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Instructions of the Committee for Charlotte County, Virginia, to the Delegates for that County in Convention: They are to use their best endeavours that the Delegates sent to the Continental Congress be instructed immediately to cast off the British yoke and renounce allegiance to the King of Great Britain forever



At a meeting of the Committee of Charlotte County, April 23, 1776, present the Chairman and fifteen Members:

Resolved, That in this truly alarming and important crisis of our publick affairs, it is expedient that the Delegates lately chosen for this County should know the sentiments of their constituents, and be instructed what part it is desired and expected they will act in the ensuing Convention.


"GENTLEMEN: When we consider the despotick plan adopted by the King, Ministry, and Parliament of Great Britain, insidiously pursued for these twelve years past, to enslave America; when we consider that they have turned a deaf ear to the repeated petitions and remonstances of this and our sister Colonies, and that they have been equally inattentive to the rights of freemen and the British Constitution; and when we consider that they have for some time been endeavouring to enforce their arbitrary mandates by fire and sword, and likewise encouraging, by every means in their power, our savage neighbours, and our more savage domesticks, to spill the blood of our wives and children; and to crown the whole, they have added insult to their injustice and cruelty, by repeatedly pretending to hold out the olive-branch of peace in such a way as teacheth us that they are determined to persist in their hellish designs, and that nothing is intended for us but the most abject slavery; of this we can no longer doubt, since we have been made acquainted with a late letter from the Secretary of State to Governour Eden, and the late act of Parliament for seizing and confiscating all our ships and property that may fall into their hands:

"Therefore, despairing of any redress of our grievances


from the King and Parliament of Great Britain, and all hopes of a reconciliation between her and the United Colonies being now at an end, and being conscious that their treatment has been such as loyal subjects did not deserve, and to which, as freemen, we are determined not to submit; by the unanimous approbation and direction of the whole freeholders, and all the other inhabitants of this County, we advise and instruct you cheerfully to concur and give your best assistance in our Convention, to push to the utmost a war offensive and defensive, until you are certified that such proposals of peace are made to our General Congress as shall by them be judged just and friendly. And because the advantages of a trade will better enable us to pay the taxes, and procure the necessaries for carrying on a war, and in our present circumstances this cannot be had without a Declaration of Independence; therefore, if no such proposals of peace shall be made, we judge it to be a dictate of the first law of nature, to continue to oppose every attempt on our lives and properties; and we give it you in charge, to use your best endeavours that the Delegates which are sent to the General Congress be instructed immediately to cast off the British yoke, and to enter into a commercial alliance with any nation or nations friendly to our cause. And as King George the Third, of Great Britain, &c˙, has manifested deliberate enmity towards us, and, under the character of a parent, persists in behaving as a tyrant, that they, in our behalf, renounce allegiance to him forever; and that, taking the God of Heaven to be our King, and depending upon His protection and assistance, they plan out that form of Government which may the most effectually secure to us the enjoyment of our civil and religious rights and privileges, to the latest posterity.

"In all other things, gentlemen, that may come before you in Convention, we rely upon your known fidelity and zeal; resolving and giving you our faith, that we will, at the risk of our lives and fortunes, to the utmost of our abilities, support and defend you, our country, and our sister Colonies, in the glorious cause in which we are now engaged."

Ordered, That the above Resolves be published in the Virginia Gazette.

By order: WILLIAM JAMESON, Clerk.