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Appendix E

Table of Contents

APPENDIX E LAW OF 6 FEBRUARY 1778

  Congress took into consideration the report of the committee to whom the letters from Dr. Shippen, Dr. Rush, and others were committed; and thereupon came to the following resolutions:  

For the better regulating the hospitals of the United States,  

Resolved, That there be a deputy director general for the hospitals between Hudson and Potomack rivers; and that the superintending care of the director general be extended equally over the hospitals in every district, and that he be excused from the duty of providing supplies, when the deputy director general shall be ready to enter upon the office:  

That the several officers of the hospitals shall cease to exercise such of their former powers as are herein assigned to other officers thereof:  

That in the absence of the director general from any district, the physician general and surgeon general shall hereafter determine the number of hospitals to be provided by the deputy director general for the sick and wounded, and shall superintend and control the affairs of such hospitals:  

That the director general shall consult with the physician general and surgeon general in each district, about the supplies necessary for the hospitals, and shall give orders in writing to the deputy director general thereof to provide the same; and, in the absence of the director general, the physician general and surgeon general shall issue such orders:  

That each deputy director general shall appoint one or more of the assistant deputy directors, under him, to the sole business of providing beds, furniture, utensils, hospital cloathing, and such like articles; and shall appoint one or more to provide medicines, instruments, dressings, herbs, and necessaries of a similar kind:  

That the director general shall frequently visit the hospitals in each district, and see that the regulations are carried into effect; shall examine into the number and qualifications of the hospital officers, report to Congress any abuses that may have taken place, and discharge the supernumerary officers, if there be


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any, that all unnecessary expence may be saved to the public; and when the director general is in any particular district, the physician general and surgeon general in that district shall not appoint any officers without his consent:  

That, on the settlement of hospital accounts, the officers entrusted with public money shall produce vouchers to prove the expenditure, and receipts from the proper officers of the hospitals, specifying the delivery of the stores and other articles purchased; and the apothecaries, mates, stewards, matrons, and other officers, receiving such stores and other articles, shall be accountable for the same, and shall produce vouchers for the delivery thereof from such officers, and according to such forms as the physicians general and surgeons general have directed, or shall, from time to time, direct; which forms and directions the physicians and surgeons general shall report to the Board of Treasury:  

That the director general, or, in his absence from the district, the physician general, and surgeon general, shall appoint a ward master for each hospital, to receive the arms, accoutrements and cloathing of each soldier admitted therein, keeping entries of, and giving receipts for such articles, which, on the recovery of the soldier, shall be returned to him, or, in case of his death, the arms and accoutrements shall be delivered to the commissary or deputy commissary of military stores, and receipts be taken for the same; and the ward master shall receive and be accountable for the hospital cloathing; and perform such other services as the physician general or the surgeon general shall direct:  

That the physicians general and surgeons general shall hereafter make no returns to the deputy directors general, but the returns shall be made by the said officers respectively to the director general, who shall carefully transmit copies of each with his monthly return to Congress, and suspend such of the officers aforesaid as neglect this or any other part of their duty, and shall report their names to Congress:  

That the director and deputy directors general forthwith prepare their accounts, and adjust them with the commissioners of claims, at the Board of Treasury.  

That four dollars a day, and the former allowance of rations, be hereafter allowed to each assistant deputy director and the commissary of the hospitals in each district; and one dollar a day, and two rations, to each ward master:  

Resolved, That Dr. Potts be called from the northern district, and appointed to act as deputy director general in the middle district.  

Resolved, That the eldest assistant deputy director in the northern district shall execute the office of the deputy director general in the said district, until the further orders of Congress:  

That the salaries of the hospital officers and debts contracted for the hospitals of the middle district to the time of Dr. Potts's entering upon the office of deputy director general therein, shall be adjusted and paid by the director general, who shall deliver all the public stores in his possession to the deputy director general or his order, taking duplicate receipts for the same, and transmitting one of each to the Board of Treasury; and the same rule shall be observed by Dr. Potts with respect to the salaries and debts of the hospitals of the northern district, and the public stores thereof, which are to be delivered to his successor in office in that district.  

SOURCE: Ford, Journals of the Continental Congress, 10: 128-31.