Memorial of Wilson Miles Cary, Commissioners to rent out the Lands and to sell at publick auction the Slaves and personal estate of Lord Dunmore

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Saturday, June 15, 1776.

Mr˙ Cary, from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, reported that the Committee had, according to order, examined several Certificates of the election of Delegates to serve in this present Convention, and compared the same with the form prescribed by the Ordinance, and 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, That the Certificates of the election of Delegates to serve in this present Convention for the Counties of

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Amelia, King and Queen, Norfolk, and the Borough of Norfolk, are made in the form prescribed by the Ordinance.

Resolved, That the Certificates of the election of Delegates to serve in this present Convention for the Counties of Frederick, Princess Anne, and West-Augusta, are not made in the form prescribed by the Ordinance.

A Memorial of Wilson Miles Cary was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth, that he received a letter from Lord Dunmore, then Governour of this Colony, dated Ship William, off Norfolk, the 14th of October last, requiring him, as Naval Officer of the Lower District of James River, to repair to Norfolk or Portsmouth, and promising him protection; that, on his stating an objection to the said requisition, on account of Captain Squire' s very ungenteel and rancorous behaviour, his Lordship sent another letter, dated ten days after the former, renewing the requisition, and promising protection either to the Memorialist or his Deputy, Colonel Selden, if it should be more agreeable to send him; that, though his own opinion was rather against complying with his Lordship' s commands, yet on the advice of such of his friends as the time limited gave him an opportunity of consulting, and among them some of the officers of the Army and Members of the County Committee, he did send his Deputy aforesaid, with the books of entry and clearance, and for that purpose hired a boat and two slaves of Mr˙ John Jones, who, suspicious of the event, insisted on an indemnification from him, which he readily agreed to, under faith in the assurances contained in the aforesaid letters; notwithstanding which, as soon as Colonel Selden had arrived at Norfolk, the said boat and hands were perfidiously seized and detained by his Lordship, and have never since been returned; and praying that out of such effects of the said Lord Dunmore as are within this Colony he may be allowed to receive an indemnity, in such manner as the Convention shall judge reasonable.

Ordered, That the said Memorial, together with the exhibits, be referred to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances; that they inquire into the allegations thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

A Petition of John Crookshanks was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth, that he boarded many men in Captains Campbell and Clark' s Companies, for which Mr˙ Sniggers would pay him only six-pence per day for each man, by means whereof he is greatly loser, having found them three meals a day; and praying such further allowance as shall be thought just and reasonable.

Also, a Petition of Lucretia Pritchett, Executrix, and William Churchill, Executor of Joseph Pritchett, deceased, setting forth, that in a late attack on a piratical tender in Rappahannock River, Minny, a Negro man slave belonging to the estate of the said Joseph Pritchett, voluntarily entered himself on board a vessel commanded by Mr˙ Hugh Walker, and being used to the water, and a good pilot, bravely and successfully exerted himself against the enemy, until he was unfortunately killed, whereby the estate of the said Joseph Pritchett was deprived of a valuable slave; and praying that the Convention will take the matter into consideration, and, as the said slave was lost by means of a meritorious act, in defence of the country, that she may be allowed the value thereof.

Also, a Petition of Thomas Barnes, setting forth, that he was an Assistant Commissary to Colonel William Inglis on the late expedition against the Indians, and that he received satisfaction for all his services on that account, but that he also assisted the said Inglis in settling the accounts and collecting the country' s horses from the different parts of Fincastle County, and was employed in this service from the 27th of December, 1774, to the 6th of February following, for which he has received no satisfaction; and praying to be allowed what shall be thought just and reasonable.

Ordered, That the said several Petitions be referred to the Committee of Publick Claims; that they inquire into the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

A Petition of James Johnson was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth, that he was appointed a Captain to recruit a Company of Minute-men in the County of Lunenburgh, and, being greatly desirous to expedite the same, he spared neither labour nor activity, but found it

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necessary to be at some little expenses in treating the men, which he hopes the Convention will allow.

The question being put, that the said Petition be referred to a Committee, it passed in the negative.

Ordered, That the said Petition be rejected.

A Petition of sundry Inhabitants of the Parish of Stratton Major, in the County of King and Queen, was presented to the Convention, and read, praying that the Vestry of the said Parish may be dissolved, and a new one chosen.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances; that they inquire into the allegations thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in an Ordinance to amend an Ordinance entitled An Ordinance for augmenting the Ninth Regiment of Regular forces, providing for the better defence of the frontiers of this Colony, and for raising six Troops of Horse; and that Mr˙ Archibald Cary, Mr˙ Bowyer, and Mr˙ Dandridge, do prepare and bring in the same.

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in an Ordinance to amend an Ordinance entitled An Ordinance for prescribing a mode of punishment for the enemies of Americain this Colony; and that Mr˙ Henry, Mr˙ Edmund Randolph, and Mr˙ Henry Lee, do prepare and bring in the same.

A Petition of Joseph Boot was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth, that being a soldier and artificer in the late war, he received several wounds in the service of his country, which render it difficult for him, in the decline of life, to gain a support; and praying his case may be inquired into, and such relief granted him as shall be thought just.

Also, a Petition of George Becket, setting forth that he was a soldier in Captain Lee' s Company, and by an overstrain in lifting some pieces of wood for the use of the said Company, he received a hurt, which renders him incapable of walking; and, being advanced to the age of fifty-three years, he has little hopes of recovering his strength so as to be able to go through the fatigues of a campaign; and praying that some provision may be made for him.

Also, a Petition of Peter Wilson, setting forth that he served in the Militia in the County of Augusta, from 19th of June to the 31st of August, 1774, under the command of Captain John Lewis; that he then inlisted himself under the said Captain to serve in the expedition against the Shawanese, and was not discharged before the 15th November following, for which time he hath not been paid, owing to an oversight in Captain Lewis, in not returning him on his pay-roll; and praying that justice may be done him on the said account.

Also, a Petition of Champion Travis, setting forth that his dwelling-house, and offices thereunto belonging, in the Town of Jamestown, for many months past have been, and now are, occupied and appropriated by a detachment from the Virginia Army, as Guard-Houses; that, though they were taken for this purpose without his knowledge or privity, no satisfaction was expected for the use of them, nor would any now have been expected, had not the soldiery stationed there spoiled or destroyed a great part of his said property; and praying such relief as shall be thought just and reasonable.

Ordered, That the said several Petitions be referred to the Committee of Publick Claims; that they inquire into the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

Mr˙ Henry, from the Committee of Propositions and Grievances, reported, that the Committee had, according to order, had under their consideration the Petitions of sundry Inhabitants of the Counties of Amelia, Caroline, Chesterfield, Lunenburgh, and Mecklenburgh, praying that so much of the Ordinance as exempts Overseers from serving in the Militia may be repealed; and had come to the following Resolution thereupon; which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk' s table, where the same was again twice read, and agreed to:

Resolved, That the said Petitions are reasonable.

Mr˙ Henry, from the Committee of Propositions and Grievances, reported, that the Committee had, according to order, had under their consideration the Petition of sundry Inhabitants

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of the County of Chesterfield, to them referred, praying that they may not be obliged to attend musters so often as once a fortnight; and that they had come to the following Resolution thereupon; which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk' s table, where the same was again twice read, and agreed to:

Resolved, That the said Petition is reasonable.

Ordered, That the Committee of Propositions and Grievances do prepare and bring in an Ordinance to amend an Ordinance intituled An Ordinance for raising and imbodying a sufficient force for the defence and protection of this Colony, pursuant to the said Resolutions; and that they receive a clause, or clauses, to repeal so much of the said Ordinance as gives a jurisdiction to the Court of Hustings in the City of Williamsburgh to adjudge all penalties to be inflicted under the same on the Officers and Soldiers in the said City, either for neglect of duty, or misbehaviour in any respect whatever, and for permitting Courts-Martial to be held in the said City, in the same manner, and by the same Officers, as they are held in Counties; and also for returning into the body of Militia the remainder of the Minute Company in the said City; and that they also receive, a clause, or clauses, to compel Millers on the Eastern-Shore to attend musters.

Mr˙ Henry, from the Committee of Propositions and Grievances, reported, that the Committee had, according to order, had under their consideration the Petition of John Ballendine, to them referred, praying that he might be allowed the difference between 2s˙ 6d˙ per pound for a quantity of Gunpowder he sold to the Committees of several Counties and the price he is now obliged to give to replace the like quantity; and had come to the following Resolution thereupon, which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk' s table, where the same was again twice read, and agreed to:

Resolved, That the said Petition be rejected.

Mr˙ Starke, from the Committee appointed to inquire for a proper Hospital for the reception and accommodation of the sick and wounded soldiers, reported, that the Committee had accordingly made the said inquiry, and that at the instance of the Committee, Dr˙ William Rickman, lately appointed by the General Congress to be Physician and Director-General to the Continental Hospital, accompanied them to the College, Palace, and other places, and he advised that, though the College has room enough for the purpose of an Hospital, yet, by reason of the many partitions therein, it will not admit of that thorough passage of air so absolutely necessary for invalids; that the College has, at a very considerable expense, been lately repaired, white-washed, and thoroughly cleaned, for the reception of scholars, who are expected to return to their studies on Monday next, at which time the vacation ceases; that there are a large and valuable library and apparatus in it, which might probably be damaged in the removal, perhaps totally ruined; that several young gentlemen in the country have been accustomed to receive maintenance and education there as scholars on certain foundations established by different benefactors. That it also appeared, from examination of the Palace, and the opinion of Dr˙ Rickman, that it is adapted in all respects, without any alterations of consequence, for an Hospital, whether considered as to size, situation, plan, or necessary offices; that, added to this, there stands a publick building in the centre of the park, which may be taken as an appendage to the Hospital, whither persons labouring under epidemical or infectious disorders may be removed, and the diseases thereby prevented from spreading. That the following private houses within the City of Williamsburgh may be purchased, to wit: Dr˙ James Carter' s, which is but small, yet has many convenient buildings, which might be applied also to the purpose of Hospitals, and the whole may be procured for the sum £1,000; Mr˙ James Hubard' s, which does not contain many rooms, but they are commodious and airy, and may be had for the sum of about £1,200, which, with the repairs lately made, it cost him, with the privilege reserved him of repurchasing on the same terms, and in the same condition, if at the end of the present troubles the pub-lick should be inclined to sell it; also Mr˙ John Hatley Norton' s, which is airy and pleasant, but the outhouses are few in number, and not in good repair; this may be had for £1,300, and that it appears to them that no one of the three private houses above-mentioned would singly be sufficient

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for the said purpose, though all of them together might; but adopting that method would necessarily enhance the expense, as an additional number of Surgeons, Surgeons' Mates, Nurses, Matrons, and other assistants, would be unavoidable. And that they had come to the following Resolution thereupon; which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk' s table, where the same was again twice read, and agreed to:

Resolved, That the Palace, and as many of the outbuildings as may be necessary for the purpose, be appropriated for a publick Hospital, and that the Physician and Director-General be informed thereof.

Ordered, That Thomas Everard, Robert Prentis, Edmund Randolph, John Blair, and James Cocke, Gentlemen, be, and they are hereby, appointed Commissioners to rent out the Lands, and to sell at publick auction the Slaves and personal Estate of Lord Dunmore, at or in the neighbourhood of the City of Williamsburgh, on twelve months' credit, taking bond, with sufficient security; that Robert Rutherford, William Drew, Samuel Washington, James Wood, and William Booth, Gentlemen, or any two of them, be appointed Commissioners, in like manner, to sell and rent respectively his Estate in the County of Berkeley; that Abraham Hite, John Neaville, and James Innes, Gentlemen, or any two of them, be appointed Commissioners, in like manner, to sell and rent respectively his Estate in the County of Hampshire; and that the Commissioners aforesaid do pay the money thence arising into the publick Treasury, there to remain till the further order of the Convention.