Governor Henry to George Wythe, Speaker of the House of Delegates, 27 May 1777

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In this letter, Governor Patrick Henry writes to George Wythe, Speaker of the House of Delegates, regarding ratifying a peace treaty with the Cherokee nation:[1]

Letter text, May 27, 1777

Page 153

(From the Virginia State Archives.)
In Council Wmsburg May 27,


The Board of Council being under great Difficulty in carrying into execution the Resolution of the last Assembly for removing out of the Country certain natives of Great Britain in the said Resolution described they find themselves under the Necessity of Communicating the matter to the General Assembly as the occasion may in their judgement require. Without loss of time I issued my proclamation limiting a time for such Persons as were the objects of a Resolution to depart this State. A number of Gentn (chiefly Scots) procured a Ship called the Albion for transporting themselves to Great Britain. Bet as a good Deal of Delay was unavoidable in fitting out the Ship the Board occasionally protracted the Time allowed these persons to leave the

Page 154

Country & it is only of late that the Ship could be got in Readiness to come round from South Quay (where she lay) thro Chesapeake Bay to James River.

But unfortunately in making the attempt she has fallen into the Hands of the Enemy and the Board conceive it to be totally impracticable at this Time to send them out in our own vessels which yet is the only alternative provided by the Resolution unless it be to treat those Gentlemen as prisoners of War, but this after the endeavours [sic] they have manifested and the expence [sic] they have incurred to comply with the Intentions of the General Assembly might be thought hard.

[sic] The intended Passengers have suggested to the Council board a possibility of their getting on board the Albion where she now lies with their provisions & Baggage and proceeding on their intended voyage if they were permitted so to do but whether such a method would be proper in case it should be found practicable appears doubtful.

I have only to add Sir that a large number of the above Persons are now at Sleepy Hole in the Cty of Nansemond where they went in order to embark and where they are directed by the Board to remain till further orders.

With great Regard I have the Honor to be Sir

Yr mo. obt & very
Hble. Servt

The honble [sic]

George Wythe Esqr

Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Governor’s Letter May 27, 1777

Respect natives of Great Britain.

See also


  1. Governor Henry to George Wythe, Speaker of the House of Delegates, 27 May 1777, in Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia, vol. 1, The Letters of Patrick Henry, ed. H. R. McIlwaine (Richmond: Superintendent of Public Printing, 1926), 153-154.