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The Gentlemen Who Were Appointed to Inspect the Magazine


Mr˙ Mercer reported from the Committee; appointed to prepare an answer, to the Governour' s Message, that the Committee had prepared an Address accordingly, which they had directed him to report to the House; and he read the same in his place, and afterwards delivered it in at the Clerk' s table, where the same was read, and is as followeth, viz:

MY LORD: We, His Majesty' s dutiful and loyal subjects, the Burgesses of Virginia, having received your Lordship' s written message respecting the proceedings of the Committee appointed to examine the Magazine, have taken the same under our consideration. The House, yesterday, as what they thought a proper foundation of inquiry into the many disturbances which had arisen in the Country, appointed Mr˙ Mercer, Mr˙ Treasurer, Mr˙ Jefferson, Mr˙ Henry Lee, Mr˙ Munford, Mr˙ Dandridge, Mr˙ Nelson, Mr˙ Jones, Mr˙ Carey, Mr˙ Francis Lightfoot Lee, Mr˙ Whiting, Mr˙ Charles Carter of Stafford, Mr˙ Braxton, Mr˙ Zone, Mr˙ Page, Mr˙ Carrington, Mr˙ Digges, Mr˙ Banister, Mr˙ Thomas Walker, Mr˙ Trams, and Mr˙ Norvell, twenty-one of their members, to inquire into the state of the publick magazine. Upon receipt of your Excellency' s message, they examined the steps their Committee had taken, and received the following report: That the Committee having convened, and judging it decent and proper, in the first place, waited on your Excellency, who by law hath the appointment of the keeper of the magazine, to request that you would be pleased to direct him to give them access thereto; that finding some irregularities had been committed, they also thought it prudent to mention them to your Excellency, and inform you of their endeavours to have the arms, which had been taken out of the magazine, immediately restored; that, to avoid mistakes, they judged it most proper to reduce the intended application to writing; that they then in a body, and in the most respectful manner waited on your Excellency, and by their Chairman delivered their request verbally, leaving the written paper with your Lordship for your better information; that your Excellency was pleased to receive if, and promised to furnish them, with the key of the magazine as soon as you could procure it; that the Committee not hearing from your Lordship, their Chairman was directed to wait on you this, morning, and was referred for answer to a message you intended to send to the House.

We hope that your Lordship, upon revising these proceedings, will change your present sentiments, and think with us, that there was no impropriety in the conduct of the Committee. Their application to your Excellency, the House considers as proper and decent. The gentlemen who composed the Committee must have been all known to you; and had you conceived the least impropriety in their procedure, it would have been kind in your Lordship to have pointed it out to them. At the time this Committee waited upon your Lordship, another Committee


attended, to inform you that this House had agreed to an address in answer to your Lordship' s speech; this message was delivered by one Committee, who, we presume, were not better known to your Lordship than the members of the other. Though there was not an express order of the House that the Committee should apply to your Lordship for the purpose they did, yet we conceive that such application was necessarily incident to the due execution of the general order of the House to inquire into the state of the magazine.

We feel very sensibly, my Lord, the weight of the insinuation in your message; but willing, upon all occasions, and especially at this unhappy juncture, to avoid every kind of controversy, we shall direct that your Excellency be waited upon with the order of yesterday, before referred to; and should any doubts still remain, we will endeavour to remove them, on their being pointed out to us.

The said Answer being read a second time,

Resolved, That the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Answer.

Resolved, That the gentlemen who prepared the said Answer do wait upon his Excellency with the same.