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Cumberland County (Virginia) Committee



To the Inhabitants of CUMBERLAND County, VIRGINIA: The Address of the Committee of the said County, convened on FRIDAY, the 30th of JUNE, 1775.

DEAR COUNTRYMEN: In contemplation of securing your dearest rights and liberties against the oppression of Great Britain, you some months ago elected us, (subordinate to those august bodies the Continental Congress and Provincial Convention,) by your free and unbiased suffrages, guardians of these invaluable blessings. At a short period after receiving this honour, we convened ourselves for the purpose of discharging the important trusts so reposed in us, and have, from time to tune, devised such means for a happy event of your weighty contest as he maturest deliberation could suggest. In return, you have ever paid us the grateful tribute of entire confidence, testified by the most implicit acquiescence and concurrence in whatever we recommended. We with pleasure bear in mind a very recent instance of your confidence, that of the late speedy and cheerful contribution of moneys requested of you for the purpose of making military preparations; which, you may depend, no means shall be untried for laying out for the best advantage. We find, however, that you can still contribute much to this preparation, by applying diligently to making Saltpetre; this is an article much wanted, as an ingredient for making Gunpowder. Your tobacco-houses and stable floors are foundations from which Saltpetre may be produced, with but little work, in great abundance and perfection. We entreat you, therefore, to apply for the most short and ready process, and lose no time in making this necessary, but easily-procured, article.

We have been attentive to the movements of the cursed instruments of your troubles; and, had any prospects of an accommodation with the Parent. State come within our view, we should gladly have laid them before you; but we must now expressly tell you, that it is to be feared no such event can be expected at all. Your enemies seem implacable in their determination to ruin American liberty, and, with that view, suffer no engine to lie still which can be put in motion by any manoeuvre, however mean, cowardly, and detestable. For instances, we need only refer you to the late conduct of that mercenary ministerial tool, Lord Dunmore, within your own Colony; and be assured, that many such hirelings are employed, and will be as long as means can be supplied for paying them. In short, we must tell you, that nothing can be expected for your relief from the virtue of a British Ministry or Parliament; though, true it is, there are some members, in both Houses of the latter, who, ashamed of the black deeds of their body, daily, to their lasting honour, hold out their names as dissentients; yet, unhappily for Britain, and America top, they are but few. You may, indeed, at this time, consider yourselves in a state of civil war with Great Britain; for several engagements have been had between her troops and the brave inhabitants of your sister Colony of Massachusetts-Bay. We have long since considered all the American Colonies as united, in opposing the oppressive measures of Great Britain; a blow, therefore, struck at one, is a blow struck at all. Since matters have gone to such lengths there, you must daily look for the invaders in your own country, which is equally destined to destruction; or


should the whole force of your enemies be bent on that, or any other Colony, you roust not think a march thither too far. Believe us, when we tell you, that in your arms, under Divine assistance, rests your security. We entreat, you, therefore, by that regard you have for the safety of your persons; for your liberties, civil and religious; for every thing which can render your being on earth happy; by what is of more weighty consideration, that tender regard you have for the happiness of your posterity, for endless ages to come; under sanction of that confidence you repose in us: that you, without delay, apply to your arms as speedily as possible; put them in the best condition; make yourselves acquainted with military discipline, and stand in readiness for actual service, upon the shortest warning; put down every animosity from amongst yourselves; pay obedience to officers properly appointed; let no discontents, on account of their advancement, prevent your attention to them, for now your movements must harmonize. The time is arrived at which no private consideration should interfere with the safety of the State; observe the old maxim, "United we stand, divided we fall."

We entreat you, with like earnestness, to preserve what ammunition you have by you; do not expend it on any occasion whatever, except under the greatest necessity, for you may depend that more will be wanted for your defence than can shortly be procured. Pay attention to these our entreaties, and fear not.

Your American brethren are firm; you have many friends in Great Britain and Ireland; and, in the justness of your cause, you may, with confidence, look up to Heaven for assistance; in supplication of whose interposition to avert the approaching scene of blood and destruction, we recommend that you, universally, in compliance with the appointment of the Grand Continental Congress, devote Thursday, the twentieth day of July, to humiliation, fasting, and prayer.