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Letter from Governour Penn to William Crawford


Philadelphia, April 22, 1774.

GENTLEMEN: The present alarming situation of our affairs in Westmoreland county, occasioned by the very unaccountable conduct of the Government of Virginia, requires the utmost attention of this Government, and therefore I intend, with all possible expedition, to send Commissioners to expostulate with my Lord Dunmore upon the behaviour of those he has thought proper to invest with such power as hath greatly disturbed the peace of that county. As the Government of Virginia hath the power of raising a militia, and there is not any such in this Province, it will be in vain to contend with them in the way of force; the Magistrates therefore, at the same time that they continue with steadiness to exercise the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania with respect to the distribution of justice and punishment of vice, must be cautious of entering into any such contests with the officers of my Lord Dunmore as may tend to widen the present unhappy breach; and therefore as things are at present circumstanced I would not advise the magistracy of Westmoreland county to proceed by way of criminal prosecution against them for exercising the Government of Virginia. I flatter myself that our Commissioners to Virginia will succeed according to our expectations, and that our affairs to the westward will soon be put upon a peaceable and quiet footing. I am gentlemen, your very humble servant.

To William Crawford, Esq˙, and his Associates, of Westmoreland County.