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Address to the Governour Agreed Upon in Conference


A Message from the Council by Mr˙ Blair:

Mr˙ SPEAKER: The Council have agreed to the joint Address to be presented to the Governour, prepared by the Committee of the Council and of this House. And he presented the said Address at the bar.

And then the Messenger withdrew.

The said Address was read, and is as followeth, viz:

To His Excellency the Right Honourable Earl of DUNMORE, His Majesty' s Lieutenant-Governour, General, and Commander-in-Chief of the Colony and Dominion of VIRGINIA, and Vice-Admiral of the same:

The joint Address of the Council and House of Burgesses:

MY LORD: We, His Majesty' s dutiful and loyal subjects, the Council and House of Burgesses of Virginia, have received your Lordship' s answer to our joint Address, by which we represented to your Excellency HOW very insecure we thought the publick arms in the Palace since your Lordship' s removal from thence, and requested that your Lordship would be pleased to order them to be stored in the publick Magazine, judging this a repository of much greater security.

You are pleased to tell us that experience hath shewn the insecurity of the Magazine, and that as the Palace hath hitherto been respected, you thought it improper to give any other orders; that the arms belonging to the King, which have for so many years been lodged, may still REmain in the Palace, and that they may on no account be touched without your express permission. Though these arms, my Lord, may be considered in some sort as belonging to His Majesty, as the supreme head of this Government, and that they are properly under your Lordship' s direction, yet we humbly conceive that they were originally provided, and have been preserved for the use of the Country in case of emergency.

We would not wish to interfere with your Lordship' s authority, (of this disposition we presume our former address afforded the strongest testimony,) but the reflection that these arms are so much exposed that they may easily be made the most improper and destructive use of, is to us extremely alarming.

The Palace, my Lord, hath indeed been hitherto much respected, but not so much put of regard to the building, as the residence of His Majesty' s representative. Had your Lordship thought fit to remain there, we should have had no apprehension of danger; but, considering these arms at present exposed to your servants, and every rude invader, the security formerly derived from your Lordship' s presence cannot now be relied on.

In your Lordship' s answer to an address of the House of Burgesses, you are pleased to say, that experience has demonstrated to you that the City of Willamsburgh is an improper place for the residence of our Governour; and give it as a reason for not returning the powder according to your own voluntary promise made to the House, that


you could not attend to its preservation, nor depend on its security if returned to the Magazine. We should suppose, my Lord, that your Excellency' s attention to the arms would be equally necessary for their security, as you know the Palace stands on the edge of the City, and we should, for this reason, imagine it more likely to be rifled than the Magazine in the midst of it; besides, should it be thought necessary, a proper guard might be kept at the Magazine, which we did not think so decent to propose for your Lordship' s Palace. Our apprehensions, my Lord, have been not a little increased by considering the several depositions taken by order of the House of Burgesses; we decline commenting upon them, but submit to the world from whence the unhappy disturbances in this Colony took their rise. We must, my Lord, once more entreat your Excellency to order the arms to be removed to the publick Magazine.

We cannot, my Lord, decline representing to you that the important business of this Assembly hath been much impeded by your Excellency' s removal from the Palace. This step hath deprived us of the necessary and free access to your Lordship, which we conceive the Constitution entitles us to. There are several bills of the last importance to this Country now ready to be presented to your Excellency for your assent.

We have hitherto, my Lord, in hopes of preserving that harmony which we wish ever to subsist between all the branches of our Legislature, submitted to the great inconvenience of sending our members twelve miles to wait on your Excellency on board one of His Majesty' s ships-of-war, to present our several addresses; but we think it would be highly improper, and too great a departure from the constitutional and accustomed mode of transacting the business of the Assembly, to meet your Excellency at any other place than the Capitol, to present such Bills as have there been agreed to by the Council and House of Burgesses. We must therefore beseech your Excellency to return to us; and as the advanced season of the year requires our presence in, our several Counties, we hope your Lordship will be pleased to favour us with your speedy and ultimate answer, that we may certainly know what to depend upon.

The said Address being read a second time,

Resolved, That the House doth agree with the Council in the said Address, to be presented to the Governour.

Ordered, That the said Address be presented to his Excellency by Mr˙ Cary, Mr˙ Attorney General, Mr˙ Lewis, and Mr˙ Christian, in conjunction with such of the Council as shall be appointed to join in the same.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Bland do go to the Council, and acquaint them that this House hath appointed four of their Members; to, present the said Address to the Governour, in conjunction with such of the Council as shall be appointed for that purpose.