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Councils of War records

Identifier: C#00253

Scope and Contents

Councils of War consisting of the Governor, members of the legislature & militia established to coordinante the manning, equipping & application of Rhode Island forces engaged during times of conflict or war.

French & Indian War

February 8, 1755, Committee of War appointed with “full power and authority during the recess of the General Assembly, to give out orders to such officers as may be appointed by the Assembly, for that purpose, to enlist and raise the hundred men already ordered, at any time as soon as orders are received from the crown, through any channel, for our so doing; and how they are to be destined” and to have “power to draw out of the general treasury from time to tome such sums of money as my be necessary for paying the bounty, given by the Assembly, to those who shall enlist, and the charges of enlisting, billeting and transporting such soldiers and all other expenses necessarily attending the affair. (C# - 0261 - Committee Reports, Rhode Island General Assembly, Vol. 2 # 55)

Revolutionary War: Council of War established by Act of the General Assembly, December 13, 1776 “…to do, act, and transact, all and every thing and matter for the well being and security of this state, and the United States in general; That they make and ordain all such rules, orders & regulations, for the well governing, ordering, disciplining, clothing and supplying the army, now raised, or that may be raised by this state… all such ruses, orders & regulations, by them made in the recess of the General Assembly, shall be of as full force and authority, to all intents and purposes as though made and passed by the General Assembly.” (Acts & Resolves Vol. 1, p. ). September Session, 1778, ordered to convene once each month for four days (printed Schedules p. 10). October Session, 1779, Council re-established with same powers and authority as granted under by act of December, 1776 (printed Schedules pp. 38-39)

Dates: 1775 - 1782

Types of Materials: bound proceedings (C#00253); unbound Feb. 1 – 10, 1780 (7 pp.); Aug. 2 – 4, 1781 (18 pp); Aug. 27 to Oct. 16, 1781 (28 pp.) & Nov. 8, 1781 – April 24, 1782 (22 pp.)

Finding Aids: card index (bound manuscript proceeding volumes 1 – 4) C#00258

War of 1812: Council of War established by Act of the General Assembly, July 9, 1812 "... That there shall be a Council of six person appointed by the General Assembly, four of whom shall constitute a quorum, to advise and assist his Excellency the Governor, in the discharge and exercise of such duties and powers as may devolve on him, during the present war between the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...That the Governor shall have power to convene said Council as he shall judge proper: That said Council shall appoint a Clerk, and cause all their proceedings to be recorded in a book kept for that purpose, which book shall at all times be subject to the inspection of the General Assembly, or of a committee by them appointed...” (Acts & Resolves, 1809 - 1812, Vol. 32 p. 146).

Dates: Proceedings August 12, 1812 – June 22, 1815 (bound) & copies as convened at Providence, Aug. 12, 1812; Sept. 24, 1812; April 16, 1813 & at Newport, April 22, 1813; C#0912 69:B & folder, Adjutant General, Box 328A; 69:A

Types of Materials: 1 manuscript volume (C#0912); foldered items / preceeding copies

Related Sources: C#0212 – Military Papers, War of 1812; C#0210 – Acts & Resolves of the General Assembly; C#1165 – Pension Correspondence (Rhode Island Secretary of State)


  • Creation: 1711-1818

Language of Materials


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No special restrictions unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.


5.28 Cubic Feet

Rhode Island Digital Archives


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Repository Details

Part of the Rhode Island State Archives Repository

33 Broad Street
Providence RI 02903 USA