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title:“Resolutions Urging Recruitment and Conferring Emergency Powers on the Governor and Council”
date written:1776-12-21

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:12 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Feb. 25, 2024, 8:54 a.m. UTC

"Resolutions Urging Recruitment and Conferring Emergency Powers on the Governor and Council." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 1. Ed. Bernard Bailyn and James Morton Smith. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 325-27. Print.
Manuscript, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Va.

Resolutions Urging Recruitment and Conferring Emergency Powers on the Governor and Council (December 21, 1776)

[21 December 1776]
It being of the utmost Importance that the nine Battalions heretofore raised within this Common Wealth, & now in Continental Service, shou'd be compleated, & the six new Battalions for the same Service, as well as the three Battalions on the Pay of This Common-Wealth, raised with all possible Expedition.
Resolved that it be earnestly recommended to (the Justices) the Members of the County-Committees, (the Militia Officers) & the other good People of this Common-Wealth, to use their best Endeavours to forward & encourage the recruiting Service; upon which the Safety & Happiness of their Country so much depends. And whereas the present imminent Danger of America, & the Ruin & Misery which threatens the good People of this Common-Wealth and their Posterity, calls for the utmost Exertion of our Strength, & it is become necessary, for the Preservation of the State, that the usual forms of Government shou'd be suspended, during a limitted time, for the more speedy Execution of the most vigorous & effectual Measures, to repel the Invasion of the Enemie.
Resolved therefore, that the Governor is hereby fully authorized & empowered (by & with the advice &consent of the Privy Council) from henceforward, until ten Days next after the first Meeting of the General Assembly, to carry into Execution Such Requisitions as may be made to this Common-Wealth by the American Congress, for the Purpose of encountering or repelling the Enemie, to order the three Battalions on the Pay of this Common-Wealth to march (if necessary) to join the Continental Army, or the Assistance of any of our Sister-States, to call forth any, & such greater Militaryforce as (they) shall judge requisite, either by embodieing or arraying Companies or Regiments of Voluntiers, or by raising additional Battalions, (appointing &commissioning their proper) Officers and to direct their Operations within this Common-Wealth (under the Command of the Continental Generals or other Officers according to their respective Ranks) or order them to March to join & act in Concert with the Continental Army, or the Troops of any of the united American States, and to provide for their Pay, Supply of Provisions, Arms & other Necessaries, at the Charge of this Common-Wealth (By drawing on the Treasurer for the Money which may be necessary from Time to Time. And the said Treasurer is authorized to pay such Warrant out of any Public Money which may be in his Hands, and the Genl. Assembly will at their next Session make ample Provision for any Deficiency which may happen). But that this Departure from the Constitution of Government, being in this Instance founded only on the most evident & urgent Necessity ought not hereafter to be drawn into Precedent.
Resolved also that the Governor be desired to transmit, by Express, Copys of these Resolves to the American Congress, & to the neighboring States of Maryland and North Carolina, to satisfie them that we are exerting ourselves in defending the Libertys of America
(Resolved that our Delegates be instructed to recommend to the Consideration of Congress whether it may not be necessary and expedient in the present Dangerous and critical Situation of America, in order to give Vigour, Expedition and Secrecy to our Military Measures, to invest the Commander in Chief of the American Forces with more ample and extensive Powers for conducting the Operations of the War, and that they will earnestly exhort the different Legislatures of the united American States to adopt the most speedy & effectual Methods for calling their Military Force into Action, &co-operating with the Generals of the American Armies)

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