Resolutions of the Convention on the proceedings of Maryland respecting Governour Eden


Friday, May 31, 1776.

The President laid before the Convention two Reports from the Committees of the Counties of Caroline and Spottsylvania, who were directed to inquire into the property of the vessels formerly seized by Captain Taylor, and supposed to be British property; which were read, and ordered to be referred to Mr˙ Blair, Mr˙ Holt, and Mr˙ Randolph, who are to report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

The Orders of the Day, for the Convention to resolve itself into a Committee on the state of the Colony, on the Ordinance for augmenting the Ninth Regiment of Regulars, providing for the better defence of the frontiers of this Colony, and for raising four Troops of Horse, and on the Declaration of Rights, being read,

Ordered, That the same be put off till to-morrow.

An Ordinance to amend an Ordinance entitled An Ordinance for establishing a mode of making Tobacco Payments during the discontinuance of the Inspection Law, was read a second time, and ordered to be committed to Mr˙ Gray, Mr˙ Dandridge, Mr˙ Mercer, and Mr˙ Garland.

The President laid before the Convention a Letter from Major-General Lee, and also a Letter from Brigadier-General Howe; which were read, and ordered to lie on the table.

The President laid before the Convention sundry Proceedings of the Convention of the Province of Maryland, respecting their permission to Governour Eden to depart the said Province unmolested, with his effects, and a Passport for that purpose; together with a copy of an Address to the said Governour, and a Letter from the President of the said Convention to the President of the Committee of Safety here, desiring a like Passport from Virginia; which being read,

Resolved, That this Convention will immediately resolve itself into a Committee on the said Letter, Proceedings, Resolutions, and Address.

The Convention accordingly resolved itself into the said Committee; and after some time spent therein, Mr˙ President resumed the chair, and Mr˙ Cary reported that the Committee had, according to order, had under, their consideration the said Letter, Proceedings, Resolutions, and Address, and had come to the following Resolutions thereupon; which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk' s table, where the same were again twice read, and agreed to:

Resolved, unanimously, That the Committee of Safety be directed to write a Letter to the President of the Convention of Maryland, in answer to his Letter of the 25th inst˙, expressing the deepest concern at the proceedings of that Convention respecting Governour Eden, and our reasons for not becoming accessory thereto, by giving him a passport through this Colony, or the Bay adjoining; that we would with reluctance, in any case, intermeddle in the affairs of a sister Colony, but in this matter we are much interested, and the Convention of Maryland, by sending their proceedings to the Committee of Safety here, have made it the duty of the Convention to declare their sentiments thereon.

That, considering the intercepted Letter from Lord George Germaine to Governour Eden, in which his whole conduct and confidential letters are approved, and he is directed to give facility and assistance to the operations of Lord Dunmore against Virginia, we are at a loss to account for the Council of Safety of Maryland their having neglected to seize him,


according to the recommendation of the General Congress, and more so for the Convention' s having promoted his passage to assist in our destruction, under a pretence of his retiring to England, which, we conceive, from the above letter, he is not at liberty to do; that, supposing he should go to Britain, it appears to us that such voyage, with the address presented to him, will enable him to assume the character of a publick agent, and, by promoting divisions and disunion among the Colonies, produce consequences the most fatal to the American cause; that as the reasons assigned for his departure, "that he must obey the Ministerial mandates while remaining in his Government," are very unsatisfactory, when the Convention declare that in his absence the Government, in its old form, "will devolve on the President of the Council of State," who will be under equal obligations to perform such mandates, we cannot avoid imputing those proceedings to some undue influence of Governour Eden, under the mask of friendship to America, and of the Proprietary interest in Maryland, whereby the Members of that Convention were betrayed into a vote of fatal tendency to the common cause, and we fear to this country in particular, and feel it an indispensable duty to warn the good people of that Province to guard against the Proprietary influence.

Resolved, That the foregoing Resolution be forthwith published in the Virginia Gazette.

Adjourned till to-morrow, ten o' clock.