May 6, Convention met at Williamsburgh, List of the Delegates present, Edmund Pendleton elected President, His Address to ' the Convention



At a Convention of Delegates from the Counties and Corporations in the Colony of Virginia, held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburgh, on Monday, the 6th of May, in the year of our Lord 1776; Present:

FOR ACCOMACK: Southey Simpson and Issac Smith, Esqs.

FOR ALBEMARLE: Charles Lewis, Esq˙, and George Gilmer for Thomas Jefferson, Esquire.

FOR AMELIA: John Tabb and John Winn. Esquires.

FOR AUGUSTA: Thomas Lewis and Samuel McDowell, Esqs.

FOR WEST-AUGUSTA: John Harvie and Charles Simms, Esquires.

FOR AMHERST: William Cabell and Gabriel Penn, Esqs.

FOR BEDFORD: John Talbot and Charles Lynch, Esqs.

FOR BOTETOURT: John Bowyer and Patrick Lockhart, Esquires.

FOR BRUNSWICK: Frederick Maclin and Henry Tazewell, Esquires.

FOR BUCKINGHAM: Charles Patteson and John Cabell, Esquires.

FOR BERKELEY: Robert Rutherford and William Drew, Esquires.

FOR CAROLINE: The Hon˙ Edmund Pendleton and James Taylor, Esquires.

FOR CHARLES CITY: William Acrill, Esquire, and Samuel Harwood, Esquire, for Benjamin Harrison, Esquire.

FOR CHARLOTTE: Paul Carrington and Thomas Read, Esquires.

FOR CHESTERFIELD: Archibald Cary and Benjamin Watkins, Esquires.

FOR CULPEPPER: Henry Field and French Strother, Esqs.

FOR CUMBERLAND: John Mayo and William Fleming, Esqs.

FOR DINWIDDIE: John Banister and Bolling Starke, Esqs.

FOR DUNMORE: Abraham Bird and John Tipton, Esqs.

FOR ELIZABETH CITY: Wilson Miles Cary and Henry King, Esquires.

FOR ESSEX: Meriwether Smith and James Edmondson, Esquires.

FOR FAIRFAX: John West, Jun˙, and George Mason, Esqs.

FOR FAUQUIER: Martin Pickett and James Scott, Esqs.

FOR FREDERICK: James Wood and Isaac Zane, Esqs.

FOR FINCASTLE: Arthur Campbell and William Russell, Esquires.

FOR GLOUCESTER: Thomas Whiting and Lewis Burwell, Esquires.

FOR GOOCHLAND: John Woodson and Thomas M˙ Randolph, Esquires.

FOR HALIFAX: Nathaniel Terry and Micajah Watkins, Esquires.

FOR HAMPSHIRE: James Mercer and Abraham Hite, Esqs.

FOR HANOVER: Patrick Henry and John Syme, Esquires.

FOR HENRICO: Nathaniel Wilkinson and Richard Adams, Esquires.

FOR JAMES CITY: Robert C˙ Nicholas and William Norvell, Esquires.

FOR ISLE-OF-WIGHT: John S˙ Wills and Charles Fulgham, Esquires.

FOR KING GEORGE: Joseph Jones and William Fitzhugh, Esquires.

FOR KING AND QUEEN: George Brooke and William Lyne, Esquires.


FOR KING WILLIAM: William Aylett and Richard Squire Taylor, Esquires.

FOR LANCASTER: James Selden and James Gordon, Esqs.

FOR LOUDOUN: Francis Peyton and Josias Clapham, Esqs.

FOR LOUISA: George Meriwether and Thomas Johnson, Esquires.

FOR LUNENBURGH: David Garland and Lodowick Farmer, Esquires.

FOR MIDDLESEX: Edmund Berkeley and James Montague, Esquires.

FOR MECKLENBURGH: Joseph Speed and Bennett Goode, Esquires.

FOR NANSEMOND: Willis Riddick and William Cowper, Esquires.

FOR NEW-KENT: William Clayton and Bartholomew Dandridge, Esquires.

FOR NORFOLK: James Holt and Thomas Newton, Esqs.

FOR NORTHUMBERLAND: Rodham Kenner and John Cralle, Esquires.

FOR NORTHAMPTON: Nathaniel L˙ Savage and George Savage, Esquires.

FOR ORANGE: James Madison and William Moore, Esqs.

FOR PITTSYLVANIA: Benjamin Lankford and Robert Williams, Esquires.

FOR PRINCE EDWARD: William Watts and William Booker, Esquires.

FOR PRINCE GEORGE: Richard Bland and Peter Poythress, Esquires.

FOR PRINCESS ANNE: William Robinson and John Thoroughgood, Esquires.

FOR PRINCE WILLIAM: Cuthbert Bullitt and Henry Lee, Esquires.

FOR RICHMOND: Hudson Muse and Charles McCarty, Esquires.

FOR SOUTHAMPTON: Edwin Gray and Henry Taylor, Esqs.

FOR SPOTTSYLVANIA: Mann Page and George Thornton, Esquires.

FOR STAFFORD: Thomas Ludwell Lee and William Brent, Esquires.

FOR SURRY: Allen Cocke and Nicholas Faulcon, Esquires.

FOR SUSSEX: David Mason and Henry Gee, Esquires.

FOR WARWICK: William Harwood and Richard Cary, Esquires.

FOR WESTMORELAND: Richard Lee, Esq˙, Richard Henry Lee, Esquire, and John A˙ Washington, Esquire.

FOR YORK: Dudley Digges, Esq˙, Thomas Nelson, Jun˙, Esquire, and William Digges, Esquire.

FOR JAMESTOWN: Champion Travis, Esquire.

FOR WILLIAMSBUHGH: Edmund Randolph, Esq˙, for George Wythe, Esquire.

FOR NORFOLK BOROUGH: William Roscow Wilson Curle, Esquire.

FOR College of WILLIAM AND MARY: John Blair, Esq.

On a motion made,

Ordered, That Mr˙ John Tazewell be appointed Clerk to this Convention.

Richard Bland, Esquire, a Delegate for the County of Prince George, reminded the Convention of the necessity of proceeding to the choice of a President, and recommended Edmund Pendleton, Esq˙, who had already executed that important trust, and had given undeniable proofs of his abilities


and integrity. He was seconded by Archibald Cary, Esq˙, a Delegate for the County of Chesterfield. Thomas Johnson, Esq˙, a Delegate for the County of Louisa, then recommended Thomas Ludwell Lee, Esq˙, as a proper person to fill that office, and was seconded by Bartholomew Dandridge, Esq˙, a Delegate for the County of New-Kent. And on the question being put by the Clerk, the said Edmund Pendleton was elected President, and conducted to the Chair, from whence he addressed himself to the Convention in the following manner:

"GENTLEMEN: Be pleased to accept my sincere thanks for the honour done me in your election to this high and important office, which I esteem the more, as it affords a publick testimony that my former endeavours for the proper discharge of that trust have not been unacceptable to my country. I beg leave to assure you of my unremitted attention to the arduous duties of my appointment, which I will endeavour to execute with the utmost impartiality; and, conscious of my want of abilities, I shall rely with confidence on your candour to make the most favourable interpretation of all my actions.

"We are now met in General Convention according to the ordinance for our election, at a time truly critical, when subjects of the most important and interesting nature require our serious attention.

"The administration of justice, and almost all the powers of Government, have now been suspended for near two years. It will become us to reflect whether we can longer sustain the great struggle we are making in this situation; and the case of criminals confined and not tried, and others who may be apprehended pursuant to our laws, deserves particular notice.

"Our Military and Naval arrangements, as well as the funds for supporting them, will call for our revision; and the ordinance prescribing a mode of punishment for the enemies of America in this Colony, being very defective, will require amendment.

"There are some articles more immediately necessary for our people, particularly salt, which it may be wise to encourage the production and manufacture, either by increased bounties, or erecting publick works, as shall be judged most effectual to that end.

"Several resolutions of Congress, and letters from our Delegates on these and other subjects, I am directed by the Committee of Safety to lay before you, together with several petitions they have received, on which it was not within their powers to determine.

"In the discussion of these, and all other subjects which may come under our consideration, permit me to recommend calmness, unanimity, and diligence, as the most likely means of bringing them to a happy and prosperous issue."