May 7, Committee of Privileges and Elections to examine persons committed on suspicion of being inimical to the rights and liberties of America, Leave given to bring in an Ordinance to encourage the making of Salt, Saltpetre, and Gunpowder


Tuesday, May 7, 1776.

Resolved, That the Committee of Privileges and Elections be empowered to examine into the conduct of such persons as are or may be taken up or committed for being inimical to the rights and liberties of America; that they state their several cases, and report the same, together with their opinion thereupon, to this Convention.

A Petition of William Criddle was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth, that he inlisted as a common soldier in Captain John Markham' s Company of Regulars; and when on duty in the Town of Norfolk, in the month of January last, his right arm was unfortunately taken off by a cannon-ball, whereby he is rendered totally incapable of serving longer, or acquiring a support in future; and praying such relief as shall be thought just and reasonable.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to Mr˙ Carrington, Mr˙ Read, Mr˙ Archibald Cary, Mr˙ Richard Lee, Mr˙ Digges, and Mr˙ Nelson; and they are to report the same, together with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

Resolved, That this Convention will, on Friday next, resolve itself into a Committee, to take into their consideration the state of the Colony.

A Petition from the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the County of Chesterfield, was presented to the Convention,and read; setting forth, that a small part of the Ordinance for the better regulation of the Militia, whereby they are required to attend muster once a fortnight, proves a little burdensome, especially on the poorer sort, who have not a slave to labour for them; that they acknowledge the wisdom of the Convention, in the regulation aforesaid, at the time the same was made; but that, having now learned the most essential parts of the military exercise, and having an Army regularly trained, which will be able, under God, to withstand any invasion that may be made till they could join them, they conceive the necessity of calling them so frequently from their homes doth not exist; that they promise cheerfully to join in defence of their just rights whenever the same may be necessary.

Ordered, That the said Petition do lie on the table.

Ordered, That the several Sheriffs do pay into the hands of the Treasurer all the Money due from them for Quit-Rents, to be by him safely kept till the further order of the Convention.

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in an Ordinance to encourage the making of Salt, Saltpetre, and Gunpowder; and that Mr˙ Treasurer, Mr˙ Archibald Gary, Mr˙ Henry, Mr˙ Henry Lee, Mr˙ Mercer, Mr˙ Travis, Mr˙ Nelson, Mr˙ Thomas Lewis, Mr˙ McDowell, Mr˙ Terry, Mr˙ Campbell, Mr˙ Lockhart, Mr˙ Gilmer, Mr˙ Charles Lewis, Mr˙ Read, and Mr˙ Watkins, do prepare and bring in the same.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Banister, Mr˙ Starke, Mr˙ Bullitt, Mr˙ Poythress, Mr˙ Wilson M˙ Gary, Mr˙ Randolph, and Mr˙ Read, be added to the Committee of Privileges and Elections.

Ordered, That the Committee of Safety do lay before the Convention the Secretary of State' s intercepted Letters to Governour Eden, of Maryland, and also the Act of Parliament enclosed therein.

The President laid before the Convention an intercepted Letter from Ralph Wormeley, Jun˙, Esq˙, to John Grymes, with the Resolution of the Committee of Safety thereupon; also a Recognizance entered into by the said Ralph Wormeley, taken for his appearance before the Convention when thereto required; which being read,

Ordered, That the said Ralph Wormeley be sent for in custody, under a strong guard.

Adjourned till to-morrow, ten o' clock.