed to New Jersey, locating at New
Brunswick, of which city he was mayor and judge of tJie coxirt of
connnon pleas. He died there January 7, 1807. He was the father ot
Andrew Bayard, of Philadelphia, and the uncle of James Ashton
BaA'ard, of Delaware.

GEORGE GRAY, of Gray's Ferry, Philadelphia, was the fifth of
that name in the line of descent from George Gray, of Barbadoes, a
wealthy member of the Society of Friends. He took an early and ac-
tive part in the aflfairs of the Province, and was elected a memljer of the
Assembly in 1772. He was the author of the celebrated "Treason Res-
olutions," rei^orted by tlie committee of which he was chairman. For
the part he took in this affair he was turned out of meeting. His wife,
wlio was the daughter of a noted English Methodist, Wm. Ibbetson,
British Consul at Lisbon in 1766, went with him. He served on the
Committee of Safet}' until his appointment by the Supremo Executive
Council, as a member of the Board of War. During the entire period
of the Revolution he was conspicuous by his patriotism. He was a
member of the Constitutional Convention of 1790, and afterwanls Speak-
er of the House of Representatives. He died in 1800.


JOHN BULL was a luilive of rrovidence townsliip, M()ntj,'oniery
county, and in June, 1758, was Captain in command at Fort Allen,
(now Weissport, Carbon county,) and subsequently in the same year,
accompanied Forbes' expedition to Fort Duquesne, perfornung nn-
portunt service in negotiations with tlio Indians. In 1771 ho owned the
Norris plantation and mill, and resided there on the site of the present
borou-h of Norristown, then called Korrit..n. In 1775 he was appomtcd
Colonel of the 1st Pennsylvania JJattalion, which position he resigned
on the 20tli of Jauuarv, 1776, on account of bad treatment by his olhcers,
and was succeeded by Col. John P. Dellass, of Lel>anon, who com-
manded the Battalion in Canada. Col. B. wasone of the commissioners
at the Indian treaty, held at Faston, January 30, 1777, in February was
ill command at BiUingsport, and on the IGth of July was appointed Ad-
i utant General of the State. I n October of this year, his barns, barracks,
train and hav were burned by the British, and his wagons, horses, sheep
and negroes "carried off, although Gen. Howe had given his word to Mrs.
Bull that they would not be disturbed. In December, when Gen. James
Irvine was captured, Col. B. succeeded to the command of the Second
Bri.mde P. M., under Gen. John Armstrong. In 1778 he was engage.!
hi ejecting batteries at BiUingsport; in 1779 he jnit down the Chevaux
de frize in the Delaware, and in 1780 was Commissary of Purchases at
Philadelphia, and appears to have been one of the busiest and most in-
defatigable of workers. As early as 1785, he removed to
land. In 1802 he was a candidate for the Legislature, but was

Online LibraryPennsylvania. Secretary of the Commonwealth.omPennsylvania archives .. (Volume 38) → online text (page 1 of 61)