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Petitions from William Preston

Tuesday, July 18, 1775.

On a motion made,

Resolved, That this Convention will immediately resolve itself into a Committee to take into consideration the state of the Colony.

The Convention accordingly resolved itself into the said Committee; and after some time spent therein, Mr˙ President resumed the chair, and Mr˙ Bland reported, that the Committee had had under their consideration the state of the Colony, but not having time to go through the same, had directed him to move for leave to sit again.

Resolved, That this Convention will to-morrow resolve itself into a Committee to take under their further consideration the state of the Colony.

A Petition of William Preston, Gentleman, Surveyor of Fincastle County, setting forth, that early in the month of April last he had received instructions from Lord Dunmore to survey Lands in the uninhabited parts of this Colony, agreeably to a Proclamation his Lordship had just then issued, and which was under the consideration of the late Convention; but as there was then no final determination respecting it, he apprehended the same was tacitly allowed, to prevent disputes among the first settlers of such Lands. That he gave directions to his assistants to survey a small district of Land each, until it could be known what report the Committee appointed by the late Convention would make. That he hath given the strongest assurances no survey should be returned, under the said instructions, without the approbation of the House of Burgesses, or this Convention; yet that many persons were displeased with his conduct, not knowing the motives on which he acted. And praying that this Convention will take the same under their most serious consideration, as nothing is further from his intentions than to carry into execution any ministerial instructions contrary to the chartered rights or real interest of his Country, let the consequence be what it will to his family or private emolument.

Also a Petition from the Committee of Fincastle County, complaining that surveys had been made in consequence of Lord Dunmore' s Proclamation and Instructions, contrary to the ancient usage of taking up Lands in this Colony, which were likely to be the occasion of much confusion and litigation; and praying the advice of this Convention in the premises, were severally presented to the Convention, and read.


Ordered, That the said Petitions be referred to Mr˙ Nicholas, Mr˙ Bland, Mr˙ Cary, Mr˙ Mercer, Mr˙ Lewis, Mr˙ Jones, Mr˙ Carrington, Mr˙ Rootes, and Mr˙ Thomas Walker; and that they inquire into the allegations thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

Adjourned till to-morrow, nine o' clock.