The Articles Of Association

~ Page 3 ~

Articles Of Association In Pennsylvania

   We the officers and soldiers, engaged in the present association for the defense of American liberty, being fully sensible that the strength and security of any body of men, acting together, consists in just regularity, due subordination, and exact obedience to command, without which no individual can have that confidence in the support of those about him, that is so necessary to give firmness and resolution to the whole, do voluntarily and freely, after consideration of the following articles, adopt the same as the rules by which we agree and resolve to be governed in all our military concerns and operations, until the same, or any of them, shall be changed or dissolved by the Assembly, or Provincial Convention, or in their recess by the Committee of Safety, or a happy reconciliation shall take place between Great Britian and the Colonies.

   1. If any officer make use of any profane oath or execration, when on duty, he shall forfeit and pay, for each and every such offence, the sum of Five Shillings. And if a non-commissioned officer or soldier be thus guilty of cursing or swearing, he shall forfeit and pay, for each and every such offence, the sum of One Shilling.

   2. Any officer or soldier who shall refuse to obey the lawful orders of his superior officer, may be suspended from doing duty on that day, and shall upon being convicted thereof before a regimental court martial, make such concessions as said court martial shall direct.

   3. Any officer or soldier who shall begin, excite, cause, join in, or promote any disturbance in the battalion, troop, or company, to which he belongs, or in any other battalion, troop, or company, shall be fined or censured according to the nature of the offence, by the judgment of a general or regimental court of associators.

   4. Any officer or soldier who shall strike his superior officer, or draw or offer to draw, or shall lift up any weapon, or offer any violence, against him, being in the execution, of his office, shall, upon conviction before a general or regimental court of associators, be dismissed, and shall be deemed to be thereby disgraced as unworthy the company of freemen.

   5. Any commanding or other officer who shall strike any associator when on duty, shall, upon conviction before a, general court of associators, suffer such punishment as the said court shall inflict.

   6. Any officer or soldier, who shall make use of insolent, provoking, or indecent language while on duty, shall suffer such censure or fine as shall be inflicted by a general or regimental court of associators, according to the nature of the offence.

   7. If any officer or soldier should think himself injured by his Colonel, or the commanding officer of the battalion, and shall, upon due application made to him, be refused redress, he may complain to the general or commander in chief of the Pennsylvania Associators, or to the Colonel of any other battalion, who shall summon a general court of associators, that justice may be done.

   8. If any inferior officer or soldier shall think himself injured by his Captain, or other superior officer in the battalion, troop, or company to which he belongs, he may complain to the commanding officer of the battalion, who shall summon a regimental court of associators for the doing justice according to the nature of the case.

   9. No officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier shall fail of repairing with his arms and accourtrements on any of the days appointed by the assembly for exercising, to the place of parade or other rendezvous appointed by the commanding officer, if not prevented by sickness or some other evident necessity, or shall go from the place of parade or rendezvous, without leave from the commanding officer before he shall be regularly dismissed, on penalty of Two Shillings and Six-pence.

   10. Any officer or soldier found drunk when under arms, shall be suspended from doing duty in the battalion, company, or troop on that day, and be fined or censured at the discretion of a general or regimental court of associators.

   11. Whatever centinal shall be found sleeping or drunk on his post, or shall leave it before he is regularly relieved, shall suffer such penalty or disgrace as shall be ordered by a regimental court of associators.

   12. Whatever commissioned officer shall be convicted before a general court of associators of behaving in a scandalous or infamous manner, unbecoming the character of an officer and a gentleman, shall be dismissed from the association with disgrace.

   13. Every non-commissioned officer or soldier who shall be convicted at a regimental court of associators of having sold, carelessly lost, willfully spoiled or wasted, or having offered for sale, any ammunition, arms, or accoutrements belonging to this province, shall be dismissed his battalion, troop, or company as an unworthy member, and be prosecuted as the law directs.

   14. All disorders and neglects which officers and soldiers may be guilty of to the prejudice of the good order and military discipline of the association of this colony, are to be taken cognizance of by a general or regimental court of associators, according to the nature and degree of the offence, and such officers or soldiers shall be fined or censured at the discretion of the court.

   15. That on the first meeting of every company after subscribing these articles of association, and from thence forward on the first meeting of every company after the last Monday in February annually, there shall be chosen by the non commissioned officers and privates out of each company in the respective battalions two persons who are entitled to vote for members of Assembly, whose duty and office shall be, for the year following, to sit and join with the officers in courts of association, which persons so chosen shall be styled Court Associators.

   16. Every general court of associators shall consist of thirteen members, six of whom shall be commissioned officers under the rank of a field officer, and six court associators, who shall be drawn by lot out of the whole number for the battalion, and these twelve are to chuse a president, who shall be a field-officer and have a casting voice.

   17. Every regimental court of associators shall be composed of seven members, three officers, three court associators, and a president, who is to be a Captain, and to be chosen by the six, and also to have a casting voice.

   18. In all courts martial not less than two thirds of the members must agree in every sentence for inflicting penalties, or for disgracing any associator, otherwise he shall be acquitted.

   19. The president of each and every court of associators, whether general or regimental, shall require all witnesses, in order to the trial of offenders, to declare on oath or affirmation, that the evidence they shall give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and the members of all courts of associators shall take an oath or affirmation, which the president is required to administer to the other members, and the next in rank is required to administer to him, that they will give judgment with impartiality.

   20. All non-commissioned officers, drummers, fifers, or others, that shall be employed and receive pay in any of the battalions, companies, or troops, shall subscribe these rules and regulations, and be subject to such fines, to be deducted from their pay, and to such penalties as a regimental court of associators shall think proper, upon being convicted of having transgressed any of these regulations.

   21. All associators called as witnesses in any case before a court of associators, who shall refuse to attend and give evidence, shall be censured or fined, at the discretion of the court.

   22. No officer or soldier being charged with transgressing these rules, shall be suffered to do duty in the regiment, company, or troop to which he belongs, until he has had his trial by a court of associators, and every person so charged, shall be tried as soon as a court of associators can be conveniently assembled.

   23. The officers and soldiers of every company of artillery or other company, troop or party, that is or shall be annexed to any battalion, shall be subject to the command of the Colonel or commanding officer of said battalion, and the officers shall sit as members of courts of associators, in the same manner as the officers of any other company.

   24. No penalty shall be inflicted at the discretion of a court of associators, other than degrading, cashiering, or fining: The fines for the officers not to exceed Three Pounds, and the fine for a non commisioned officer or soldier not to exceed Twelve Shillings, for one fault.

   25. The field officers of each and every battalion shall appoint a person in every company to receive such fines as may arise within the same, for breach of any of these articles, (except for non attendance) and the commissioned officers of the company shall, with the approbation of the field-officers, direct those fines to be applied to the relief of the necessitous soldiers belonging to that company, and the overplus, if any, to other necessary expences of the company; and such person shall account with the field officers for all such fines received, and the application thereof.

   26. The General or commander-in-chief of this association for the time being, shall have full power of pardoning or mitigating any censures or penalties ordered to be inflicted for the breach of any of these articles by any general court of associators; and every offender convicted as aforesaid, by any regimental court of associators, may be pardoned, or have his penalties mitigated by the colonel or commanding officer of the battalion, excepting only where such censures or penalties are directed as satisfaction for injuries received by one officer or soldier from another.

   27. Any officer, non-commissioned officer, or other person, who, having subscribed these articles, shall refuse to make such concessions, pay such fines, or in any other matter refuse to comply with the judgment of any court of associators, shall be dismissed the service, and returned to the commissioners of the county, who shall charge and proceed against him as a non-associator, and he shall further be deemed unfriendly to the Liberties of America.

   28. Upon the determination of any point by a regimental court of associators, if the officer or soldier concerned on either side thinks himself still aggrieved, he may appeal to a general court of associators, but, if upon second hearing, the appeals appears groundless and vexatious, the person so appealing shall be censured, at the discretion of the said general court.

   29. Upon the death, resignation, promotion, or other removal of a field officer, standard-bearer, or adjutant, the officers of the battalion shall chuse a person in his place; and upon the death, resignation or other removal of an officer or court-associator from a troop or company such vacancy is to be filled by the person such troop or company shall elect.

   30. No officer or soldier shall be tried a second time for the same offence, except in case of appeal.

   31. All officers and soldiers of every battalion, troop, company, or party of associators, who shall be called by the Assembly, or committee of safety in recess of assembly, into actual service, and be on pay, shall be subject to all the rules and articles already made by the Honourable Congress for the government of the continental troops.

   32. No commissioned, non-commissioned officer, or private shall withdraw himself from the company to which be belongs, without a discharge from the commanding officer of the battalion, nor shall such person be received into any other company without such discharge.

   In testimony of our approbation and consent to be governed by these regulations, which have been deliberately read to, or carefully perused by us, we have hereunto set our hands.