Governor Henry to Colonel William Preston and Colonel William Fleming, 27 March 1778

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Letter text, March 27, 1778

(From Thwaites & Kellogg, “Frontier Defense on the Upper Ohio,” p.240.)
Wmsburgh Mar 27 1778.


As you prefer Kellys for the new post, please to order one hundred men officer’d in the usual Manner to do Duty there in the Way most likely to answer a good purpose, during such time as the safety of the Frontiers shall require. Fifty of these men are to be drawn from Botetourt & the other fifty from Green Bryar. I order the fifty men from Rockbridge to Fort Randolph which you advise. Montgomery need not send any if you judge it best, to that post. Let the men necessary to defend Montgomery be embodied & properly stationed. I send one thousand pounds cash by Mr Neilly to put into the Hands of such commissary as you shall Appoint. He ought to give Bond & Security to account for this or more money which may be given him to conduct that Business.

I send some printed proclamations against the Murderers of the Indians, please to distribute some to the countys [sic] most proper, & send others to the Indians, with whom I ardently wish a Treaty. Will you please to tell me what preparations you judge best to make in order to facilitate this work of peace? For indeed the Injustice of pursing by offensive & vigorous Measures, those whom by our Injustice have been provoked to Hostility, is too striking & shocks me. I am Gentl Yr mo. hnble Servt


To Colos Wm Preston & Fleming

Letter text, March 28, 1778

(From Journal of the Council.)
Saturday March 28. 1778.

His Excellency also wrote a Letter to Colonel George Muter in answer to his several Queries- a Copy of which is filed & ordered to be recorded.

Letter text, March 30, 1778

Monday March 30th 1778.

The Board considering the great vigilance & Success of the British Ships in Capturing the Vessels of Foreigners seeking a Trade with us & the discouragement occasioned by such losses to future adventurers by which means the Public may be deprived of many supplies absolutely necessary for the prosecution of the war, do advise the Governor to direct a convenient number of Pilots to be employed for the Purpose of Conducting into the Ports of this State all Vessels belonging to Foreigners or to the State and as an encouragement to so important a Service to offer besides their daily pay a Premium of four Shillings per Ton for every such Vessel safely brought into Port.

Letter text, March 31, 1778

Tuesday March 31. 1778.

The Governor having received & laid before the Board sundry Letters from General Washington & the Virginia Delegates in Congress representing the present situation & future prospects of the grand army with respect to Provisions in the most alarming colours [sic] & pressing it on the Executive of this State to exert every expedient in their power to provide the necessary Supplies for the ensuing Campaign- The Board do advise him to appoint Mr John Hawkins292 a purchasing Agent for the above purpose with Instructions to engage & forward with the utmost dispatch to the Army as much Beef & Bacon as their Wants may require or he may be able to procure, for altho Mr Hawkins’s Service cannot be had for less than one hundred & sixty six pounds thirteen shillings & four pence per month besides the allowance for such Agents as he may think his Success in the matter requires, yet the Board considering his singular Talents for the Task he is to be employed in are of Opinion that less expence [sic] will in the end be incurred as well as greater Security afforded for the Subsistence of the Army by acceding to his Terms than by entrusting this important business to any other person they can employ.

Mr Hawkins having entered into Bond with Security for the faithful discharge of his office- the Governor granted him three Warrants for two thousand pounds each upon Account.

Letter text, April 1, 1778

Wednesday April 1. 1778

The Governor laid before the Board a Letter which he had prepared to General Washington letting him know of the appointment of Mr Hawkins to purchase Beef & Bacon for the Continental Army, and also informing of his Excellency that he will draw on our Delegates at Congress desiring them to pay to his Excellency or to such Person as he may please to appoint to Act as temporary paymaster for the purpose- thirty thousand Dollars to pay the additional twenty Dollars bounty allowed by this State to the Soldiers who have reinlisted- [sic] a Copy whereof is filed & ordered to be recorded.

Letter text, April 2, 1778

Thursday April 2d. 1778.

The Governor laid before the Board a Letter which he had prepared to the Virginia Delegates in Congress293 informing them of Mr Hawkins’s appointment; and desiring that they would pay to his Excellency General Washington or any Person he may please to direct thirty thousand Dollars for the Purpose of paying to such Soldiers of Virginia regiments as have reinlisted, [sic] the twenty Dollars additional bounty allowed them by this State, the General having, in his Letter of the 19th February last, informed his Excellency that the Method of paying the Additional State bounty, that appears to him most eligible,

is that of sending the Money to Camp, with a temporary paymaster, to be issued on Warrant from him agreeable to muster rolls & abstracts, authenticated in the same manner as practiced in other Cases which Letter being approved of is recorded in the Letter Book.

Letter text, April 3, 1778

Friday April 3d 1778.

The Board being informed that the Divisions of Militia lately called in from the Counties of New Kent & Surry are insufficient to mount the proper Guards- they do advise the Governor to call a Division from Charles City to be relieved once a fortnight.

Letter text, April 4, 1778

Saturday April 4. 1778.

The Governor with the Advice of the Council issued the following Warrants- viz

A Warrant for Sixty four pounds payable to Joseph Lewis De Beaulieu upon account to recruit men sufficient to entitle him to a first Lieutenancy in Captain De Laportes Company of French Troops in the Service of this State (Bond ex’d) also

A Warrant for One hundred & two pounds eight Shillings payable to Captain Laporte upon account to recruit a Second Lieutenants Quota for some person to be hereafter appointed (Bond executed) also

A Warrant for Sixty four pounds payable to Andrea LeBaud on account to recruit an Ensigns Quota for the said Company. (Bond executed) also

A Warrant for Sixty four pounds payable to Peter Duboi upon account to recruit an Ensigns Quota of Men for Captain Carlioans [sic] Company. Bond executed.

Letter text, April 6, 1778

Monday April 6th 1778.

Pursuant to an Act of Assembly intituled [sic] An Act for establishing a high Court of Chancery, the Governor did this day in open Court and in presence of the Council of State, administer the Oaths required by the said Act to be taken by the Judges of the said Court, unto Edmond Pendleton, George Wythe & Robert Carter Nicholas esquires who have been chosen by the Joint Ballot of both Houses of Assembly- and then his Excellency delivered to each his Commission under the seal of the Commonwealth and Signed by him.

Letter text, April 7, 1778

Tuesday April 7th 1778.

A Letter was written by the Governor, with the Advice of the Council, unto Southy Simpson, Isaac Smith, John Burton, & John Harmanson Esquires respecting fortifications to be erected on the Eastern Shore- which Letter is recorded in the Letter Book.

This being the Day appointed for the Officers recruiting for the State Artillery to make returns of their Success therein, and sundry of them having sent in Returns accordingly; from which it appears that the following Gentlemen have made so little progress that Governor & Council are induced to discontinue them from recruiting, & to order that they deliver in to the Commanding Officer here, a List of the Men

by them respectively recruited viz. Peterfield Archer, Robert Boush, William Owens, William Harris, Mills Wills, John Watlingham, George Dudley, Ralph Graves & Jesse Crump. And it is further ordered that the aforesaid Gentlemen do account for the money advanced to them respectively.

The Board being credibly informed that his Excellency General Washington has been unsupplied for some time past with many articles of Living which Custom & the great fatigues to which he is constantly exposed must make necessary to the preservation of his health; and considering that it may be impossible to provide these Articles in the exhausted part of America where the Army is at present fixed, do advise the Governor to direct the Commissary of Stores to procure a Stock of good rum, wine, Sugar & such other Articles as his Excellency may think needful & send them on to head Quarters- to be charged either to the Continent, or to be considered as a present; & the governor is advised to inform them at their next meeting of this proceedings herein.


292 Hawkins had been highly recommended by Jefferson in a letter March 27. The new agent died in a very short time. See infra, Journal of the Council, May 26, 1778.

293 Read in Congress on April 11, and referred to a committee of three, Mr. Lee, Mr. Drayton and Mr. Scudder.