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Fredericksburg in Revolutionary Days, Part I

Fredericksburg in Revolutionary Days, Part I

William and Mary School Quarterly Historic Magazine (William and Mary Quarterly)
Volume XXVII, Oct. 2, 1918, pp. 73-95. Elements II and III may also be read online.



18th Century Writing Desk, Opens a New Window by François Bianco / CC- Share Alike 2.zero Generic, Opens a New Window in the Diary of Colonel William Daingerfield, Belvideiran about seven kilometers from the planting of Fredericksburg) John Harrower is a skilful Scottish, and Daingerfield and different neighboring household schoolmasters used to sometimes copy letters he had despatched "kith and relatives" over the seas. In a ebook to his wife in Lerwick, Scotland, was despatched on December 6, 1774, Harrower, referring to the "home war" on the border that ended on the Point Pleasant's sanguinary battle: a history referred to as the Dunmore Warfare refers to an affliction that then provides delivery to Motherland and his American colonies.

"You Are Undoubtedly", she writes, "has heard of the current disruption between the collectors of Britain and North America." He tells us that Common Gage and the People who "have decided to act with caution and caution" have blocked the port of Boston, however have additionally decided not to lose their rights and depart "parliamentary abolition" of their freedoms, and he also describes in detail gathering troops beneath Fredericksburg and in addition how distant in Massachusetts might increase a 24-hour warning "60,000 man's odds very rigorously and all equipped with weapons and ammunition."

In 1774, compassion for the poor Boston individuals, the city home had numerous citizens on Wednesday, June 1, 1774, when Fielding Lewis, Charles Dick, Charles Mortimer, James Mercer, Charles Washington, William Woodford, James Duncanson, William Port er, George Thornton and Charles Yates have been appointed by the Committee to "respond to neighboring cities and provinces so that they can communicate with each other as soon as possible about their interest in this current interesting and worrying situation in America." ". (See Appendix I.)

How an actual nice previous appears to be one in Fredericksburg: memorials are in all places to speed up imagination. The town was residence to a few years of outstanding lady, who was George Washington's mother; and all that is his mortality there. Probably the most lovely means is the huge memorial of Hugh Mercer, which poured out its blood to the perfect of freedom in the Princeton subject. His house was in Fredericksburg and the town and in the encompassing nation he practiced drugs. Weedon was an urbanist and John Paul Jones was not an alien on his streets. Many sensible officers from the Virginia line left the town, and close by are Lewis Willis, William Daingerfield, William Woodford, Alexander Spotswood, Francis Taliaferro Brooke and his brothers, Richard. Fredericksburg's revolutionary days weren’t without statesmen: Jas. Mercer, William Fitzhugh, Chatham; Mann Web page, Mannsfield, could be named among them. In a house on Fredericksburg's major road, on the intersection of buying and selling, the hospital remained at one time for wounded revolutionary troopers (see Appendix 2), and the Alum source, which was in its neighborhood, was certainly one of these hospitals. Charles Mortimer and John Julian served the wounded and sick (see Appendix 3).

At the foot of Falmouth on the River Stafford is certainly one of Virginia's most revolutionary industries: Hunter's Iron Works, the place in 1776 Alexander Hanewinckle was the leader and later head of John Strode. We might nicely afford to go to comment on Iron Works. James Hunter, a wealthy resident in this area, began years earlier than the revolutionary conflict to develop the iron business by building jobs and factories. The simultaneous accounts present that after the outbreak of warfare he had a large establishment. The owner soon realized that an enormous service might make the state develop by plant measurement. Hunter requested for state assist and was granted little, however later the grant software was rejected, and on the finish of the battle, he informed the chief instantly that his lack of ability to offer the public with any great service was on account of the truth that he had no funds

James Mercer, some of the influential of the town and the state; of probably the most trusted citizens in a letter to the Governor in April 1781, "I'm not sure I need to tell you that it is about Mr. Hunter's works that every camp kettle has been delivered to the mainland and to all other troops in this country and south this year that all The state and Maryland anchors and part of the continent have been procured from the same works that without these works we have no other resources for these articles and that without the help of bar stool the breeders planted there would not have been able to make bread to eat. "(See Appendix 4.)

It might seem that the lads of Fredericksburg made pressing action as the primary danger. One in every of Fredericksburg's revered instructional establishments was "an independent foot company consisting of gentlemen in the city." There is a document of the existence of the corporate already in 1753. * On August 25, 1775, Hugh Mercer, George Weedon, Alexander Spotswood and John Willis represented the Lords of the Unbiased Firm, addressed to Colonel George Washington for a short however very popular letter expressing disapproval of Dunmore's "Powder plot "and the concept" this first public offense should not be left out. " These men are in search of Washington's approval to "join the bodies of armed men" and march to Williamsburg. The subsequent Saturday, 29th day, was named the departure date. Communication was despatched to tell militiamen of neighboring nations of their intention. "And we look forward to getting ready," "we wrote a letter about your instructions and their help." (See Appendix 5.) * August 25, 1775 Hugh Mercer, George Weedon, Alexander Spotswood, and John Willis, representing the Unbiased Company, have been awarded a quick but very popular letter to Colonel George Washington, expressing disapproval of Dunmore's bridge. Powder plot "and expressing the idea that" this first public offense should not be missed. "These men applied for Washington's approval to" be a part of the our bodies of armed males "and marched to Williamsburg. (See Appendix 5)


(copied "American Archives," fourth collection, Vol. I, Columns 373-4.)

on the Fredericksburg Residents' Assembly County and Virginia Colony, Town House, Wednesday, First Day June 1774: Resolved that this unanimous opinion is in line with all the appropriate measures our sister settlements can assume applicable at this necessary occasion, respecting hostile attacks on city rights and freedoms. Boston.

Resolved that the appointment of Fielding Lewis, Charles Dick, Charles Mortimer, James Mercer, Charles Washington, William Woodford, James Duncanson, William Porter, George Thornton, and Charles Yates to this metropolis will probably be named with neighboring towns and cities to speak with one another the quickest, their emotions about this current and worrying American state of affairs.

Resolved that Benjamin Johnston is an software

Resolved that the processing of this committee, as well as of different provinces and colonies that were given to them at the moment, is a fairly transcribed accounting for the writer, which have to be retained for this objective.

Order by
Benjamin Johnston, Metropolis Officer


is "Legislative Petitions". 1799. December I9. Spotsylvania. []

To the Honorable President and to the gentleman of the House of Representatives of Virginia

The petition of Henry Vowles humbly exhibits that the petitioner is
a large brick house in Fredericksburg, which was transformed to a hospital throughout November 1775, when the petitioner served in the military. as barracks for state troops, who first made substantial injury to it, and in their possession changed two tenants who have been in the occupied part of the house, to take away – that house was used for the above functions, both state and continental forces, throughout the struggle – When the petitioner returned from the military at the finish of the conflict, the home was utterly ineffective, as there were just a few partitions, walls and roofs, doorways, home windows, stems and glass, flooring, & other inner work, utterly destroyed, and most of the joints of Jail and even some so placed. [17659002]because as quickly as yr 1783 and before he arrived on the house in question he suffered injury to an estimated three staff who, in the opinion of the oath, are in fine condition, in the town of Fredg, whose appreciation together with numerous other coupons proves

shortly after the aforementioned valuation was introduced that Congress appointed Zepheniah Turner to answer such demands, he forwarded to Turner in Richmond a report on his allegation which, after he had retained with the identical quantity as twelve months, return it to the petitioner with this info that he was not referred to as upon to resolve such claims, as Congress had decided that particular person states needed to settle all such claims; as said by Mr. The letter from Turner seems after the petitioner applied to the auditor of the general public accountants at Richmond, who stated that he would not do any enterprise.

The petitioner asks that he continue to argue that his constitution, which has been much weakened in the course of the warfare, was many years after these purposes, with a really low state of health, so much that he had to go to Sweet Springs each summer time and that he appreciated it slightly inconsistency. life, as could be seen from the members of his personal physique – The fact that he has recovered from a tolerant state of well being has triggered his petition to the House of Representatives for compensation, which needs to be made several occasions its committee has said that it’s justified, however not finally determined, first at the 179I session , at the final session in 1798 – The petitioner was finally notably prepared to draw a conclusion, however House has occupied a real enterprise till the session has progressed, he has been knowledgeable that it was not finished. The petitioner can’t anticipate him to be able to get a share of the general public sector, nor hopes of being unbiased, but with the regulation and reward of his personal state, humbly thanking the respectable body for taking its case now and giving him compensation for such an element, no matter it might be to be, because you have to be affordable and affordable. The petitioner, who’s obliged, prays and c.

Henry Vowles.

[Endorsed:] Henry Vowles Peto. Decem. 19, 1799. Rejected

[From a paper in the Virginia State Library, whose reference number is Legislative Petitions, 1798. Dec. IO. Spots. No. 3902.]

The Board of Attraction has, by order, addressed Henry Vowles' petition to them and agreed on the report, and listed here are two resolutions as follows: situated in a large brick house, which belongs to Mary Frazier, and two-person rental. Some state troops took Mary as captain Gibson, as a barracks and hospital, and the tenants pressured them to go away the identical; that when these troops continued, they needed pieces of gasoline and irregular angle, burned, and otherwise destroyed all its flooring, sleepers, beams, doorways, shutters and glass: stated the time throughout the entire conflict; All through the town for the above-mentioned purposes:

The committee additionally appears that when these events occurred, stated Mary Frazier was a toddler, and that the petitioner was an American army officer and served there till the top of the struggle: that when he returns from the army he would marry stated Maria, and therefore her proper, was entitled to the stated home: that shortly thereafter, the petitioner began to restore the identical tenants' lodging, but to the extent that the home could not be destroyed, which the petitioner couldn’t do. who make it stay for a while in November 1783; and that, when such repairs have been made, it was helpful that the petitioner had been capable of acquire over 200 euros of lease for a few years due to its structure and state of affairs. annually of its occupation. Moreover, it appears to the Committee that, when he married
with the stated Mary, the petitioner considers that in April 1783, he acquired expert staff in that city to take a look at compensation from the state. Fredericksburg, that the precise and actual injury completed by these troops on the similar time throughout their career, as mentioned above, might be ascertainable by them; and in accordance with the oath they testified that they thought that the injury was 500 euros.

Resolved that the opinion of this committee is that Henry Vowles's petition is praying that he will probably be compensated for the injury executed by the American soldiery to the house in question, totaling 5,

Answer that in accordance with this committee's opinion the petitioner must be given an annual dollar lease for that home, which starts on November 20, 1775 and ends on November 20, 1783, throughout which era the petitioners wield their very own rights alone and the petitioner himself after the marriage, because of the occupation mentioned and the injury carried out by the American soldiery *

* Fredericksburg 1790 Land Tax Lists present that Henry Vowles owned 23 and 24 in the town; these things are contiguous and prolong from Caroline (Foremost) to Sophia (Water) on William (Commerce) Road. Gadgets or elements of them have been bought to James Hunter and George Fraser (or Frazier) in 1760. George Fraser, his will examined April I, 1765, mentions these two batches. (Spotsylvania County Data.) Vowles received married to Mary Frazier (see above) and became a member of tons and homes.

ANNEX three

[From Papers Relating Chiefly to the Maryland Line During the Revolution. Edited by Thomas Balch, Philadelphia: Printed for the Seventy-Six Society, T. K. & P. G. Collins, Printers. 1857.]

Dr. Mortimer for Common Weedon
Fredericksburg, Va., June 18, 178I.

Pricey Sirs:

I informed you last month as a commander and gentleman who has typically expressed his discomfort with the medical department, who ought to have taken care to not have any further hospitalization for the following reasons:

The will for medicine My ambiguity typically and instantly and by no means with out regular appointment from the state, solely Miskman's request to attend them until a daily arrangement and drugs was made. I have labored since last August only by means of the humanity for the soldiers and prisoners, and I sent almost 100 on this website without dying – have discovered all of them to personal my drugs, typically issues out of your taloltani and gave them each service in my power, and do not make little question, however you’ll help me when Opportunities Present Compensation for Medicines, & c. I have made frequent purposes for the north and south of medicines, but not even reply kirjeilleni. If the home have been close to here and the gentleman would get acquainted with the practical part of the surgical procedure, it might be rather a lot; for I have never practiced or used it very repulsively for my angle.

There’s at present no unwell but one sick negro. Any assist I may give to a physician at any time will make it pleased, free. I have never acquired any rewarding hope that you will do me the justice to say that I have fulfilled my obligation faithfully with out.

I respectfully your obedient
Chas. Mortimer

Gen Weedon.
Dr. Julian, Basic Weedon
Fredericksburg, June 20, 1781.
Sir. Mortimer is acquainted to me, that his incompetence prevents so strict attention to a public hospital, in consequence, the task is that I'm attracted a few gentleman's pleasant suggestion of the power to appoint you director of that department, and never doubt, don’t you watch the sick and wounded, until the clerk department will supply you with the appropriate power and medicines or other orders. To start with, you’re asking for a useful home in the vicinity of the town for the elimination of the sick and for the prevention of pest disorder among the residents, and Mr, sufferers in a drunken and bustling firm.

You. Obed.

Once you continue in this department you’re entitled to the wage and doses of the hospital supervisor


Dr. Appointment of Julian to the Hospital
"John Julian, BW"]

Spotsylvania County Virginia Wit

Personally, the truthful Ombudsman of the aforementioned county, Edward Herndon, was seventy years previous, first sworn in, saying that In the second half of 1779, he was appointed to behave as a commissioner in Fredericksburg, the place Dr. John Julien worked as a hospital surgeon and gave orders to the dartes for the hospital. After the handover of Cornwall, a number of the prisoners marched to Fredericksburg: a few of them have been sick, they usually have been despatched to Alum Springs, about two kilometers from the town, and "that they had a surgeon with them. he’s a assistant to Dr. Julien or not, he believes that Dr. Julien went to the hospital to the hospital as long as this kinfolk stayed in the issuing division at the end of the warfare, or as long as the doses have been required and until all the shops of the Commissioner have been

Edward Herndon

19659002] Spotsylvania County, Virginia State of Wit

I, Edward Hull, Peace Regulation for the aforementioned County and State, declare that Edward Herndon marked and sworn the above-mentioned lawyer as a real and true reminder of this. my hand and my seal
June 26, 1831

Edward Hull [SEAL]

[Executive Papers, April, 1781, Virginia State Library.]


I can be to you it is a good thing that you’re an apology for giving an apology to the first decide of this state for all details and even clues that would allow you to enhance your info. That's why I'm not going to precise ylistysneuvotteluani that information to my own country and a single opinion, which I have spoken on the topic, there isn’t a place in this country that deserves public attention on this city and its components Mr. Hunter's Iron Works – I do not know, that I don’t have to inform you that Mr. Hunter's works have turn into that each Camp Kettle has been delivered to the mainland and to all different staff in the country and to the south. all of the anchors of this state and of Maryland and some continents have been obtained from the same work; that without these jobs we should not have different assets for these articles, and that without the bar iron manufactured there for assist, although he who crops, which are situated and to the south of this place, wouldn’t have the ability to make bread to eat [19659002Itseasiassaminuneitarvitseilmoittaateilleettäaseidenjulkinentehdasontäällä-ettäilmansitäkaikkimeidänaseemmejotkaovatniinvähänloukkaantuneetolisivatmeillehyödyttömiä;lisäksisielläolevienuusienmuskettienjabajonettienlukumäärätekeesiitäettäseonsäilyttämisemmejavihollisentuhoutumisenarvoinen-TähänkuitenkinvoinlisätäettävaltiossaeioleniinyleisestihyödyllistäkohtaasotilaallisissaoperaatioissammeKolmaskaikistauusistalinjoistakohtaatäällä;kaikkijoukotpohjoisestaeteläänjaeteläänpohjoiseenonläpäistävätämänkaupunginläpijossavaunutkorjataanhevosetjamonetmuutjoitaheeivätvoisijatkaailmanjoukkotsaavatmääräyksiäseuraavaanvaiheeseenonniinkäteväettäseonerittäinlaajajatuottavamaaviljanjamuidensäännöstForthereceptionoftheunauthorizedpartsofthecaseIagreewiththeimpressionthatthemanisholdingasinglefirst-handedobjectstothemotherofthefirst-handinthefirstplace

Foundary was thought-about to be a noteworthy merchandise of data only – But now it is rather more certain that this place will probably be read when Genl. Phillips himself has been an eyewitness to the advantages of this, and has typically seen the comfort of this place both repeatedly and militia. I'm not saying any extra, but telling you that yesterday's experience confirmed evidence of our very worrying state of affairs. Six armed in Vessell rose to Potomack on Wednesday evening; On Thursday that they had nine and more, about 5 hundred soldiers. Director Colo Towles, who did not query this being an object, settled as much as potential about his defense, however see, more than eighty muskets could possibly be obtained (and these repaired weapons and bayonet). 60 extra all types of weapons make up; and the place are the remaining? our militia before Portsmouth and Williamsburg! Even men need, because there at the moment are two pirate tasks from Stafford & Prince William & Fairfax, who at the moment are a struggle scene and this province is weak *. . . Williamsburg and different places not close to this state, because this place is -Colo. Towards, writing on the similar alternative makes me unnecessary to say something.

I am writing to his wishes and I have all the time, and in an awesome reverence, praise
most shouldn’t be very humble and serving

Js. Mercer.

[Endorsed] His Ambassador

by Thomas Jefferson, Esqr.
Virginia Governor

[Executive Communications Oct. 20, 1777 to Jan. 24, 1778, Virginia State Library.]

Rapph. Forge 19 Febry 1777.
Within the paragraph of the letter from the members of the Authorities, in which you have been completely satisfied to communicate, I comply with His excellence to encourage these manufacturers to a broader motion plan. Congratulations, I should take the opportunity to receive and perform instructions for that credible function of realization. Offered that it may be executed on terms that you’re not looser. The palms that I consider in the appropriate laws could be obtained, especially as a lot of the current staff are Grasp staff, they usually might each take him or an inexperienced hand beneath him if we had a shoproom. Instruments and numerous machines have been expanded. Gunsmith's 300-meter-long new retailer is crucial if the chief or two assist the primary labor pressure, receive and ship the work and minutes down for every Mansion's performance and time loss.

But building and sourcing (nowadays) Materials for different units can be too huge for the whole amount, which I'll take you or any American personal individual beforehand without the government to take the weapons and all the totally different guns, anchors & c. Getting ready for certain circumstances for a certain time period, at the least ten or more years, and make such a provision for worth and cost, as a result of it’s simply the identical at the least on your prices and effort. For I am very satisfied that you’re not now even elevated, whereas pig iron, metal, brass, copper, Spitter (?) And most of all supplies have to be placed in the most effective circumstances, a long time ago purchased the lot and low cost paid to the game and invoices. Its real muskets may be made with out brass. However without an iron, you’ll be able to't even do the manufacturing unit or different state scalp, not to mention the high consumption of shipbuilding. And the naval anchors and the versatility of Smith's work that you’re already (and are an enormous deal) prepared to do and so deeply committed to.

And, as Mr Lawson's letters can only be a bit addictive to Colo. Ovens in any delivery. If you wish to deliver your work from Maryland to Pig Metallic, it have to be extreme. If Iron Masters has to comply with promote it at all, I have little question that every oven that makes good pork is related to the identical house owners of Forges, who may pressure it soon to oblige the broad state to purchase iron made out of them

This province has all the time given for such works, the likelihood that the holders can transport them to an establishment, dispatch, and profit as you or any iron master can’t reach to the top, but are you positive you buy Sikaraud from Maryland on any situation that you’re not all the time positive of water and that transport is superior, As cargo is picked up, it isn’t all the time protected, at greatest troublesome and by no means sure. I could not say more about this on function, as a result of it is the very source and the novel material from which every business group should rely upon the existence of, and never only that you would be able to first start with the availability of or encouraging the settlement or assurance our neighboring nations, Ore, and if the investigation found adequate shares, the liberty to work and improve the identical for the state or for yourself.

By paying the owner unworthy men or some truthful and acceptable technique of securing a sure and continuous provide of metals with out it, it might be too dangerous and quite unreliable to increase your area of ​​exercise and improve the excellent bodywork with no strong basis, but if this stuff are solved in your security and in accordance with your satisfaction, you can’t promise much to yourself or to your country, while every recruitment officer has the facility to get and get his arms on the job and at any time to push the wagons o Your service, which has happened typically and my business is on the forefront

In the summer, they took six wagons just as I had tried to repair this loss by replacing these with three more. As they have been pressed and lots of occasions, they have taken wagons for some business trips for grain and other provides, which has made me (along together with your constructive orders to deliver a publishing contest here) proceed to rock coal this winter and now in the worst chilly and snow (nice loss) towards) the weather isn’t appropriate for a man or a beast to go out or otherwise endure all of his works
in order that they keep idle in their entirety because they’re positioned in Coale's warehouse and each other part of Waggons's business stands in such a precarious state that nothing now and really is with out this service complete security for your self or the state.

ency, together with different areas of the legislator, would think about it somewhat applicable to use iron mines inside the state to protect adventurers, jobs, teams and different property and works, Factorys & c. Relying on the case, not only for any department already carried out here, however for a lot of others, might be extended to any size they need and utilizing house owners and in addition the state and all its people. My head is now in the following remarks, specifically

I. That no recruiting officer be allowed to enlist any of your workmen that has not obtained your (or yr managers) discharge, or been absent from the place Three months.
2nd. That no officer whatever without your consent be allowed to take a Staff employed at your works whether your personal property or employed.
3d. That if on the occasion of the Legislative powers you prolong the totally different machinery for gunns and other Arms they agree to take the produce at sure affordable charges for some fastened time, or if it’s found expedient to discontinue the Manufactory for any cause, trigger or event,
which can arrise before the expiration of yr Term, in that case you to have an enough allowce made for the loss and disapointment which you have to otherwise endure.

1st your works for that department rendered ineffective
second your stock Matterials available three the good variety of ineffective tools 4 workmen to whom you may be beneath engagements 5 the number of apprentices, with whom value has been to teach them the forepart of thr Time. 4th. The liberty to boost ore on anywhere handy and carry it off, paying for similar as earlier than mentioned and
5th To erect Furnaces for Smelting stated ore on the Next and most convenient place for wooden and water.
6th Some small encouragement or priviledge to Artificers, notably for ingenuity and fixed trustworthy software to the department they profess notably gunlock's.
7th That probably the most effectual Measures be taken for prosecuting and enlarging the totally different branches you might have already engaged in viz Ist Bar Iron for Army & Navy, second Arms 3d Slitting and plating mills. 4th Wire mill. 5th Metal Furnace.

I am Sir your very Trustworthy Serv't.

John Strode

To Mr James Hunter
Wmsburg Might 3I, 1777

As there was no Manufactory of Iron in this State which was carried on to such an extent, and to Functions of such huge Significance as Mr. Hunter's close to Fredericksburg I took the liberty of promising him the assistance of the Publick in the Prosecution of his Works on a more enlarged Plan. In consequence of this Mr. Hunter laid my letter before Mr. John Strode his Supervisor, that he may allow him to inform me how far his works have been capable of answering my expectations. This produced a Letter from Mr. Strode which Mr. Hunter has laid before the
Council Board with a Memorial. The Subject of these Papers was of a lot consequence to this State, and Mr. Hunter himself so deserving of the attention of the Publick that I thought it my obligation to lay them earlier than the Common Assembly, who alone can allow him to carry on these in depth & beneficial Works. What must strongly advocate Mr Hunter is, that he asks for no pecuniary help, however merely for Supplies to work. He requires solely what the great of the State most evidently points out, which is to, open Mines inside the similar, and not to rely upon our Neighbours for therefore mandatory an article as Iron. With great Regard I have the Honor to be,
Yr mo. ob't. & very h'ble Ser't
P Henry

[Endorsed]To the Hon'ble George Wythe Esqr
Speaker of the House of Delegates
The Governor's Letter Might 31, 1777

Inclosing Hunter's Memorial with different papers relative thereto.

To His Excellency the Governor and the Honorable the Council of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Memorial of James Hunter humbly sheweth that your Memorialist actuated by the warmest zeal for the great of his Country, has with very great Labour & expence erected a Variety of Works, akin to Forges, Steel Furnaces &c & begun others reminiscent of slitting, plating & wire Mills, & established Factories for fabricating small Arms, entrenching Instruments, Anchors & other issues mandatory in the Army & Navy, Works evidently essential not only to the welfare, but to the very existence of this State. That he has been inspired to miss in the Prosecution of those works Difficulties which appeared to non-public Talents insurmountable by assurances from your Excellency of Publick Countenance & Help.

That he has been heretofore provided with Pig Iron, the Basis of all his Manufactures, from Maryland; however that this mode of provide, at greatest are improper in addition to an unbecoming dependence for an ideal State, is now grow to be exceedingly costly & precarious.

That Nature has made ample Provision amongst ourselves for these our requirements; however that no advantage could be derived from this circumstance either to the Publick or your Memorialist, these vital Supplies being the property of Individuals who both have not the Energy or the Inclination to work them. That he has more than as soon as suffered by the enlisting of his workmen & the urgent of his waggons, & that he dreads the best Detriment to the Publick in addition to to himself if he be not secured from such injurious Proceedings in future.

And lastly that for fuller saitifaction with respect to a number of Matters talked about in this Memorial, your Memorialist begs depart to refer you to a Letter acquired by him on this subject from the Supervisor of his works.

[Endorsed]James Hunter might 31, 1777.
Ref'd to Mr. Nicholas Harvie, Zane, Adams, Jones, A. Hite, Starke, Henry, Jett, Carter & Claphan.* James Withers, Francis Stern, Thomas Arrasmith, Enoch Benson, Joel Radish, Thos. Edrington, William Edrington, Zacharial Benson, Thomas Stephens, Joseph Radish, Cossom Horton.

We of the Jury have attended the survey being first sworn and intentionally thought-about the value of two Hundred Acres of Land at the Accakeek Iron Works are of opinion the value thereof to be five hundred pounds current Money of Virginia.

James Withers, foreman.
Nov'r Ist, 1777.
Elijah Threlkeld, Sheriff.

Plat of Land
Novemb'r 1777. Surveyed for Mr. James Hunter
(agreeable to an Act of Assembly) in presence of the Commissioners & a jury 2 hundred acres of land at accakeed previous Iron Works Beginning on the Chestnut oaks on a millside at A close to the Head of the pond & run from thence So. 25d east 350 po. to B a stake near the top of a small Branch, thence So. 63 east 80 poles to C near an appletree & in the Companys decrease line from thence Noth East go poles to D two small white Oaks & a Hickory in the s'd Line thence N. W. 116 poles to E, a white Oak thence No. east 70 poles to F, a large gum near a spring, thence N. W. 154 poles to G the previous Dam, thence up the aspect of the pond N. 64 W. 48 poles to H. from
thence throughout the Head of the pond to the Starting.

* Act from Hening, XX, p. 303 for James Hunter's I Travers Daniel S. S. C.

North East Maryland io July

Mr. James Hunter
Sir, I am favor'd with yours of the fifth Prompt pr Mr. Ash: in reply thereto I haven’t any thoughts of enlarging our Concern in Iron Works presently especially at so remote a distance & the place the Prospect isn’t very inviting. You’re to make use of your personal discretion in this matter and I doubt [not] however our Gents will receive enough [compensation] for any of their Lands that could be applicable for ye constructing of Iron Works & making of Iron. You will please observe that the taking an element[icular] Spot from them might render the rest of their Lands of little worth. I am with wishing you all des[ira]ble success in your undertakings

very respectfully

Pricey Sir
Yo. mo. Ob't Serv't
Thos. Russell
A replica attested by us
William Fitzhugh
Thos. Lud. Lee
Rob Brent
Saml Selden
Chs Carter

Stafford to wit Mr. John Ash declared before me on the holy Gospel God that the above is a replica of a letter which he recd. from Thos Russell in reply to a letter which he the stated Ash delivered to the stated Russell from Mr. James Hunter, & that he the deponent additionally delivered to the stated Russel a replica of an Act of the Common Assembly entitled an Act for the Encouragement of Iron Works.

Given beneath my hand this tenth day of Novr. 1777
Thos. Lud. Lee

The beneath written Commissioners appointed by a sure Act of the Common Assembly entitled an Act for Encouragement of Iron Works being knowledgeable by James Hunter Esqr. that he was able to locate 2 hundred acres of a certain tract of Land in the County of Stafford, referred to as and recognized by the identify Accokeek furnace tract, & the stated Hunter having produced to the stated commissioners a Letter subscribed Thomas Russell for self & Company containing a disclaimer of any intention to erect a furnace on the tract herein before talked about as by a replica of [a letter] by us attested & herewith transmitted will more absolutely seem, the stated commissioners attended by the County Surveyor, Sheriff, & Jury in Comformity to ye instructions of the forementioned Act should upon ye stated Land & Directed the bounds of ye stated 2 hundred acres to be laid off in accordance with the Platt & Survey hereto annexed, together with the analysis of the Jury.

Subscribed by us this third day of November 1777.
William Fitzhugh, Thos. Lud. Lee, Rob Brent, Saml Selden, Chs. Carter.

[Endorsed]Report of Commissioners, Appointed to Locate Land for Iron Works, Novr I5th, 1777

24, 1779, Virginia State Library.]

The Committee to whom the Governors Letter with the Memorial of James Hunter & other papers the place refer'd have in line with order had the same underneath their consideration and are available to the next Resolutions thereupon vizt.

Resolv'd because the Opinion of this Committee that the subject material include'd in the stated memorial is cheap & merits every encouragement of the Legislature. agd to.

Resolv'd as the Opinion of this Committee that the Memorialist should be permit'd to find two Hundred acres of Land of the Accakeek Tract, mendacity in the County of Stafford including the previous Furnace Seat & dam, & if a adequate Physique of Iron ore is just not discovered therein that he be at liberty to explore and open another unimproved Lands belonging to the stated Furnace tract, and upon discovering a adequate Physique of ore, to locate ten acres thereof (in case the proprietors or their agents shall not inside an inexpensive time open them) paying to the proprietors such valuation as properly of the two Hundred acres as of the Ten acres, as shall be made by a Jury of twelve good & Lawfull Freeholders upon Oath; and that two Commissioners be appointed in behalf of the proprietors, to attend the Survey & valuation of the stated Land. agreed to.

Resolv'd as the Opinion of this Committee, that if a Physique of Iron Ore isn’t discovered on the Accakeek Tract, the Memorialist should be allowed to explore & open for the discovery of Iron ore, some other unimproved Lands inside the circuit of Thirty Miles, in conjunction, & with the concurrence of two commissioners to be appointed for that objective, paying to the proprietors any injury they could maintain thereby and making report of those discoveries to the subsequent Session of Meeting, agreed to. The Accakeek Iron Mines in Stafford County, belonging to an organization in England whose property they still remain, have been labored however discontinued upwards twenty years ago because that they had bigger & richer Banks of ore, with larger conveniencys of Wood & Water in Maryland, where all their Arms, stocks & utensils have been removed.

The Lands are stated to have been provided on the market by the corporate's agent and doubtless from their being very broken with out Timber and the soil excessive poor, haven’t been bought. These being located on the identical path & vein of Ore with Mr. Spotswoods & Mr. Chissels is more likely to be of similar quality and although improper for Bars (?) is but exceedingly match for numerous other manufactures set on foot right here and if opened may be instantly renedered serviceable from their vacinity to Hunters works in need of Pig Mettal and at current not procurable from the neighbouring States untill these and different Lands could be explored for Ore and handy Furnace Seats fastened on His slitting, plating & wire Mills being on a scale giant sufficient to provide this State offered he can safe the Pig Mettal with out which it’s inconceivable for him to furnish the Nation with Bar Iron for Planting and lots of Utensils, the Military & Navy with Arms, Entrenching Tools, Anchors & all types of shop work which they have hitherto trusted him for apart from his metal Furnace now in operation with the Publick & Personal Factorys for Arms.

Two or three hundred acres of Land including the Previous Acc akeek Furnace seat & Dam, and increasing to any Bank of Iron Ore upon the Lands situated, where enough is discovered to work the Furnace, with ten or twelve acres of Land, at the most convenient water on Aquia or Poto Creeks on Poto Run, for a Touchdown & Pasture for transporting Oyster shells &c., paying the Proprietors the worth by appraisement of disinterested males, as additionally the liberty to send out miners to search for and open on any uncleared & uncultivated Lands Banks of Iron Ore within
such distance of his works as properly bear the carriage of Pig Mettal, say about thirty miles, on paying the Proprietors for any damage breaking the soil, in case his views at Accakeek are dissatisfied or [do] not sufficiently answer the purpose.

[Executive Papers, Jan. 1781, Virginia State Library]Fredericksburg, 25th January 1781.


I acquired in course your excellencys favour of the Ioth currn. with an intimation of the supposed design of the enemy to return this manner, and your advice to take away no matter can be most exposed to their makes an attempt. I beg permission to return your excell'y my greatest thanks for this your sort consideration to my considerations, and for the early discover your letter conveyed.

In consequence whereof I immediately brought on to be transported to a spot of security such of the articles at my works as have been made for the public use being the camp kettles, axes, &c, ordered by Gen. Greene a number of the similar & different issues designed for the state; and a part of my own effects. And although for this function I had no occasion to make use of your excellency's permission to impress waggons, the help afforded me by these belonging to the general public together with the service of my very own groups having proved enough, I think about myself however as obliged by it as I am by the directions given to Gen Weedon to take measures for the protection of my works. which have been absolutely complied with However it provides me concern to acquaint your excell'y that it isn’t in my energy to repair any of the arms despatched me by Col Winter whose letter accompanying them got here handy yesterday; my workmen in that department having all left me, and the manufactory of small arms being of consequence discontinued; however the orders before given by the State for other matters are happening with all attainable expedition.

I have sent by the bearer Mr. Dick, the warrant granted me on the treasury someday ago, for 150,000; of which I have not but acquired cost, however beg I might now as the reasons for obtaining it and which I had the honour to lay before your excell'y nonetheless subsist with undiminished drive; and as I have also certificates from Gen. Gates of the supply of sundries the manufactures of my works, furnished in the course of the course of the final summer time, for using the army beneath his command to the amount of a minimum of ?I30,ooo, a considerable portion of which is due for workmen's wages, provisions, &c.

I have available a parcel of coarse woollens, enough for the clothes of 150 or 200 men, which I would deliver if the state has event for them; and receive in cost tobacco, inspected at the warehouses of Fredericksburg and Falmouth at the worth of ?50 per hundred weight. if this should reply you’ll be pleased to nominate any person to examine into the quality and to fix with me the prices of those items.

I have the honour to be
with probably the most good respect
Your excellencys very obedient
and really humble servant,
James Hunter

[Endorsed] His Excellency
Thomas Jefferson, Esqr
Governor of Virginia
Favd. by Mr Dick

[Executive Papers, Feb. 1781, Virginia State Library]

Stafford, 25th February, 1781

In reply to your excellencys inquiry how far the orders which were given for camp kettles to be made at my works, are complied with and in what manner those made have been disposed of I beg depart to tell you, that the order given last summer time for Iooo to be furnished for the specific use of the state is now absolutely compleated, and the higher part of them, including in the quantity the 200 acquired by Col. Zane by virtue of your excellencys orders to that impact have, at totally different occasions, been delivered; and for more full satisfaction on this head, I shall direct my supervisor to make out a precise specification of the number furnished at each time, to whom delivered, and an account of what remains available, which paper shall be transmitted to your excellency.

We at the moment are engaged in fabricating a parcel together with another issues by the path of Gen. Greene, and for using his military; however the order your excellency has final given for Iooo further arms to be immediately received ready for the separate service of the state, shall be notably regarded; all attainable dispatch used for its completion, and your excellency made acquainted with our progress in the execution of it; be assured no exertions inside the compass of my energy shall be wanting, the place the public good is worried.

And on this occasion I can’t forbear to testify to your excellency the good remorse I felt that I was unable to render match for service the muskets despatched to this place some weeks ago; at a time too once they have been a lot needed;- however the making and repairing of small arms, once prosecuted to so considerable an extent at my works, has been for sometime past, discontinued for need of workmen, all these employed in this service having left me, principally as a result of by an act of the laws, they have been rendered topic to militia obligation, draughts, &c. from which that they had all the time enjoyed exemption – altho' if that privilege might once more be restored, I have little question that the works in this department may be resumed, to the good advantage of the state;- and although, with respect to myself, I never desired any emolument from their continuance, but the opposite, yet, as I am absolutely persuaded of the utility they might be of to the public, right now particularly; in case the exemption I earlier than talked about can be granted to the artificers, and to the writers employed there, which final, it have to be apparent, are additionally indispensibly essential at such works, and if I might receive such countenence from your excellency as must be thought affordable, I would try and set them on foot as soon as more.

Or, should it’s judged extra conducive to the public benefit to have them carried in & by for the state fairly then for the account and underneath the attention of an individual, I will most readily assent to it, and require nothing for using the constructing which before served my individuals for this function, or for using such instruments as I have that may be serviceable. Nor do I stand singly in this opinion of their usefulness; – when I last saw Gen. Greene, he expressed his concern that a work which may be rendered of such common service, must be suffered to sink into disuse; and promised, should it ever be revived, to ship to it such artificers correctly in his power to acquire.

I have the honour to be,
with good respect, Sir,
your excellencys obedient and humble servant,
James Hunter

His Ex'y Thos. Jefferson, Esqr.
[Endorsed] His Excellency

Thomas Jefferson, Esquire at Richmond
[Executive Papers, Oct. 1781, Virginia State Library]


Upon the Receipt of your former Favour respecting the touring Forges I immediately utilized to Mr. Hunter, who engaged to have them finished with the utmost expedition. I for some time made frequent Enquiries into their Progress, & discovered that the Workmen have been employed about them, but a late match of sickness has prevented me from understanding whether they have been finished or not. I will to Day make a farther Enquiry, & when they are finished, will trigger them to be sent over to you.
I have the honour to be with good Esteem, sir,

Your mo. obed't h'ble serv't
Mann Page
[Spotsylvania Co.]

Oct'r I6, 1781
[Endorsed]From Mann Page respecting the travelling forges.
[Executive Papers April 1782, Virginia State Library]

Fredericksburg, 23d April, 1782.


I duly acquired your Favour of I2th inst. & would very readily render the Public any assistance in my energy in repairing the Arms, but the little consideration they gave to the help of my works to do them effectual service, obliged me to discharge all of the Workmen last Dec first after I had made some giant addition & crucial Repairs at very appreciable Expence.

I am very Respectfully Sir
Yr most obed't Serv't

James Hunter

William Davies, Esqr
[Commissioner of War]


[Copied from Jared Sparks’s “The Writings of George Washington,” Vol. 2, p. 507]

To Colonel George Washington.
"Fredericksburg, 25 April 1775.

"By intelligence from Williamsburg it appears, that Captain Collins of his Majesty's navy, on the head of fifteen marines, carried off the powder from the magazine in that metropolis on the night time of Thursday final, and conveyed it on board his vessel by order of the Governor. The gents of the Unbiased Company of this city assume this primary public insult is not to be tamely submitted to, and d etermine, together with your approbation, to hitch another bodies of armed males, who are prepared to seem in help of the distinction of Virginia, as well as to safe the army shops yet remaining in the magazine. It’s proposed to march from therefore on Saturday next for Williamsburg, properly accoutred as light-horse men.

"Expresses are despatched off to tell the commanding officers of corporations in the adjacent counties of this our decision, and we shall wait prepared in your instructions and their help.

"We are, Sir, your humble servants,
"Hugh Mercer,
"G. Weedon,
"Alexander Spotswood,
"John Willis.

"P. S. As we are not sufficiently supplied with powder, it may be proper to request of the gentlemen, who join us from Fairfax or Prince William, to come provided with an over proportion of that article."


[From “The Virginia Gazette,” Might 13, 1775.]

Fredericksburg, Committee Chamber, Saturday the 29th of April, 1775.

At a Council of 100 and two members, Delegates of the Provincial Convention, officers and particular deputies of fourteen corporations of light horse, consisting of upwards of 600 nicely armed and disciplined males, associates of constitutional liberty and America, now rendezvoused right here in consequence of an alarm occasioned by the powder being faraway from the nation magazine in the town of Williamsburg, in the night time of Thursday the 21St immediate, and deposited on board an armed schooner by order of his Excellency the Governor;

"The Council having earlier than them the a number of matters of intelligence respecting this transaction,
and notably a letter from the Hon. Peyton Randolph, Esq.; Speaker of the late House of Burgesses of Virginia, acquired right here final night time by an categorical despatched to Williamsburg for the aim of gaining intelligence, informing that the gents of the town of Williamsburg and neighbourhood have had full assurances from his Excellency that this affair shall be accommodated, and advising that the gents assembled right here ought to proceed no additional presently, this Council came to the following willpower, and supply the same as their advice to those public spirited Gentlemen, buddies to British liberty and America, who have honoured them
by this appointment.

“Extremely condemning the conduct of the Governor on this event, as impolitic, and justly alarming to the great individuals of this Colony, tending to destroy all confidence in Government, and to widen the sad breach between Great Britain and her colonies, unwell timed and totally pointless, contemplate this instance as a full proof that no opinion which can be shaped of the great intentions of a Governor in personal life can afford security to our injured and oppressed country, but that obedience to arbitrary, ministerial mandate, and probably the most oppressive and tyrannical system of Government, have to be the fatal line of conduct to all his Majesty's present servants in America; at the similar time justly dreading the horrors of a civil warfare, influenced by motives of the strongest affection to our fellow subjects of Nice Britain, most ardently wishing to heal our mutual wounds, and subsequently preferring peaceful measures whilst the least hope of reconciliation stays, do advise that the several corporations now rendezvoused right here do return to their respective houses.

“However contemplating the just rights and Liberty of America to be drastically endangered by the violent and hostile proceedings of an arbitrary Ministry, and being firmly resolved to withstand such attempts on the utmost hazard of our lives and fortunes, do now pledge ourselves to one another to be in readiness, at a moment's warning, to reassemble, and, by drive of arms to defend the legal guidelines, the freedom, and rights of this, or any sister colony, from unjust and depraved invasion. Ordered that expresses be despatched to the troops assembled on the Bowling Green, and in addition to the companies from Frederick, Berkeley, Dunmore, and such other counties as at the moment are on their march to return them thanks for his or her cheerful presents of service, and to acquaint them with the willpower now taken.


The foregoing willpower of Council having been learn at the head of every company, was cordially and unanimously accredited.

(To be continued)

History.LibraryPoint.org editor's notice: further spacing has been added to facilitate readability. These wishing to seek the advice of the original article ought to see:


"Fredericksburg in Revolutionary Days: Part I"

The William and Mary Quarterly , Vol. 27, No. 2 (Oct., 1918), pp. 73-95

Revealed by: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture