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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1766-1768
Volume 61, Preface 21   View pdf image (33K)
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Introduction. xxi

Upton Scott was the Clerk of the Upper House and of the Council. On the
opening day of the session the Lower House adopted the rules of order which
had been used at preceding sessions. On the same day it appointed on its im-
portant Committee on Accounts John Goldsborough of Talbot, Daniel Sullivan
of Dorchester, Thomas Wright of Queen Anne's, John Hanson, Jr., of Charles,
and Robert Goldsborough of Dorchester (p. 19). Thomas Duckett was ap-
pointed clerk of this committee (p. 22). This committee would have charge
of the preparation of the Journal of Accounts which had been for the past ten
years the cause of perhaps the most acrimonious disputes between the two
houses. On May 16, the Lower House ordered the Committee on Accounts
to close the Journal as of May 2Oth, and to receive no claims against the public
thereafter (p. 26). A large committee of twelve, headed by Robert Tyler of
Prince George's, and to which additional members were later added, was ap-
pointed to "Inspect and Report upon the Condition of the Papers and Records
in the various Public Offices," and to submit "an exact List of the several
books of Record remaining in the separate Offices." Two additional members
were later added to this large committee (pp. 23, 25). The report of the com-
mittee disclosing the neglect of the public records will be discussed elsewhere
(pp. lxxxiv-lxxxv, 18, 23, 33-46, 61, 62).

On motion of Colonel Edward Tilghman of Queen Anne's, an outstanding
popular leader in the house, an old and acrimonious dispute between the Lord
Proprietary and the Lower House which had for more than a half century
been productive of much ill-feeling, was tossed into the legislative hopper. This
involved the Proprietary's claim to various licenses, fines, and forfeitures, as
well as to part of the 12 pence export duty on tobacco, and a committee was
ordered to inquire under what laws he claimed and received these monies. A
large committee was appointed, headed by Colonel Edward Tilghman, and on it
with other prominent members of the country or popular party are especially
to be noted Hammond, Hollyday, John Hall (of Annapolis), John Hall
(of Baltimore County), Chase, Ringgold, Murdock, Wolstenholme, Wilson,
Worthington, Hanson, and Henry Hall, with power to summon witnesses, and
obtain all necessary papers and records for their inquiry, and to report to the
house (p. 21). That the house exceeded its authority in attempting to clothe
its committee with these plenary powers of search will be seen from what
followed. A committee of three was appointed to inquire what laws were about
to expire by time limitations, headed by John Goldsborough (p. 22).

Anne Arundel County jail conditions. A committee on Aggrievances and
Courts of Justice, headed by Murdock, was appointed, to which additional
members were later added (pp. 20, 27). This committee was directed to in-
vestigate immediately the charges brought by the prisoners in the Anne Arundel
County jail in regard to deplorable conditions existing there (p. 27). The
committee promptly reported that it had inquired into the facts alleged in the
petition of the prisoners (doubtless nearly all prisoners for debt), and that
upon visiting the jail, had found that it "is kept so filthy and Nasty that it is
excessively Nauseous In so much that Your Committee are Apprehensive that
the Prisoners are in Great danger from its offensive Stench." In the absence


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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1766-1768
Volume 61, Preface 21   View pdf image (33K)
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