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Hugh Mercer, etc., to Captain Wiilliam Grayson



Fredericksburgh, Virginia,, April 24, 1775.

SIR: From undoubted authority, we received here this day, morning, the very disagreeable intelligence, that in the night of Thursday last, Captain Collins, Commander of one of His Majesty' s Sloops of War, by command of his Excellency the Governour, assisted by a Company of Marines, carried off all the Powder from the Magazine in the City of Williamsburgh, and deposited it on board his vessel, which lay at Burwell' s Ferry, about five miles below the City.

The said authority informs us that the Corporation of the City of Williamsburgh addressed the Governour on that occasion. The people have received no satisfaction; nor are they likely to recover the Powder, though it is so very necessary for the security of the Country.

This being a day of meeting of the Independent Company of this Town, they considered it necessary to take the matter into serious consideration, and are come to a unanimous resolution, that a submission to so arbitrary an exertion of Government, may not only prejudice the common cause, by introducing a suspicion of a defection of this Colony from the noble pursuit, but will encourage the tools of despotism to commit further acts of violence in this Colony, and more especially subject the Arms in the Magazine to the same fate as the Powder.

In these, sentiments, this Company could but determine that a number of publick spirited gentlemen should embrace this opportunity of showing their zeal in the grand cause, by marching to Williamsburgh to inquire into this affair, and there to take such steps as may best answer the purpose of recovering the Powder, and securing the Arms now in the Magazine. To this end, they have determined to hold themselves in readiness to march from this place as Light-Horse, on Saturday morning; and, in the mean time, to submit the matter to the determination of yours and the neighbouring Counties, to whom expresses are purposely forwarded. We address you in the name of our Company, as its Officers, and are, Sir, your very humble servants,


To Captain Wm˙ Grayson.