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Message from the Governour Relative to the Gun-powder


A Message from the Governour by Mr˙ Blair:

Mr˙ SPEAKER: I have received the Governour' s commands to lay before this House a written Message from his Excellency, relative to the Gunpowder which has been removed from the publick Magazine by his Excellency' s order. And he presented the same at the Bar, and the same was read, and is as followeth, viz:

Mr˙ Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses:

The removing, by my order, of fifteen half-barrels of the King' s Powder, received from the Rippon, man-of-war, from the publick magazine, has, I find, given great uneasiness to the people. I was influenced in this by the best motives; and as I have once ventured, and, if occasion offered, should again venture my life in the service of this Country, I had hoped the most favourable construction would have been put upon rny conduct. The magazine was represented to me as a very insecure depository, and, from experience, I find it so; all the arms which have been kept there being now taken away: arms not purchased at the expense of this Colony, but sent here by His Majesty, from his Office of Ordnance, of which they bear the mark. But in confidence that you are now met to remove every grievance, and by your wisdom to establish the publick tranquillity on a sure foundation, I do promise you, that as soon as I see the magazine in a proper state for securing the Powder and other publick stores, I will replace it, and at all times be ready, most willingly, to do every thing my poor abilities are capable of for the benefit of this Colony, in which I have lived, till of late, in the greatest happiness.


Resolved, That the said Message be taken into consideration to-morrow.



* In the night of Saturday, the third instant, some young men got into the publick magazine in this City, intending to furnish themselves with arms, but were presently after surprised by the report of a gun, which, was so artfully placed (said to be contrived by Lord Dunmore) that upon touching a string which was in their way, it went off, and Wounded three persons, but not mortally: one of them is terribly hurt by several small balls that entered his arm and shoulder; another, by the loss of two fingers of his right hand, rendered incapable of following his profession for subsistence; the other wounded very slightly. There were two guns prepared for this horrible purpose, one of which was brought out next morning, and found to be double charged. On Monday a Committee was appointed by the Honourable House of Burgesses to examine the state of the magazine, who have placed a guard over it till measures shall be concerted for its bettor security.