Primary tabs

Mr. Mercer Reported


Mr˙ Mercer reported from the Committee appointed yesterday to draw up an Address, upon the Resolution of this House, to be presented to the Governour, that the Committee had drawn up an Address accordingly, which they had directed him to report to the House; and he read the same in his place, and afterwards, delivered it in at the Clerk' s table, where the same was read, and is as followeth:

MY LORD: We, His Majesty' s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Burgesses of Virginia, beg leave to inform your Lordship that the publick Magazine is now repaired, and in fit condition for the reception of arms and ammunition. We therefore request your Lordship win be pleased to order the powder lately removed from thence to be returned, agreeable to your Lordship' s promise contained in your written message to this House. We farther, beg leave to inform your Lordship, that it appears to the House, from the report of their Committee appointed to inspect the publick magazine, that there are no arms therein fit for service, at this critical time. My Lord, when your Excellency assures us of the great probability of an Indian invasion, at a time, too, when an insurrection of our slaves may be encouraged merely from a notorety of a total deficiency in our publick stores of arms and ammunition, it is a duty we owe to our Country and ourselves, to remind your Lordship that the Legislature of this Colony have long since made ample provision for the purchase of arms and ammunition, and established a competent fund for that purpose, by granting to His Majesty one shilling and three pence sterling upon the tonnage of all vessels trading to this Country. This fund, my Lord, has, for several years: last past, exceeded three thousand Pounds sterling per annum; and our predecessors, in former Assemblies, trusting that Government would always make a necessary and adequate provision in a matter so essential to the immediate and future preservation of this Colony, have not interfered in this business. But, my Lord, this House, finding a total inattention in Government to this important provision, although it must have appeared essential more than twelve months ago, and still observing that no means are pursued to supply a deficiency so alarming, now conceive it to be their duty, not only to represent this grievance to your Lordship, but also to request that you will be pleased to order, that two thousand stand of arms, five tons of powder, and twenty tons of lead at least, with a sufficient quantity of other military stores, be immediately provided for the defence; of this Colony, in case of any invasion or insurrection, and that the same be lodged in the publick magazine. In case the fund aforementioned shall prove deficient, this House assure your Lordship that they will make such further or other provision as may be necessary to enable your Lordship to comply with this request.


The said Address being read a second time,

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

Ordered, That the said Address be presented to the Governour by Mr˙ Cary, Mr˙ Braxton, Mr˙ Wood, Mr˙ Jones, and Mr˙ Zane.