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Loudoun County (Virginia) Committee



At a meeting of the Committee of Loudoun County, held at Leesburgh on Friday, May 26,1775. Present: Francis Peyton, Esq˙, Josias Clapham, Thomas Lewis, Anthony Russell, John Thomas, George Johnston, Thomas Shore,


James Lane, Jacob Reed, Leven Powell, William Smith, Robert Jamison, Hardage Lane, and John Lewis, gentlemen.

The Committee, taking into consideration the conduct of the Governour relative to the powder which was, by his express orders, taken secretly out of the publick Magazine belonging to this Colony, in the night of the twentieth ult˙, and carried on board the Magdaline Schooner:

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That his Lordship, by this and other parts of his conduct which have lately transpired, has not only forfeited the confidence of the good people of this Colony, but that he may be justly esteemed an enemy to America; and that as well his excuse published in his Proclamation of the fourth instant, as his verbal answer to the Address presented him on that occasion by the City of Williamsburgh, are unsatisfactory and evasive, and reflect, in our opinion, great dishonour on the General Assembly and inhabitants of this Colony, as from the latter a suspicion may be easily deduced, that the Representatives of the people are not competent judges of the place wherein arms and ammunition, intended for the defence of the Colony, may be safely lodged, and that the inhabitants (unlike other subjects) cannot, in prudence, be trusted with the means necessary for their protection from insurrection, or even invasion; so in the former a very heavy charge is exhibited against the best men among us, of seducing their fellow-subjects from their duty and allegiance; a charge, we are confident, not founded in reality, and which, we believe, is construed out of the discharge of that duty which every good man is under, to point out to his weaker countrymen, in the day of publick trial, the part they should act, and explain, on constitutional principles, the nature of their allegiance, the ground of which we fervently pray may never be removed, whose force we desire may never with reason be relaxed, but yet may be subservient to considerations of superiour regard.

The Committee being informed by some of the officers who commanded the Troops of this County that marched on the above occasion, that the reason of their marching no farther than Fredericksburgh was, their having received repeated requests from the Honourable Peyton Randolph, Esq˙, to return home, assuring them that the peaceable citizens of Williamsburgh were under no apprehensions of danger, either in their persons or properties; that the publick treasury and records were perfectly safe; and that there was no necessity for their proceeding any further; three of the other Delegates appointed to the Continental Congress, the only civil power we know of in this great struggle for liberty, being of the same opinion.

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That under such circumstances we approve the conduct of the said Officers and Troops.

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That we cordially approve the conduct of our countryman, Captain Patrick Henry, and the other volunteers of Hanover County, who rnarched under him, in making reprisals on the King' s property for the trespass committed as aforesaid, and that we are determined to hazard all the blessings of this life rather than suffer the smallest injury offered to their persons or estates, on this account, to pass unrewarded with its equal punishment.

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That it be recommended to the Representatives of this County, as the opinion of this Committee, that they by no means agree to the reprisals, taken as aforesaid, being returned.

Ordered, That the Clerk transmit immediately a copy of the prececding Resolves to the Printers of the Virginia and Pennsylvania Gazettes, to be published,

By order of the Committee,