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Fredericksburg in Revolutionary Days: Part III

Notice of a Manual Site for Fredericksburg Arms

Source: William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 4 (April 1919), pp. 248-257. Elements I and II can be read online.




Discover for a Guide Website for Fredericksburg Arms, Opens a New Window of Justinandsarah / CC BY -SA 3.0, opens a brand new windowWe at the moment are some of the necessary establishments in Virginia to prosecute conflict: a small arms manufacturing unit based by the July 1775 Conference. these discovered in the archives of the Archives of the Virginia State Library, Richmond. There are major gaps in the accounts of this plant: the books and papers of the director seem to have utterly disappeared, and we have now to depend on the regulation establishing this establishment, some subsequent laws and individual documents on its history earlier than September 1780; however from that moment on, Charles Dick's correspondence, which the shoulders spread the burden of maintaining this institution.

July 1775.1 , referred to as Fielding Lewis, Chas. Dick, Mann Page, Jr., William Fitzhugh and Samuel Selden, or one of the three principals. directed at a enough number of objects to use the manufacture of weapons that the Safety Committee ought to periodically direct and proceed to work "as long as the needs of this colony are required". The initial appropriation was made at GBP 2,500 (an quantity of about $ 15,000 to $ 20,000 at the moment), and it was additionally deliberate that such different sums, such as the Security Committee, will occasionally be direct. Pay the state treasurer. The commissioners offered a guarantee in connection with the receipt of the sum and have been urged handy over to the committee on occasion a guide on the state and progress of the manufacturing unit and its work.

Whatever the workplaces of the Fitzhugh, Web page and Selden plant, their connection to the manufactory has needed to be a short-lived government in 1781 (Appendix eight) Chas. Dick referred to work with him and Colonel Lewis as if that they had reached the whole company, and it is sure that no document has been found to date that mentions Fitzhugh, Page or Selden, who has nothing to do with work aside from establishing a regulation. Mr. Dick says that he and Colonel Lewis made "a lot of effort and attention" through the first yr of the manufacturing unit and managed to set it "on an exceptionally good basis". The commissioners bought Richard Brooks very quickly after the order was positioned on a monitor next to Fredericksburg and built the required buildings.

The manufacturing unit's completion date shouldn’t be constructive, however it should have been in the early 1776s. The magazine (which was not led by Commissioners) was a serious stone constructing that was "just" on the manufacturing unit, although it started in 1776, not accomplished till the second part of 1781. bill supplies used in the construction and work of the magazine (Appendix 9). The commissioners additionally leased Mrs. Lucy Dixon (widow of Roger Dixon, who was a wealthy and influential resident of the town) Hazel Mill's mill, which they converted to grinders.

Members of the Commission had deliberate that they all the time have a resident host, whose job it was to review, receive, right, give instructions to the ignorant, provide tools and laws, and maintain the whole lot; And, furthermore, says Mr Dick, "when you are at leisure." That is, in fact, the acquainted paradox of trading. In October 1777, Commissioners acquired a statutory order for college kids. There are not any present reviews that show the actual measurement of the plant on a monthly or yearly foundation, however in September 1781, Mr Dick appeared to assume that, underneath favorable circumstances, at the very least 100 weapons a month may be revealed.

In October 1782, Mr. Dick described to the Conflict Commissioner a plan for additional mill work to evaluate operating prices of £ 2,958 a yr. This included the salary of the host worker, the wage of thirty staff, the work that made the robberies, the rental of the Dixon manufacturing unit, and the "warehouse you can work on". The system in which the weapon manufacturing unit was run, as Mr Dick described in 1782, in a communication addressed to the governor was certainly best from the manufacturer's viewpoint.

"When breakfast and dinner are ready, the clock rings and everyone sits regularly at the table to eat when it is ready to work again, so that no time is lost when they are not properly loaded with time [the men]. , with different rules that are too tedious to mention and the biggest economy, the factory has continued to benefit the state to this day. " onwards. The above mentioned Dick's estimate of manufacturing unit performance underneath normal circumstances. But crucial part of the entire procedure seems to be that Colonel Lewis and Mr. Dick managed to handle the power – this very important a part of the state's work – in uncommon circumstances. The primary funds have been transferred to them, and doubtless the government met a number of the later requirements, but the foreign money had been depreciated by 1778 and it was troublesome to boost funds.

The existence of a gun manufacturing unit was resource-dependent and deeply significant for the institution's importance, the correspondence of Commissioners with the chief authorities concerned the funds needed to finance the work. The truth that the Commission is aware of the very fact that there’s a contradiction between the need for continuity of labor and the amount of funds out there have to be a factual and virtually irritating reality. However the patriots on the core, these males – Fielding Lewis and Charles Dick – threw themselves into the offense and tried to save lots of the work to the state. The sub-costs – and principally unpaid – for their personal providers, which have been unpredictably priceless, acquired their private credit to save lots of the weapons manufacturing unit.

The only letter from Fielding Lewis that has been in the manufacturing unit thus far has advised the State Treasurer by 9 February 1781 (Appendix 10) that the majority of his cash on prepayments was already made in July of the earlier yr that " the factory must have been shut down because the funds could not be obtained in the treasury or so little that the company had to suffer. even if I had no reason to blame, because the reason would have been money. "

She was asked to lend to the state all the cash she might get; he says he thinks he promised to boost £ 30,000 to £ 40,000, of which "seven thousand" (about $ 50,000) says, "I borrowed everything I had at the time for the state." And now, when he’s very anxious himself, impoverished, incapable (together with his own entry) to pay his taxes or do enterprise in the standard approach, he complained about what was only to be paid to him, and he should not be blamed for segregation and never considered having only a mercenary ( as many carping critics blame and maintain him) when he closes his grievance: "Can we expect the state to be served well when its best friends are used to be treated?" at such occasions, with the identical trustworthy and direct remedy that the citizen owes the state. Information of Fielding Lewis' interest in the weapon producer and his efforts to make sure its profitable operation expresses this to be pointless delight, however a proclamation of a transparent conscience and a wounded coronary heart. Within the autumn of this yr, the well being of Colonel Lewis deteriorated considerably and shortly left for the top nation, after which he "moved into a larger life."

The dying of Colonel Lewis forged a complete duty on the state manufacturing unit. palms on Charles Dick, and that even when the clouds had darkened the horizon and the patriot that he was, he took the burden and crammed his writings of confidence as his identify in this nice reel of the trustworthy state. For some time before this, Mr Dick had thought-about the task as a "leader", however the actual date he was appointed to this publish has not been discovered. Luckily, the state history scholar has to keep such a brief set of his letters

The variety of these paperwork should have been throughout the existence of the guide, and now there are solely about twenty-five, the primary ship date on September 5, 1780, and the last, December 10, 1782. Charles Dick's letters are wealthy not only in the disclosure of arms factories, but in addition in the richness of their declaration of character. They are really business letters, however they don’t seem to be modeled on its trendy offensive doc, which is as "hard as nails" and whose many elements are so efficiently constructed that when the "business sense spot" of the mind touches these jigsaw puzzle items, they bounce into place utterly by masking each character with a particle (if any) that’s in the "operator".

Not so Mr. Dick; what Mr Dick really thought and really felt that Mr. Dick dared to write down. One is conscious of this temporary collection of documents coping with individuals. Completely fearless, trustworthy and trustworthy, very straight, he takes everyone whose faults have been influenced by the viewers; he does not call names that may have been underneath such a fantastic man's dignity, but by telling the details there are not any sharp truths, no try to melt the forgiveness. However his criticism is principally simply. This man should have been in "overall efficiency" in a compact type.

These letters reveal that Mr Dick has made great efforts to avoid any financial help from the state. He collected his private credit score – he gave his word that the state would fulfill his obligation, and he stored a number of males – typically more, typically much less – in his private word and obtained probably the most needed work. The smallest element acquired its most consideration, and the burden of an incredible public obligation gave rise to an inaccurate and had to name on the delegation to draw up some kind of aid technique that might permit him to attract the quantity paid to him as a very inadequate meeting as a result of his identify was omitted from the record of 1782 regulation enforcement businesses (Annex II).

After Dick's remaining letter in December 1782, making strategies for the good work to be accomplished, the Fredericksburg craft group left for existence. Not so, Mr Dick, nevertheless, over the subsequent few years, he’ll fill him in numerous local positions of belief and work together with his citizens to build Fredericksburg. In Might 1783, the Virginia Church adopted a regulation that the weapons manufacturing unit and the general public land of Fredericksburg belonged to sure custodians in order to determine a youth schooling academy.3

Annex 8


[Virginia State Library, Executive Papers January 23, 1781]

Colo Fielding Lewis and Chas Dick have been appointed in 1775 by commissioners to type, set up and run a small arms producer in Fredericksburg without any wage dietary supplements because their issues have been unknown

The primary yr is 1776. effort and a spotlight when making the manufacturing unit on an exceptionally good basis; for which they have been awarded 10 days / day; then as massive as gold or silver in 1776 in money £ 182: 10: zero, though they thought-about it inadequate for their providers they accepted. In 1777 they were given the identical, and because the money had not been given an ideal depreciation, they stated nothing.

The yr 1778 was given to them £ 300, of which the depreciation set by Congress was decreased to only £ 54: 18: zero

The yr 1779 was allowed for £ 1,000, only 43: 0: zero

honesty, most of the people. We find it very troublesome to endure a lot because we’ve not had the facility to commerce with Ourselves. We hope that Honble House will take our service no less than for the past two years and provides us full compensation.

The subscriber, who has been recruited all the time, has only severely offended him.

Chas. Dick


[Virginia State Library, Executive Papers July 1785]


Considering the late agreement with Colo Fielding Lewis in 1776, the home was built by Gun Manufacturing unit Lot in Fredericksburg to receive public weapons. and ammunition, and because they’ve been denied the ultimate answer with this gentleman by eradicating him far from this place someday before his demise, we’ve up to now been unable to get this four (sic) of our work and price We perceive that we are in the proper place. In these circumstances, we hope that we’ve freed the liberty that we at the moment are making effortlessly for our worship council in this example, which we now have greater expectations, as a result of this work started through the former administration, and you might recall a few of the directions given

Because Colo Lewis had completed lots of business in public, we couldn’t suspect that in this case he was duly approved, and with this perception we’re simply committed to the work, however we had typically experienced his actual accuracy by following his treaties, which we thought-about to be pointless as a traditional written treaty cautious, based mostly on a number of circumstances we might not hesitate to say, all the things was accomplished for our elements. That is the case in which we hope that our negligence on the part of our public consultant won’t work now in our prejudices. All of the things needed to unravel your account can nonetheless be determined by the fact that the house is built, you cannot be in doubt; if the charge is considered astonishing, the opinion of this type of business-minded males can be passable, as a result of the fact that the stability for us is decided by the account we’re freely sending in this manner and which we undoubtedly affirm towards the discharge announced by Colo Lewis

We now claim, when seen in their totally different relationships, very totally different impressions when it respects a publication which will appear a bit futile, but with regards to those whose essential help will depend on their own business and workforce (a lot of which is dedicated to its acquisition) It is extremely critical to think about not only those that are immediately , however to each individual who has only a standard sense of benevolence, we are convinced that the overall happiness of the group attracts consideration to the truth that you additionally intend to think about that such persons who’re so intently related to it. Given our assertion, we solely ask for this type of aid, as a result of your excellence thinks that we are right – and that point can not be drawn from publicity points.

Rd Brooke

James Tutt

Fredericksburg 1s July 1785

[Endorsed] His Ambassador to Patrick Henry, Esqr.

Dr Virginia Virginia Mesrs Brooke & Tutt for Building a Gun Manufacturing unit Lot for Fredericksburg in the path of Col Fielding Lewis

1776 Novr

Constructing a stone wall wall

50 pr thousand, which takes 152431 bricks 381: 6: 6

] Two exterior dll doors and doors three: zero: zero

1 staircase and Scantling 3: 0: 0

3951 ft of skylight body lacking

and facilities @ £ 8 thousand 31: 13: 0 [19659002] 7 making a window body @ 7/6 2: 12: 6

128 ft Cornice @ 1/3 8: zero: 0

68-part lighting @ / 9 2: 11: 0

For hanging a suspended roof 9 : 2: 6

Within the 14th field @ 11/7: 14: 0 [19659002] Three pairs of hooks positioned on the wall to hold the doors zero: 18: 0

36,000 ft on the board @ £ 6 21: 12: zero

10,000 cypress cylinders @ 20/10: 0: 0 [19659002] – 11000 8d @ four/13: 4: 0

eight to the window door and hanger @, 5/2: 0: 0 [19659002] To help warehouse and carbon house

Gun manufacturing unit 5:12: 6

6 11 to giant nails 0: 5: 9

7 sq. frame boundary @ 10 / 3:10: zero

Prime flooring Flooring 2: 0: zero

—- ——

£ 508: 1: 9

March 1780 28 Stability pr cona 431: 16: 6 1/4

highlight Do

[Endorsed] Account Brooke & Tutt Statilla e of Virginia

June 1777 24 Colo Lewis Money Paper

@ £ 25 @ 2 ½ 1 10: 0: 0

Aug 6 Do Do Do Do in £ 51 @ 3 1 17: zero: zero

1779 Novr 22 Do Do Do Do 500 € 6 1 33: 6: 8

179 Novr 22 Do Do Do Do 500 € 36 1: 13: 7 at 9 1/4

March 1780 28 by doing by making £ 102 @ 50 1 2: zero: 9 half

Stability due 431: 16: 6 1/four

—- ————-

508: 1: 9

Erros Exd

Rd Brooke,

James Tutt.


[Virginia State Library, Executive Papers February 1781]

9. February 1781

Dr. Sir

I used to be ready for that, Mr. Dick has acquired the money that I contributed to Fredericksburg public Gun-mill, to whom he had a warrant entitles the Ministry of Finance, nobody is a greater decide the loss that I’ve to keep with out getting money than you do, and most of it Already in July, and without such an advance, the mill has needed to stop as a result of the Ministry of Finance didn’t have the money or so little that the business has suffered enormously; I might have suffered from the truth that the manufacturing unit has stopped, I know that the public would have condemned me for that 'I shouldn’t have been responsible because the rationale would have been money. Keep in mind that I needed to borrow all the cash I might use for the state. I feel I promised thirty and forty thousand kilos, of which seven thousand gave the state the whole lot I had at the time. These by means of advances I’ve suffered drastically, and in the mean time I cannot pay my tax collector and proceed its business as typical. I’ve an awesome obligation to send me money for James Maury, who has an choice; Can we hope that the state can serve nicely when used in a fashion greatest buddies, which I’ve mentioned

I Obedt Sr Your Servant,

Fielding Lewis.


Colo George Brooke,

Treasurer of the State of Virginia

—————————— —— ————————

1Hening, XI, 71 and following

2 [none specified in article]

] 3Hening, XI. , 204

History.LibraryPoint.org Editor Word: Extra spaces have been added to make it easier to read. Those that need to get to know the original article are:

"Fredericksburg on Revolutionary Days: Part III"

The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. four (April, 1919), pp. 248-257

Writer: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Article Secure URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/ 1916293