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{{DISPLAYTITLE: "George Wythe the Colonial Briton: A Biographical Study of the Pre-Revolutionary Era in Virginia"}}
 
{{DISPLAYTITLE: "George Wythe the Colonial Briton: A Biographical Study of the Pre-Revolutionary Era in Virginia"}}
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===by William Edwin Hemphill===
 
[[File:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937Title.jpg|thumb|right|500px|Title page from Hemphill's 1937 doctoral dissertation, "[[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937.pdf|George Wythe the Colonial Briton: A Biographical Study of the Pre-Revolutionary Era in Virginia]]" (18MB PDF).]]
 
[[File:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937Title.jpg|thumb|right|500px|Title page from Hemphill's 1937 doctoral dissertation, "[[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937.pdf|George Wythe the Colonial Briton: A Biographical Study of the Pre-Revolutionary Era in Virginia]]" (18MB PDF).]]
"[[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937.pdf|George Wythe the Colonial Briton]]" is a 1937 dissertation by [[William Edwin Hemphill|W. Edwin Hemphill]] (1912 &ndash; 1983), for a doctoral degree from the [http://www.virginia.edu/ University of Virginia].<ref>William Edwin Hemphill, "George Wythe the Colonial Briton: A Biographical Study of the Pre-Revolutionary Era in Virginia," PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1937. Used with permission.</ref> Hemphill was an archivist, historian, and editor, and contributed greatly to [[George Wythe]] scholarship, among his other historical pursuits. In 1933, he received a M.A. from [http://www.emory.edu/ Emory University,] with a [[George Wythe, America's First Law Professor|thesis also on George Wythe]]."<ref>Hemphill, "[[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheAmericasFirstLawProfessor1933.pdf|George Wythe: America's First Law Professor and the Teacher of Jefferson, Marshall and Clay]]," master's thesis, Emory University, 1933.</ref>
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"[[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937.pdf|George Wythe the Colonial Briton]]" is a 1937 dissertation by [[W. Edwin Hemphill]] (1912 &ndash; 1983), for a doctoral degree from the [http://www.virginia.edu/ University of Virginia].<ref>William Edwin Hemphill, "George Wythe the Colonial Briton: A Biographical Study of the Pre-Revolutionary Era in Virginia," PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1937. Used with permission.</ref> Hemphill was an archivist, historian, and editor, and contributed greatly to [[George Wythe]] scholarship, among his other historical pursuits. In 1933, he received a M.A. from [http://www.emory.edu/ Emory University,] with a [[George Wythe, America's First Law Professor|thesis also on George Wythe]]."<ref>Hemphill, "[[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheAmericasFirstLawProfessor1933.pdf|George Wythe: America's First Law Professor and the Teacher of Jefferson, Marshall and Clay]]," master's thesis, Emory University, 1933.</ref>
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Hemphill states in his preface that he had originally intended to write a full biography of Wythe's life, but due to a "superabundance" of available material, was forced to limit himself to the first fifty years. The dissertation traces Wythe's movements and career through documentary evidence, court records and letters, from his early life and self-education as a country lawyer, to his election to the House of Burgesses of Virginia and opposition to the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]], and finally his appointment as Clerk of the House on the eve of the [[wikipedia:American Revolution|American Revolution]]. The dissertation is presented here with permission, in its entirety:<ref>A note on the hypertext: Hemphill's original dissertation was typewritten, and his ''sic erat scriptum'' notes for errors in transcribed works will appear underlined, as "[<u>sic</u>]". Notes made for the Wythepedia transcription of the original typescript appear in italics, thusly: "[''sic'']".</ref>
  
Hemphill traces Wythe's life and career through documentary evidence, court records and letters, from his early life and self-education as a country lawyer, to his election to the House of Burgesses of Virginia and opposition to the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act|Stamp Act]], and finally his appointment as Clerk of the House on the eve of the [[wikipedia:American Revolution|American Revolution]]. The dissertation is presented here with permission, in its entirety:<ref>A note on the hypertext: Hemphill's original dissertation was typewritten, and his ''sic erat scriptum'' notes for errors in transcribed works will appear underlined, as "[<u>sic</u>]". Notes made for the Wythepedia transcription of the original typescript appear in italics, thusly: "[''sic'']".</ref>
 
__NOTOC__
 
 
===Full text===
 
===Full text===
 
*[[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937.pdf|PDF]] (18MB)
 
*[[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937.pdf|PDF]] (18MB)
* MS Word
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*[[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937.docx|MS Word]] (13MB)
 
<br />
 
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The story of the research by which a historical study was pursued and produced is often more captivating than the the written product of the investigation. It might perhaps be deemed so of this treatise, were I to relate step by step half the recollections of the more pleasant, humorous, accidental, and miraculous episodes which I have experienced in this effort to discover and piece together the events of the first fifty years in the life of George Wythe (1726-1806).
 
The story of the research by which a historical study was pursued and produced is often more captivating than the the written product of the investigation. It might perhaps be deemed so of this treatise, were I to relate step by step half the recollections of the more pleasant, humorous, accidental, and miraculous episodes which I have experienced in this effort to discover and piece together the events of the first fifty years in the life of George Wythe (1726-1806).
  
This dissertation had a remote and unwitting origin six full years ago. In the spring of 1931 Mr. Frank L. Jones, of New York City, Vice-President of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, sponsored among Hampden-Sydney College students an essay contest on Wythe. During the course of preparing for that competition a rather puerile paper, which contained not a single original fact or thought, it occurred to me that George Wythe had a good a claim as any of his contemporaries in the golden age of Virginia leadership to the title of the "Forgotten Man". That idea &mdash; itself little more original than the research which was its spawning-ground &mdash; has undergone no material amendment despite its more recent subjection to critical comparative examination. I still believe the thought centered upon Wythe by his score of biographical homilists and by the public to be far from commensurate with the nobility of his character and the value of his contributions to American institutions.
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This dissertation had a remote and unwitting origin six full years ago. In the spring of 1931 Mr. Frank L. Jones, of New York City, Vice-President of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, sponsored among Hampden-Sydney College students an essay contest on Wythe. During the course of preparing for that competition a rather puerile paper, which contained not a single original fact or thought, it occurred to me that George Wythe had as good a claim as any of his contemporaries in the golden age of Virginia leadership to the title of the "Forgotten Man". That idea &mdash; itself little more original than the research which was its spawning-ground &mdash; has undergone no material amendment despite its more recent subjection to critical comparative examination. I still believe the thought centered upon Wythe by his score of biographical homilists and by the public to be far from commensurate with the nobility of his character and the value of his contributions to American institutions.
  
 
The research requirements for a master's degree and the willingness of my history professors at Emory University to sanction a more thorough exploration of the subject which had become my primary intellectual interest combined to promote another excursion in the Wythe field. The tangible result was a thesis on portions of Wythe's influence as an educator, written in the spring of 1933 under the descriptive title "[[George Wythe, America's First Law Professor|George Wythe, America's First Law Professor and the Teacher of Jefferson, Marshall, and Clay]]". Since that study Wythe has never really been relegated to the back of my mind, though other academic hurdles and various employments which were professionally and financially welcome necessarily forestalled undivided attention to him during all but about ten months of the past four years.
 
The research requirements for a master's degree and the willingness of my history professors at Emory University to sanction a more thorough exploration of the subject which had become my primary intellectual interest combined to promote another excursion in the Wythe field. The tangible result was a thesis on portions of Wythe's influence as an educator, written in the spring of 1933 under the descriptive title "[[George Wythe, America's First Law Professor|George Wythe, America's First Law Professor and the Teacher of Jefferson, Marshall, and Clay]]". Since that study Wythe has never really been relegated to the back of my mind, though other academic hurdles and various employments which were professionally and financially welcome necessarily forestalled undivided attention to him during all but about ten months of the past four years.
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It is, therefore, a portrayal of the first fifty years in the career of George Wythe. Within that scope the story is virtually all-inclusive. I am aware of having deliberately omitted only one available fact of that period about him. I have gathered in scattered places a surprisingly large collection of his correspondence and private papers, aggregating somewhat more than eighty items. Every one of these which concerns his half century of allegiance to England is herein reproduced, an overwhelming majority of them for the first time. Nevertheless, despite the new lights which they throw upon the man, I have found myself so dependent upon the testimony of other witnesses that Wythe is to be seen in these pages more as he seemed to others than as he appeared to himself.
 
It is, therefore, a portrayal of the first fifty years in the career of George Wythe. Within that scope the story is virtually all-inclusive. I am aware of having deliberately omitted only one available fact of that period about him. I have gathered in scattered places a surprisingly large collection of his correspondence and private papers, aggregating somewhat more than eighty items. Every one of these which concerns his half century of allegiance to England is herein reproduced, an overwhelming majority of them for the first time. Nevertheless, despite the new lights which they throw upon the man, I have found myself so dependent upon the testimony of other witnesses that Wythe is to be seen in these pages more as he seemed to others than as he appeared to himself.
  
The complete biography remains something less than halftold. By measurements in bulk, approximately forty per cent of my notes have been utilized. More information is at hand to depict Wythe's career as a progressive American republican in his last thirty years than can be mustered to chronicle his role as a loyal Briton in the half century ending in 1775; and, as one would naturally suppose, the events of the latter half of his six decades in the public eye exceed in significance those of the earlier half. The crowning aspects of his services reached their climaxes after 1775. At that date he stood upon the threshold of his highest attainments in politics and statecraft; his developments as a pioneering teacher was yet to reach its zenith in his law classes at William and Mary College; and his long judicial duties had not even begun. In only one respect is this study note merely partial. Wythe's entire experience as an attorney at law falls within my chronological boundaries.
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The complete biography remains something less than halftold. By measurement in bulk, approximately forty per cent of my notes have been utilized. More information is at hand to depict Wythe's career as a progressive American republican in his last thirty years than can be mustered to chronicle his role as a loyal Briton in the half century ending in 1775; and, as one would naturally suppose, the events of the latter half of his six decades in the public eye exceed in significance those of the earlier half. The crowning aspects of his services reached their climaxes after 1775. At that date he stood upon the threshold of his highest attainments in politics and statecraft; his developments as a pioneering teacher was yet to reach its zenith in his law classes at William and Mary College; and his long judicial duties had not even begun. In only one respect is this study not merely partial. Wythe's entire experience as an attorney at law falls within my chronological boundaries.
  
 
I hope at some indefinite time in the future, if unpredictable circumstances permit, to revise this presentation of the morn of Wythe's life and to continue the narrative through his noon and twilight.
 
I hope at some indefinite time in the future, if unpredictable circumstances permit, to revise this presentation of the morn of Wythe's life and to continue the narrative through his noon and twilight.
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The first two divisions of my bibliography list materials of value in probing the whole of Wythe's life; its remaining sections are a catalogue of only those sources which were used in the present connection.
 
The first two divisions of my bibliography list materials of value in probing the whole of Wythe's life; its remaining sections are a catalogue of only those sources which were used in the present connection.
  
Acknowledgements to those who have signally aided me in one way or another are promoted by sincere gratitude. For the benefits of discussion and encouragement I am indebted particularly to four of the six living authors of published biographical sketches of Wythe: Dr. S. C. Mitchell, Professor of History in the University of Richmond; Dr. D. R. Anderson, President of Wesleyan College; Dr. Theodore S. Cox, Dean of the Marshall-Wythe School of Government and Citizenship in William and Mary College; and Mr. Allan D. Jones, of the Newport News bar. Mr. Oscar L. Shewmake, of the Richmond bar, who has delved deeply in Wythe lore without publishing his findings, gave me similarly the advantages of his conversation. I am indebted to Mrs. George Bryan, of Richmond, for a copy of the address made by her husband at the cornerstone ceremonies of the Wythe school building in that city. Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin, rector of the Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, father of the restoration first of the Wythe House there, then of all Williamsburg, was an invaluable counselor. Mrs. George P. Coleman, of Williamsburg, graciously gave me access to her extensive manuscripts of the Tucker family. Mr. David J. Mays, of the Richmond bar, shared with me a few items from his large collection of materials of Edmund Pendleton and John Taylor of Caroline. Among custodians of public depositories I am obligated for various favors especially to Mrs. Helen Bullock, Archivist Department of Research and Education, Colonial Williamsburg, Inc.; Dr. E. G. Swem, Librarian of William and Mary College; Dr. Julian P. Boyd, of the Pennsylvania Historical Society; Mr. Wilmer L. Hall, Librarian of the Virginia State Library; Dr. Max Farrand, Director of Research, Henry E. Huntingdon Library and Art Gallery; and Mr. Harry Clemons, Librarian of the University of Virginia. The Rosenbach Co., through Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach in the New York office and Mr. Percy E. Lawler in its Philadelphia office, permitted me to transcribe the Wythe letters and documents in its possession; and the Thomas F. Madigan Co., through Mrs. Madigan in the New York office, granted leave to refer to one of its documents which contained Wythe's autograph. Dr. W. A. Montgomery, Professor of Latin in the University of Virginia, rendered help in the translation of the non-legal Latin quotations. To Mr. Frank L. Jones, Prof. Freeman H. Hart, of Hampden-Sydney College, and Mr. John L. Bruner, of the <u>Richmond News Leader</u>, I have been constantly grateful in my work on Wythe for an interest which six years has not decreased. Finally, I have many reasons to value the occasional guidance of Dr. T. P. Abernathy, under whose direction I have made this study. To it each of these friends has made some unique and appreciated contribution.
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Acknowledgements to those who have signally aided me in one way or another are prompted by sincere gratitude. For the benefits of discussion and encouragement I am indebted particularly to four of the six living authors of published biographical sketches of Wythe: Dr. S. C. Mitchell, Professor of History in the University of Richmond; Dr. D. R. Anderson, President of Wesleyan College; Dr. Theodore S. Cox, Dean of the Marshall-Wythe School of Government and Citizenship in William and Mary College; and Mr. Allan D. Jones, of the Newport News bar. Mr. Oscar L. Shewmake, of the Richmond bar, who has delved deeply in Wythe lore without publishing his findings, gave me similarly the advantages of his conversation. I am indebted to Mrs. George Bryan, of Richmond, for a copy of the address made by her husband at the cornerstone ceremonies of the Wythe school building in that city. Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin, rector of the Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, father of the restoration first of the Wythe House there, then of all Williamsburg, was an invaluable counselor. Mrs. George P. Coleman, of Williamsburg, graciously gave me access to her extensive manuscripts of the Tucker family. Mr. David J. Mays, of the Richmond bar, shared with me a few items from his large collection of materials on Edmund Pendleton and John Taylor of Caroline. Among custodians of public depositories I am obligated for various favors especially to Mrs. Helen Bullock, Archivist, Department of Research and Education, Colonial Williamsburg, Inc.; Dr. E. G. Swem, Librarian of William and Mary College; Dr. Julian P. Boyd, of the Pennsylvania Historical Society; Mr. Wilmer L. Hall, Librarian of the Virginia State Library; Dr. Max Farrand, Director of Research, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery; and Mr. Harry Clemons, Librarian of the University of Virginia. The Rosenbach Co., through Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach in the New York office and Mr. Percy E. Lawler in its Philadelphia office, permitted me to transcribe the Wythe letters and documents in its possession; and the Thomas F. Madigan Co., through Mrs. Madigan in the New York office, granted leave to refer to one of its documents which contained Wythe's autograph. Dr. W. A. Montgomery, Professor of Latin in the University of Virginia, rendered help in the translation of the non-legal Latin quotations. To Mr. Frank L. Jones, Prof. Freeman H. Hart, of Hampden-Sydney College, and Mr. John L. Bruner, of the <u>Richmond News Leader</u>, I have been constantly grateful in my work on Wythe for an interest which six years has not decreased. Finally, I have many reasons to value the occasional guidance of Dr. T. P. Abernethy, under whose direction I have made this study. To it each of these friends has made some unique and appreciated contribution.
 
:::::::::::::::::::W. Edwin Hemphill
 
:::::::::::::::::::W. Edwin Hemphill
  
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</center>
 
</center>
  
Some six of eight miles from the birthplace of [[George Wythe]] there occurred, on the last day of April, in the year 1607; the first peaceful meeting between aboriginal inhabitants of North America and permanent settlers of the race which gradually dispossessed them.
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Some six or eight miles from the birthplace of [[George Wythe]] there occurred, on the last day of April, in the year 1607, the first peaceful meeting between aboriginal inhabitants of North America and permanent settlers of the race which gradually dispossessed them.
  
Anchors were dropped that day from the [[wikipedia:Susan Constant|<u>Sarah Constant</u>]], the [[wikipedia:Godspeed_(ship)|<u>Goodspeed</u>]], and the [[wikipedia:Discovery_(1602_ship)|<u>Discovery</u>]], in waters which their passengers named, with grateful and picturesque aptness, [[wikipedia:Old_Point_Comfort|Cape Comfort]].  [[wikipedia:John_Smith_(explorer)|Captain John Smith]], [[wikipedia:George_Percy|Captain George Percy]], and their fellows of the exploring party which was sent ashore were conducted a short distance inland and given a friendly reception in an Indian village of eighteen wigwams known as [[wikipedia:Kecoughtan,_Virginia|Kecoughtan]], meaning "great town". Perhaps this name was not as paradoxical as it seems, for legend has it that the populous Kecoughtans had been all but exterminated not many years before the arrival of the "palefaces" by some of the more western tribes of the [[wikipedia:Powhatan|Powhatan Confederacy]], who misunderstood a prophecy that their conquerors would come from the east and took precautions with characteristic directness to eliminate the most eastern menace which they could find.
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Anchors were dropped that day from the [[wikipedia:Susan Constant|<u>Sarah Constant</u>]], the [[wikipedia:Godspeed (ship)|<u>Goodspeed</u>]], and the [[wikipedia:Discovery (1602 ship)|<u>Discovery</u>]], in waters which their passengers named, with grateful and picturesque aptness, [[wikipedia:Old Point Comfort|Cape Comfort]].  [[wikipedia:John Smith (explorer)|Captain John Smith]], [[wikipedia:George Percy|Captain George Percy]], and their fellows of the exploring party which was sent ashore were conducted a short distance inland and given a friendly reception in an Indian village of eighteen wigwams known as [[wikipedia:Kecoughtan, Virginia|Kecoughtan]], meaning "great town". Perhaps this name was not as paradoxical as it seems, for legend has it that the populous Kecoughtans had been all but exterminated not many years before the arrival of the "palefaces" by some of the more western tribes of the [[wikipedia:Powhatan|Powhatan Confederacy]], who misunderstood a prophecy that their conquerors would come from the east and took precautions with characteristic directness to eliminate the most eastern menace which they could find.
  
 
The search for a suitable location for the proposed English colony, it would seem to those who were not handicapped
 
The search for a suitable location for the proposed English colony, it would seem to those who were not handicapped
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===Page 2===
 
===Page 2===
  
by the settlers' inability to foresee the future, might well have ended at [[wikipedia:Kecoughtan,_Virginia|Kecoughtan's]] "Strawberry Bank", the fertile area adjoining [[wikipedia:Old_Point_Comfort|Cape Comfort]], between Hampton River and Mill Creek, whose few amicable natives found it quite easy to secure wild and domestic foods in bountiful quantities from nearby corn fields, forests, and waters. However, probably in fear of hostile raids by Spanish vessels (a threat which never materialized), the expedition pressed up the James River to an unhealthy and unproductive morass which it named [[wikipedia:Jamestown,_Virginia|Jamestown]], an island affording little better protection from Spaniards and Indians to counterbalance the great advantage of Kecoughtan as a salubrious and fruitful site. Thus during the next three years Kecoughtan served the cause of British colonization chiefly as a place at which Captain John Smith and others travelling to and fro in the James could stop over for lodging and feasting. During the summer of 1610 the Kecoughtans were driven away forever from the locality in mysterious reprisal for the murder of a white man by members of another tribe, and some of the colonists moved in from later depopulated Jamestown on which fact the present city of Hampton bases its claim to the oldest continuous Englishspeaking settlement in the New World.<sup>1</sup>
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[[File:TylerHistoryOfHampton1922Title.jpg|thumb|left|300px|Title page from Lyon G. Tyler's ''[[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia]]'' (Hampton, VA: Board of Supervisors of Elizabeth City County, 1922).]]
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by the settlers' inability to foresee the future, might well have ended at [[wikipedia:Kecoughtan, Virginia|Kecoughtan's]] "Strawberry Bank", the fertile area adjoining [[wikipedia:Old Point Comfort|Cape Comfort]], between Hampton River and Mill Creek, whose few amicable natives found it quite easy to secure wild and domestic foods in bountiful quantities from nearby corn fields, forests, and waters. However, probably in fear of hostile raids by Spanish vessels (a threat which never materialized), the expedition pressed up the James River to an unhealthy and unproductive morass which it named [[wikipedia:Jamestown, Virginia|Jamestown]], an island affording little better protection from Spaniards and Indians to counterbalance the great advantage of Kecoughtan as a salubrious and fruitful site. Thus during the next three years Kecoughtan served the cause of British colonization chiefly as a place at which Captain John Smith and others travelling to and fro in the James could stop over for lodging and feasting. During the summer of 1610 the Kecoughtans were driven away forever from the locality in mysterious reprisal for the murder of a white man by members of another tribe, and some of the colonists moved in from later depopulated Jamestown &mdash; on which fact the present city of Hampton bases its claim to the oldest continuous English-speaking settlement in the New World.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
When in 1619 the western hemisphere's first legislative assembly convened, Kecoughtan was the only plantation in
 
When in 1619 the western hemisphere's first legislative assembly convened, Kecoughtan was the only plantation in
  
 
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1. Lyon G. Tyler, <u>History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County, Virginia</u>, 5-17; Marion L. Starkey, <u>The First Plantation: a History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County, Virginia, 1607-1887</u>, 7-9.
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1. Lyon G. Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County, Virginia</u>]], 5-17; Marion L. Starkey, <u>The First Plantation: a History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County, Virginia, 1607-1887</u>, 7-9.
  
 
===Page 3===
 
===Page 3===
 
    
 
    
Virginia which still retained its pagan and lacked a British name. Some of its people, according to an old chronicle, "in pious frame of mind, took a spite at [[wikipedia:Kecoughtan,_Virginia|Kecoughtan]] name and said a name so heathen should not be for a people so pious as we...." Thus the first General Assembly made this the subject of the sixth petition which it sent back to England; in the words of the chronicler, "they made their grudges to old King James, and so the King a new name found, for this fine section and all around".<sup>1</sup> In honor of [[wikipedia:Elizabeth_Stuart,_Queen_of_Bohemia|Princess Elizabeth]], daughter of [[wikipedia:James_VI_and_I|James I]], rather than of the late [[wikipedia:Elizabeth_I_of_England|Queen Elizabeth]], the eastern end of the peninsula between the James and York rivers was henceforth known as [[wikipedia:Elizabeth_City_(Virginia_Company)|Elizabeth City]], while the former "great town" of the Kecoughtans and its neighboring waters derived later from [[wikipedia:Henry_Wriothesley,_3rd_Earl_of_Southampton|Henry Wriothesley]], Earl of Southampton, the names Hampton, Hampton River, and Hampton Roads.<sup>2</sup> But "Kecoughtan" survived in local usage and various misspellings for at least a century, and even as late as 1700 this reminder of a pre-British era crept occasionally into the official papers.<sup>3</sup>
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Virginia which still retained its pagan and lacked a British name. Some of its people, according to an old chronicle, "in pious frame of mind, took a spite at [[wikipedia:Kecoughtan, Virginia|Kecoughtan]] name and said a name so heathen should not be for a people so pious as we...." Thus the first General Assembly made this the subject of the sixth petition which it sent back to England; in the words of the chronicler, "they made their grudges to old King James, and so the King a new name found, for this fine section and all around".<sup>1</sup> In honor of [[wikipedia:Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia|Princess Elizabeth]], daughter of [[wikipedia:James VI and I|James I]], rather than of the late [[wikipedia:Elizabeth I of England|Queen Elizabeth]], the eastern end of the peninsula between the James and York rivers was henceforth known as [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City (Virginia Company)|Elizabeth City]], while the former "great town" of the Kecoughtans and its neighboring waters derived later from [[wikipedia:Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton|Henry Wriothesley]], Earl of Southampton, the names Hampton, Hampton River, and Hampton Roads.<sup>2</sup> But "Kecoughtan" survived in local usage and various misspellings for at least a century, and even as late as 1700 this reminder of a pre-British era crept occasionally into the official papers.<sup>3</sup>
  
 
In the original division of the colony into shires or counties Elizabeth City was recognized as one of Virginia's
 
In the original division of the colony into shires or counties Elizabeth City was recognized as one of Virginia's
  
 
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1. Quoted in Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 7.
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1. Quoted in Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 7.
  
2. Princess Elizabeth (d. 1662) was Queen of Bohemia, had married an Elector of the Palatine, and become the maternal grandmother of the Elector of Hanover who succeeded in the next century to the English throne as George I: Charles M. Long, <u>Virginia County Names: Two Hundred and Seventy Years of Virginia History</u>, 32-34. The Earl of Southhampton was President of the Virginia Company of London, 1620-1625: Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 14.
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2. Princess Elizabeth (<u>d</u>. 1662) was Queen of Bohemia, had married an Elector of the Palatine, and become the maternal grandmother of the Elector of Hanover who succeeded in the next century to the English throne as George I: Charles M. Long, <u>Virginia County Names: Two Hundred and Seventy Years of Virginia History</u>, 32-34. The Earl of Southhampton was President of the Virginia Company of London, 1620-1625: Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 14.
  
 
3. Jacob Heffelfinger, <u>Kecoughtan Old and New, or Three Hundred Years of Elizabeth City Parish</u>, 9.
 
3. Jacob Heffelfinger, <u>Kecoughtan Old and New, or Three Hundred Years of Elizabeth City Parish</u>, 9.
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===Page 4===
 
   
 
   
eight governmental units. As if it had not already sufficient claims to priority, during the following year, 1634/5,<sup>1</sup> Benjamin Syms endowed the first educational institution in the [[wikipedia:New_World|New World]], and in 1638 Thomas Eaton in a somewhat similar benefaction surpassed Syms' philanthropy. Through the [[wikipedia:Syms-Eaton_Academy|Syms Free School]] and the [[wikipedia:Syms-Eaton_Academy|Eaton Charity School]], whose doors were open for many a decade, [[wikipedia:Elizabeth_City_(Virginia_Company)|Elizabeth City]] antecedated slightly the notable legacy of [[wikipedia:John_Harvard_(clergyman)|John Harvard]].<sup>2</sup>
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eight governmental units. As if it had not already sufficient claims to priority, during the following year, 1634/5,<sup>1</sup> Benjamin Syms endowed the first educational institution in the New World, and in 1638 Thomas Eaton in a somewhat similar benefaction surpassed Syms' philanthropy. Through the [http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/Syms_Free_School_Site Syms Free School] and the [[wikipedia:Syms-Eaton Academy|Eaton Charity School]], whose doors were open for many a decade, [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City (Virginia Company)|Elizabeth City]] antedated slightly the notable legacy of [[wikipedia:John Harvard (clergyman)|John Harvard]].<sup>2</sup>
  
The steady influx of immigrants into the country increased its population before the close of the seventeenth century to about 800 people. Among them, fostered by an ideal location and by the best maritime facilities then available, a flourishing commercial life developed in conjunction
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The steady influx of immigrants into the county increased its population before the close of the seventeenth century to about 800 people. Among them, fostered by an ideal location and by the best maritime facilities then available, a flourishing commercial life developed in conjunction
  
 
----
 
----
1. Until the British adoption in 1752 of the Gregorian calendar, a revision of the less accurate Julian calendar, the new year began among English peoples late in March. Thus, according to present reckoning, February 12, 1634, was actually in the year 1635. The generally current practice of making a double notation of years in the overlapping period (<u>e.g</u>., March 1, 1750/1) &mdash; in preference to the more antiquated method of signifying Old Style dates as March 1, 1750 (O.S.) &mdash; has been adopted throughout these pages.
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1. Until the British adoption in 1752 of the [[wikipedia:Gregorian calendar|Gregorian calendar]], a revision of the less accurate [[wikipedia:Julian calendar|Julian calendar]], the new year began among English peoples late in March. Thus, according to present reckoning, February 12, 1634, was actually in the year 1635. The generally current practice of making a double notation of years in the overlapping period (<u>e.g</u>., March 1, 1750/1) &mdash; in preference to the more antiquated method of signifying Old Style dates as March 1, 1750 (O.S.) &mdash; has been adopted throughout these pages.
  
2. Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 22-23; Starkey, First Plantation, 13. Governor William Berkeley, Virginia's counterpart of Charles II, was evidently quite ill-informed in one respect when he made his oft-quoted report in 1671, "But, I thank God, <u>there are no free schools</u> nor <u>printing</u> [in this colony] and I hope we shall not have [them] these hundred years; for <u>learning</u> has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!": William Waller Hening, ed. <u>The Statutes at Large; being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia ...</u>, II, 517. Here, as always in later pages, the italics are in the original. This collection will hereafter be cited as Hening, <u>Statutes</u>.
+
2. Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 22-23; Starkey, First Plantation, 13. Governor William Berkeley, Virginia's counterpart of [[wikipedia:Charles II of England|Charles II]], was evidently quite ill-informed in one respect when he made his oft-quoted report in 1671, "But, I thank God, <u>there are no free schools</u> nor <u>printing</u> [in this colony] and I hope we shall not have [them] these hundred years; for <u>learning</u> has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!": William Waller Hening, ed. <u>The Statutes at Large; being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia ...</u>, II, 517. Here, as always in later pages, the italics are in the original. This collection will hereafter be cited as Hening, <u>Statutes</u>.
  
 
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</center>
 
</center>
  
George Wythe's paternal ancestors seem to have held a recognized position among the aristocracy of [[wikipedia:Elizabeth_City_County,_Virginia|Elizabeth City County]]. Practically nothing is known on this side of the Atlantic of their English background, but the Wythes could hardly have represented the type of colonist typified by [[wikipedia:William Worlich|William Worlich]], who entered the county as an indentured servant but rose to one of its seats in the [[wikipedia:House_of_Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] and became the progenitor of one of its most honorable families.<sup>2</sup> The one scrap of information which is available to controvert the possibility of a lowly Wythe family status in British society is the fact that George Wythe used a book plate bearing a heraldic coat-of-arms &mdash; usually until the
+
George Wythe's paternal ancestors seem to have held a recognized position among the aristocracy of [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]]. Practically nothing is known on this side of the Atlantic of their English background, but the Wythes could hardly have represented the type of colonist typified by [[wikipedia:William Worlich|William Worlich]], who entered the county as an indentured servant but rose to one of its seats in the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] and became the progenitor of one of its most honorable families.<sup>2</sup> The one scrap of information which is available to controvert the possibility of a lowly Wythe family status in British society is the fact that George Wythe used a book plate bearing a heraldic coat-of-arms &mdash; usually until the
  
 
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1. This estimate is indicated by the census of 365 tithable persons there in 1693 and of 410 in 1698 (tithables included white men between the ages of 16 and 60 and all Negro men and women): Starkey, <u>First Plantation</u>, 17. In 1714 the number of tithables had risen to 610: <u>Virginia Magazine of History and Biography</u>, II, 4. The latter source will hereafter be cited as <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>. Two years later a traveler reported that Hampton, whose brisk business made it the center of the colony's trade, consisted of about 100 houses: Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 31.
+
1. This estimate is indicated by the census of 365 tithable persons there in 1693 and of 410 in 1698 (tithables included white men between the ages of 16 and 60 and all Negro men and women): Starkey, <u>First Plantation</u>, 17. In 1714 the number of tithables had risen to 610: <u>Virginia Magazine of History and Biography</u>, II, 4. The latter source will hereafter be cited as <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>. Two years later a traveller reported that Hampton, whose brisk business made it the center of the colony's trade, consisted of about 100 houses: Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 31.
  
 
2. Starkey, <u>First Plantation</u>, 11.
 
2. Starkey, <u>First Plantation</u>, 11.
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American Revolution a reliable hint of gentility.<sup>1</sup>
 
American Revolution a reliable hint of gentility.<sup>1</sup>
  
The original Wythe immigrant, great-grandfather of George in a direct line of succession,<sup>2</sup> was [[Thomas Wythe]], whom for clarity's sake, since his sons for three generations also bore that name, it is perhaps best to call Thomas the First. He moved into [[wikipedia:Elizabeth_City_County,_Virginia|Elizabeth City County]] in or a few years before 1680,<sup>3</sup> probably after [[wikipedia:Bacon's_Rebellion|Bacon's Rebellion]], the revolt in Virginia which preceded the [[wikipedia:American_Revolution|American Revolution]] by exactly a century. He acquired a considerable acreage near the northern side of the peninsula beside [[wikipedia:Back_River_(Virginia)|Back River]] and established there the family estate known as "Chesterville".<sup>4</sup>
+
The original Wythe immigrant, great-grandfather of George in a direct line of succession,<sup>2</sup> was Thomas Wythe, whom for clarity's sake, since his sons for three generations also bore that name, it is perhaps best to call Thomas the First. He moved into [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]] in or a few years before 1680,<sup>3</sup> probably after [[wikipedia:Bacon's Rebellion|Bacon's Rebellion]], the revolt in Virginia which preceded the [[wikipedia:American Revolution|American Revolution]] by exactly a century. He acquired a considerable acreage near the northern side of the peninsula beside [[wikipedia:Back River (Virginia)|Back River]] and established there the family estate known as "[[Chesterville]]".<sup>4</sup>
  
 
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1. <u>The New England Historical and Genealogical Register</u>, XLI, 297; <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XIV, vii; <u>William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine</u> (1st series), I, 112, 120. The last of these sources will hereafter be cited as <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u>.
 
1. <u>The New England Historical and Genealogical Register</u>, XLI, 297; <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XIV, vii; <u>William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine</u> (1st series), I, 112, 120. The last of these sources will hereafter be cited as <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u>.
  
2. A London bricklayer by the name of Simon With, who was probably not kin to the Elizabeth City Wythes, entered Virginia in 1623; and a Francis Wythe, also probably not related, resided somewhere in the colony in the 1670's: H. R. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, 1622-1632, 1670-1676 ...</u>, 6, 64, 213, 405. In the neighboring counties of Warwick and York dwelt for generations, contemporaneous to those of Thomas Wythe's descendants, a Wythe family of some local consequence; but not tie of blood or acquaintance is known to have existed between them: William Carter Stubbs and Mrs. William Carter Stubbs, <u>Descendants of Mordecai Cooke ... and Thomas Booth ...</u>; Bishop William Meade, <u>Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia</u>, I, 240; <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), XIII, 175; Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), April 30, 1752, University of Virginia Library.
+
2. A London bricklayer by the name of Simon Withe, who was probably not kin to the Elizabeth City Wythes, entered Virginia in 1623; and a Francis Wythe, also probably not related, resided somewhere in the colony in the 1670's: H. R. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, 1622-1632, 1670-1676 ...</u>, 6, 64, 213, 405. In the neighboring counties of Warwick and York dwelt for generations, contemporaneous to those of Thomas Wythe's descendants, a Wythe family of some local consequence; but no tie of blood or acquaintance is known to have existed between them: William Carter Stubbs and Mrs. William Carter Stubbs, <u>Descendants of Mordecai Cooke ... and Thomas Booth ...</u>; Bishop William Meade, <u>Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia</u>, I, 240; <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), XIII, 175; Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), April 30, 1752, University of Virginia Library.
  
 
3. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", in William Draper Lewis, ed., <u>Great American Lawyers ...</u>, I, 51.
 
3. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", in William Draper Lewis, ed., <u>Great American Lawyers ...</u>, I, 51.
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===Page 7===
 
===Page 7===
  
Early recognition came to the immigrant Wythe as one of the "best people in the community".<sup>1</sup> In 1680 he sat upon the bench of the monthly county court,<sup>2</sup> whose members held the title of justices of the peace and served as judges with jurisdiction over civil and criminal litigation. In this capacity, the county's highest local office, he determined <u>ex officio</u> the right and the wrong of his neighbors' petty disputes in the lesser magistrate's court.<sup>3</sup> It is of interest in this connection to mention the fact that his precedent in this respect was followed, as later pages will show, by every male inhabitant of [[wikipedia:Elizabeth_City_County,_Virginia|Elizabeth City County]] who bore the name of Wythe. Moreover, Thomas the First was almost immediately elected a burgess to represent the county in the General Assembly, taking the usual oaths of office on June 9, 1680,<sup>4</sup> and receiving 200 pounds of tobacco, the approved currency of that day, as his legislative salary.<sup>5</sup> Thomas Wythe the First,
+
[[File:TylerWilliamAndMaryCollegeQuarterlyJuly1893P69.jpg|thumb|left|300px|Illustration of the Wythe family tree by Lyon G. Tyler, from "[[Ancestry of George Wythe, LL.D.|Ancestry of George Wythe, LL. D.]]," ''William and Mary College Quarterly'' 2, no. 1 (July 1893), 69.]]
 +
Early recognition came to the immigrant Wythe as one of the "best people in the community".<sup>1</sup> In 1680 he sat upon the bench of the monthly county court,<sup>2</sup> whose members held the title of justices of the peace and served as judges with jurisdiction over civil and criminal litigation. In this capacity, the county's highest local office, he determined <u>ex officio</u> the right and the wrong of his neighbors' petty disputes in the lesser magistrate's court.<sup>3</sup> It is of interest in this connection to mention the fact that his precedent in this respect was followed, as later pages will show, by every male inhabitant of [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]] who bore the name of Wythe. Moreover, Thomas the First was almost immediately elected a burgess to represent the county in the General Assembly, taking the usual oaths of office on June 9, 1680,<sup>4</sup> and receiving 200 pounds of tobacco, the approved currency of that day, as his legislative salary.<sup>5</sup> Thomas Wythe the First,
  
 
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----
1. The elder of these, possibly named Constance, married John Tomer: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), II, 69. The other, whose name was Ann, married not later than 1680 William Mallory (<u>d. ca</u>. 1720), son of Capt. Roger Mallorry of New Kent County, who had settled in Elizabeth City County and was its outstanding tobacco planter; they had four children, Francis, William, Mary, and Ann: <u>ibid</u>., I, 196 <u>n</u>., II, 69; <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XII, 402, XIV, 215, 216, 219; Starkey, <u>First Plantation</u>, 26.
+
1. The elder of these, possibly named Constance, married John Tomer: [[Ancestry of George Wythe, LL.D.|<u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u>]] (1st series), II, 69. The other, whose name was Ann, married not later than 1680 William Mallory (<u>d. ca</u>. 1720), son of Capt. Roger Mallory of New Kent County, who had settled in Elizabeth City County and was its outstanding tobacco planter; they had four children, Francis, William, Mary, and Ann: <u>ibid</u>., I, 196 <u>n</u>., II, 69; <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XII, 402, XIV, 215, 216, 219; Starkey, <u>First Plantation</u>, 26.
  
 
2. "Chesterville" was apparently devised to his wife, with his son Thomas as residuary legatee; a separate tract of 204 acres was bequeathed to Thomas his grandson: will of Thomas Wythe, proved March 19, 1693/4, <u>Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1689-1699</u>, 165a-166, Elizabeth City County Records.
 
2. "Chesterville" was apparently devised to his wife, with his son Thomas as residuary legatee; a separate tract of 204 acres was bequeathed to Thomas his grandson: will of Thomas Wythe, proved March 19, 1693/4, <u>Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1689-1699</u>, 165a-166, Elizabeth City County Records.
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3. Their marriage license was granted September 7, 1695: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), II, 210; William Armstrong Crozier, ed., <u>Virginia County Records</u>, VI, 81. But her bond dated November 19 and recorded on November 30 of that year, witnessed by Harwood, speaks of her as Ann Wythe: <u>Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1689-1699</u>, 181, Elizabeth City County Records. A patently inaccurate mixture of these facts and dates is to be found in <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IV, 90 <u>n</u>.
 
3. Their marriage license was granted September 7, 1695: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), II, 210; William Armstrong Crozier, ed., <u>Virginia County Records</u>, VI, 81. But her bond dated November 19 and recorded on November 30 of that year, witnessed by Harwood, speaks of her as Ann Wythe: <u>Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1689-1699</u>, 181, Elizabeth City County Records. A patently inaccurate mixture of these facts and dates is to be found in <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IV, 90 <u>n</u>.
  
4. Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 27.
+
4. Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 27.
  
 
===Page 9===
 
===Page 9===
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It is interesting to note that her education was so limited that she signed a legal document with the letter "A" as her mark.<sup>1</sup> Her death followed her second marriage within a few years.<sup>2</sup>
 
It is interesting to note that her education was so limited that she signed a legal document with the letter "A" as her mark.<sup>1</sup> Her death followed her second marriage within a few years.<sup>2</sup>
  
Thomas Wythe the Second, grandfather of George, was born abroad in 1670.<sup>3</sup> Like his father, he attained the position of a justice of the peace for the county;<sup>4</sup> and one report has it that he served as a municipal trustee of Hampton.<sup>5</sup> Through his thrice-married wife Ann, the Wythes became connected with many of the prominent local families. Her father, John Sheppard, had been burgess for [[wikipedia:James_City_(Virginia_Company)|James City]] and [[wikipedia:Elizabeth_City_County,_Virginia|Elizabeth City]] for a number of terms in the middle of the century,<sup>6</sup> and her brother, Baldwin, (d. 1697), was a justice of the latter county with Thomas Wythe the First;<sup>7</sup> her first husband was a gentleman who went by the rather formidable name of Quintilian
+
Thomas Wythe the Second, grandfather of George, was born abroad in 1670.<sup>3</sup> Like his father, he attained the position of a justice of the peace for the county;<sup>4</sup> and one report has it that he served as a municipal trustee of Hampton.<sup>5</sup> Through his thrice-married wife Ann, the Wythes became connected with many of the prominent local families. Her father, John Sheppard, had been burgess for [[wikipedia:James City (Virginia Company)|James City]] and [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City]] for a number of terms in the middle of the century,<sup>6</sup> and her brother, Baldwin (<u>d</u>. 1697), was a justice of the latter county with Thomas Wythe the First;<sup>7</sup> her first husband was a gentleman who went by the rather formidable name of Quintilian
  
 
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6. <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), XIII, 208.
 
6. <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), XIII, 208.
  
7. Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 51.
+
7. Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 51.
  
 
===Page 10===
 
===Page 10===
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1. <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), II, 69, 208. Their son William Guthericke died before 1695, and their daughter Elizabeth married in 1700 Nicholas Curle, of another respectable Elizabeth City family: <u>ibid,</u>., V, 57. Elizabeth Guthericke Curle must have died ore many years, for Curle remarried before his death in 1714; his widow, the former Jane Wilson, had two later husbands, Capt. James Ricketts and Merritt Sweeney, both of whom were burgesses for the county: <u>ibid</u>., IX, 125-126.
+
1. [[Ancestry of George Wythe, LL.D.|<u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u>]] (1st series), II, 69, 208.<ref>Hemphill may be trying to cite ''William and Mary College Quarterly'' 13, no. 3 (January 1905), 208, "Notes and Queries" regarding the Sheppard and Gutherick families. The article in vol. 2, no. 3 (January 1894) at page 208 refers to Benjamin Franklin's honorary degree from William &amp; Mary.</ref> Their son William Guthericke died before 1695, and their daughter Elizabeth married in 1700 Nicholas Curle, of another respectable Elizabeth City family: <u>ibid</u>., V, 57. Elizabeth Guthericke Curle must have died ere many years, for Curle remarried before his death in 1714; his widow, the former Jane Wilson, had two later husbands, Capt. James Ricketts and Merritt Sweeney, both of whom were burgesses for the county: <u>ibid</u>., IX, 125-126.
  
 
2. Since Thomas the First had devised "Chesterville" to him only after the death of his mother, who survived him, Thomas the Second never legally inherited the family estate, though it is presumable that he lived on that plantation. To his godsons Francis Mallory, John Tomer, and William Wilson he bequeathed several lambs, and to his brother-in-law John Tomer a hat of which he evidently was proud: will of Thomas Wythe, proved September 18, 1694, <u>Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1689-1699</u>, 163-165, Elizabeth City County Records.
 
2. Since Thomas the First had devised "Chesterville" to him only after the death of his mother, who survived him, Thomas the Second never legally inherited the family estate, though it is presumable that he lived on that plantation. To his godsons Francis Mallory, John Tomer, and William Wilson he bequeathed several lambs, and to his brother-in-law John Tomer a hat of which he evidently was proud: will of Thomas Wythe, proved September 18, 1694, <u>Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1689-1699</u>, 163-165, Elizabeth City County Records.
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===Page 11===
 
===Page 11===
  
of nearby "Errol" on Jack River,<sup>1</sup> sometime clerk of the county and for twenty-one years the honored rector of Elizabeth City Parish, who contested bitterly with his parishioners, the county court, and the colonial government in occasional squabbles.<sup>2</sup> Mrs. Wallace survived until her grandson, George Wythe, was fourteen years of age and bequeathed him a small legacy, signing her will with her mark in lieu of a signature.<sup>3</sup>
+
of nearby "Errol" on [[wikipedia:Back River (Virginia)|Back River]],<sup>1</sup> sometime clerk of the county and for twenty-one years the honored rector of Elizabeth City Parish, who contested bitterly with his parishioners, the county court, and the colonial government in occasional squabbles.<sup>2</sup> Mrs. Wallace survived until her grandson, George Wythe, was fourteen years of age and bequeathed him a small legacy, signing her will with her mark in lieu of a signature.<sup>3</sup>
  
 
Her son, Thomas Wythe, father of George Wythe and the last of the line to be considered before a review of the latter's maternal heritage, succeeded to the management of "Chesterville" and of the agricultural pursuits by which the family's fortune was maintained.<sup>4</sup> To the acres which he
 
Her son, Thomas Wythe, father of George Wythe and the last of the line to be considered before a review of the latter's maternal heritage, succeeded to the management of "Chesterville" and of the agricultural pursuits by which the family's fortune was maintained.<sup>4</sup> To the acres which he
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===Page 12===
 
===Page 12===
  
possessed by inheritance he added half-ownership of a waterfront in [[wikipedia:Hampton,_Virginia|Hampton]].<sup>1</sup> As early as 1699 he was esteemed enough locally to hold a county office.<sup>2</sup> Fifteen years later he was serving in the county court,<sup>3</sup> and a few years later still an appointment came to him from [[wikipedia:Williamsburg,_Virginia|Williamsburg]] to be [[wikipedia:Elizabeth_City_County,_Virginia|Elizabeth City's]] sheriff.<sup>4</sup> Even more positive testimony to his local eminence is to be found in his election as a representative of his native county in the General Assembly of 1718-1720, and again in the Assembly of 1723-1726.<sup>5</sup>
+
possessed by inheritance he added half-ownership of a waterfront in [[wikipedia:Hampton, Virginia|Hampton]].<sup>1</sup> As early as 1699 he was esteemed enough locally to hold a county office.<sup>2</sup> Fifteen years later he was serving in the county court,<sup>3</sup> and a few years later still an appointment came to him from [[wikipedia:Williamsburg, Virginia|Williamsburg]] to be [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City's]] sheriff.<sup>4</sup> Even more positive testimony to his local eminence is to be found in his election as a representative of his native county in the General Assembly of 1718-1720, and again in the Assembly of 1723-1726.<sup>5</sup>
  
 
Thus on the paternal side George Wythe was descended from three generations of aristocratic "gentlemen farmers" who had been for almost a half century among the leading citizens of Elizabeth City County. Their lives, so far as surviving records disclose, present the rather orderly appearance characteristics of a landed gentry.
 
Thus on the paternal side George Wythe was descended from three generations of aristocratic "gentlemen farmers" who had been for almost a half century among the leading citizens of Elizabeth City County. Their lives, so far as surviving records disclose, present the rather orderly appearance characteristics of a landed gentry.
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In sharp contrast to the predominantly placid and agrarian life at "Chesterville" is the controversial and maritime background of the family of George Wythe's mother.
 
In sharp contrast to the predominantly placid and agrarian life at "Chesterville" is the controversial and maritime background of the family of George Wythe's mother.
  
Her maternal grandfather was [[wikipedia:George_Keith_(missionary)|Rev. George Keith]] (ca. 1638-1716), M.A., schoolmaster, missionary of two faiths, and theological pamphleteer whose career ran almost the entire gamut of the possible experiences of an ecclesiastical leader in an age which could not boast of religious liberty. Born in Scotland, and well educated in England, he became a member of the Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, and married a Scotch Quakeress, Elizabeth Johnston by name. Sincerely convinced of the validity of the Society's tenets, he published a number of able books in defense of its creed, which has had few interpreters of greater ability, prominence, or contribution. Upon Robert Barclay, George Fox, and William Penn, with whom he and his wife travelled through Holland and Germany on a missionary expedition of consequence, he exercised a profound influence. For these and other activities upon which Old World governments were then accustomed to frown, he was confined for terms of greater or lesser length in prisons upon at least six separate occasions. Nor were his suggestive, almost unique beliefs on such theological problems as the Inner Light, the Lord's Supper as an agape, and the transmigration of souls deemed otherwise than heretical by orthodox Quakers.
+
Her maternal grandfather was [[wikipedia:George Keith (missionary)|Rev. George Keith]] (<u>ca</u>. 1638-1716), M.A., schoolmaster, missionary of two faiths, and theological pamphleteer &mdash; whose career ran almost the entire gamut of the possible experiences of an ecclesiastical leader in an age which could not boast of religious liberty. Born in Scotland, and well educated in England, he became a member of the Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, and married a Scotch Quakeress, Elizabeth Johnston by name. Sincerely convinced of the validity of the Society's tenets, he published a number of able books in defense of its creed, which has had few interpreters of greater ability, prominence, or contribution. Upon Robert Barclay, George Fox, and William Penn, with whom he and his wife travelled through Holland and Germany on a missionary expedition of consequence, he exercised a profound influence. For these and other activities upon which Old World governments were then accustomed to frown, he was confined for terms of greater or lesser length in prisons upon at least six separate occasions. Nor were his suggestive, almost unique beliefs on such theological problems as the Inner Light, the Lord's Supper as an agape, and the transmigration of souls deemed otherwise than heretical by orthodox Quakers.
  
 
By 1685 Keith had settled in New Jersey; four years later he had located in Philadelphia as headmaster of the present-day
 
By 1685 Keith had settled in New Jersey; four years later he had located in Philadelphia as headmaster of the present-day
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===Page 14===
 
===Page 14===
  
William Penn Charter School. Since he was by nature rather self-assertive and contentious and because he evidently desired, perhaps even coveted, a sole leadership of the Quakers, a severe conflict among them developed around him there. It ended in a separatist movement through which a very sizable minority seceded under him from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and called themselves "Christian Quakers" &mdash; usually known by others as "Keithians" &mdash; and in Keith's being disowned by the London Yearly Meeting.
+
[[wikipedia:William Penn Charter School|William Penn Charter School]]. Since he was by nature rather self-assertive and contentious and because he evidently desired, perhaps even coveted, a sole leadership of the Quakers, a severe conflict among them developed around him there. It ended in a separatist movement through which a very sizable minority seceded under him from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and called themselves "Christian Quakers" &mdash; usually known by others as "Keithians" &mdash; and in [[wikipedia:George Keith (missionary)|Keith's]] being disowned by the London Yearly Meeting.
  
This expulsion from the Society of Friends was followed by several years of preaching, in Quaker garb and a rented hall, as an independent preacher in London. Such success attended these efforts that by 1700 the Bishop of London convinced himself that Keith's Quaker heresy constituted Anglican orthodoxy and ordained him a minister of the established Church of England. Under these auspices Keith attacked all Friends as relentlessly as he had previously denounced only some of them and had refuted the doctrines of Anglicanism. Yet it should not be inferred from this about-face that his convictions lacked genuineness or that his intellect lacked consistency. Occasion will be found in another connection to review some of his efforts in this new role.
+
This expulsion from the [[wikipedia:Quakers|Society of Friends]] was followed by several years of preaching, in Quaker garb and a rented hall, as an independent preacher in London. Such success attended these efforts that by 1700 the Bishop of London convinced himself that Keith's Quaker heresy constituted Anglican orthodoxy and ordained him a minister of the established Church of England. Under these auspices Keith attacked all Friends as relentlessly as he had previously denounced only some of them and had refuted the doctrines of Anglicanism. Yet it should not be inferred from this about-face that his convictions lacked genuineness or that his intellect lacked consistency. Occasion will be found in another connection to review some of his efforts in this new role.
  
 
To talent as a forceful religious disputant there was added in the character of George Keith a considerable adeptness in scholarly fields far removed from theology. In Oriental studies and in mathematics he attained marked proficiency; indeed, on the basis of some researches which he
 
To talent as a forceful religious disputant there was added in the character of George Keith a considerable adeptness in scholarly fields far removed from theology. In Oriental studies and in mathematics he attained marked proficiency; indeed, on the basis of some researches which he
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===Page 15===
 
===Page 15===
  
 +
[[File:CallBiographicalSketchOfTheJudges1833pX.jpg|thumb|left|300px|[[Biographical Sketch of the Judges|George Wythe's biography]] from vol. 4 of ''Cases Decided in the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia,'' ed. Daniel Call (Richmond, VA: Robert I. Smith, 1833).]]
 
made in the latter when he was about seventy years old, he toyed with the aged nautical problem of ascertaining one's position upon the high seas and introduced a new method for determining longitude.<sup>1</sup> A volume from his pen upon "mathematical and other subjects" was to be seen years later in George Wythe's library.<sup>2</sup> Lest anyone doubt that the published productions of that pen were voluminous, it may be mentioned that a printed bibliography of them covers thirty-six pages.<sup>3</sup> One of them, titled, <u>An Exhortation and Caution to Friends concerning Buying and Keeping of Negroes</u> (Philadelphia, 1693), has a definite claim to priority as the first Quaker pamphlet against slavery.<sup>4</sup>
 
made in the latter when he was about seventy years old, he toyed with the aged nautical problem of ascertaining one's position upon the high seas and introduced a new method for determining longitude.<sup>1</sup> A volume from his pen upon "mathematical and other subjects" was to be seen years later in George Wythe's library.<sup>2</sup> Lest anyone doubt that the published productions of that pen were voluminous, it may be mentioned that a printed bibliography of them covers thirty-six pages.<sup>3</sup> One of them, titled, <u>An Exhortation and Caution to Friends concerning Buying and Keeping of Negroes</u> (Philadelphia, 1693), has a definite claim to priority as the first Quaker pamphlet against slavery.<sup>4</sup>
  
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===Page 16===
 
===Page 16===
  
George Walker of Elizabeth City County.<sup>1</sup> He was a son of George and Elizabeth Walker, of whom practically nothing is known.<sup>2</sup> Presumably they were immigrant colonists who provided certainly no exception to the rule of respectability among George Wythe's forebears.
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George Walker of [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]].<sup>1</sup> He was a son of George and Elizabeth Walker, of whom practically nothing is known.<sup>2</sup> Presumably they were immigrant colonists who provided certainly no exception to the rule of respectability among George Wythe's forebears.
  
The younger George Walker was a resident beside Mill Creek of the "Strawberry Bank", upon which the Kecoughtans in days of yore had built their "great town", between Hampton and Old Point Comfort. That he acquired and owned somewhat notable land holdings is adequately proved by surviving county records.<sup>3</sup> He was in 1697 an official pilot of James
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The younger George Walker was a resident beside Mill Creek of the "Strawberry Bank", upon which the [[wikipedia:Kecoughtan, Virginia|Kecoughtans]] in days of yore had built their "great town", between Hampton and Old Point Comfort. That he acquired and owned somewhat notable land holdings is adequately proved by surviving county records.<sup>3</sup> He was in 1697 an official pilot of James
  
 
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1. <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), IX, 127. There is something of a mystery in the geographical question as to how Ann Keith could have married into an Elizabeth City family. A report that her father immigrated about 1690 into Hampton is almost certainly inaccurate: Call, "[[Biographical Sketch of the Judges|Judge Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., xi. Equally unlikely, though perhaps more possible, is the estimate of the date as 1684: L. S. Herrink, "[[George Wythe (article)|George Wythe]]", <u>The John P. Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College</u>, III, (1909-1912), no.4 (1912), 283. It would be more probable that they were wed abroad and immigrated with his father's family before 1690. An Anglican preacher named George Keith was a minister in Elizabeth City parish in 1624-1625 and the owner of 100 acres of its land by patent: Heffelfinger, <u>Kecoughtan Old and New</u>, 14. One authority assumes that Rev. George Keith the Quaker was a grandson of this early namesake in the colony: Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 30.
+
1. <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), IX, 127. There is something of a mystery in the geographical question as to how Ann Keith could have married into an Elizabeth City family. A report that her father immigrated about 1690 into Hampton is almost certainly inaccurate: Call, "[[Biographical Sketch of the Judges|Judge Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., xi. Equally unlikely, though perhaps more possible, is the estimate of the date as 1684: L. S. Herrink, "[[George Wythe (article)|George Wythe]]", <u>The John P. Branch Historical Papers of Randolph-Macon College</u>, III, (1909-1912), no.4 (1912), 283. It would be more probable that they were wed abroad and immigrated with his father's family before 1690. An Anglican preacher named George Keith was a minister in Elizabeth City parish in 1624-1625 and the owner of 100 acres of its land by patent: Heffelfinger, <u>Kecoughtan Old and New</u>, 14. One authority assumes that Rev. George Keith the Quaker was a grandson of this early namesake in the colony: Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 30.
  
 
2. As late as 1704 the senior Walker seems to have been acquiring land in the county: Crozier, ed., <u>Virginia County Records</u>, VI, 277. <u>Cf</u>. the next two footnotes.
 
2. As late as 1704 the senior Walker seems to have been acquiring land in the county: Crozier, ed., <u>Virginia County Records</u>, VI, 277. <u>Cf</u>. the next two footnotes.
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===Page 17===
 
===Page 17===
  
River, whose duty it was to board vessels arriving in Hampton Roads and to take their wheels during the inland journey, lest their oceanic pilots bring them to grief in narrower and shallower confines.<sup>1</sup> In later years he is revealed as an important factor in James River maritime circles.<sup>2</sup> In response to his petition for permission to take out a patent as personal property upon a wharf which he had been pioneer enough to erect at the end of King Street in Hampton, the Council of the colony decided that, if the municipal officials did not think it prejudicial to the public piers or interest, he was entitled to its private ownership; far from viewing it as a liability, his neighbors acclaimed it was "rather an
+
River, whose duty it was to board vessels arriving in Hampton Roads and to take their wheels during the inland journey, lest their oceanic pilots bring them to grief in narrower and shallower confines.<sup>1</sup> In later years he is revealed as an important factor in [[wikipedia:James River|James River]] maritime circles.<sup>2</sup> In response to his petition for permission to take out a patent as personal property upon a wharf which he had been pioneer enough to erect at the end of King Street in Hampton, the Council of the colony decided that, if the municipal officials did not think it prejudicial to the public piers or interest, he was entitled to its private ownership; far from viewing it as a liability, his neighbors acclaimed it was "rather an
  
 
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advantage to the said Town."<sup>1</sup>
 
advantage to the said Town."<sup>1</sup>
  
Moreover, then as now, Old Point Comfort was Virginia's preeminently strategic place of defense against invasion, and Walker was a public servant in various capacities during the war of the early eighteenth century in guarding against possible forays by French ships.<sup>2</sup> In the twenties (and perhaps for a longer period), under title of "Gunner and Storekeeper", he was chief commander of formidable Fort George, erstwhile predecessor of present-day Fortress Monroe.<sup>3</sup>
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Moreover, then as now, [[wikipedia:Old Point Comfort|Old Point Comfort]] was Virginia's preeminently strategic place of defense against invasion, and Walker was a public servant in various capacities during the war of the early eighteenth century in guarding against possible forays by French ships.<sup>2</sup> In the twenties (and perhaps for a longer period), under title of "Gunner and Storekeeper", he was chief commander of formidable Fort George, erstwhile predecessor of present-day Fortress Monroe.<sup>3</sup>
  
 
But George Walker was a Quaker, and that was sufficient to disqualify him from some offices in the Hampton Roads area. The oaths required by the English government of colonial officials had to be sworn, a practise prohibited to strict Quakers. Thus, because he would not relax his principles in this respect, upon the death of Nicholas Curle, Naval Officer of the Lower District of James River, Walker could be appointed to serve in Curle's stead only until a suitable permanent incumbent could be selected, and vigorous protests were raised
 
But George Walker was a Quaker, and that was sufficient to disqualify him from some offices in the Hampton Roads area. The oaths required by the English government of colonial officials had to be sworn, a practise prohibited to strict Quakers. Thus, because he would not relax his principles in this respect, upon the death of Nicholas Curle, Naval Officer of the Lower District of James River, Walker could be appointed to serve in Curle's stead only until a suitable permanent incumbent could be selected, and vigorous protests were raised
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2. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, III, 206, 208-209; <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XXVI, 54-57; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1702/3-1712</u>, 341.
 
2. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, III, 206, 208-209; <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XXVI, 54-57; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1702/3-1712</u>, 341.
  
3. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, IV, 33. <u>Cf</u>. Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 36-37.
+
3. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, IV, 33. <u>Cf</u>. Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 36-37.
  
 
===Page 19===
 
===Page 19===
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duties on all products taxed by the tariff laws, but it was in vain that he petitioned for a fraction of the customs receipts sufficient to cover only the expenses of his four laborers and boat.<sup>1</sup>
 
duties on all products taxed by the tariff laws, but it was in vain that he petitioned for a fraction of the customs receipts sufficient to cover only the expenses of his four laborers and boat.<sup>1</sup>
  
A family event of consequence in George Walker's household was the return from London to America of his father-inlaw, Rev. George Keith. There was a patent need in the British colonies for a more adequate corps of Anglican ministers who could be relied upon to combat the existence within her borders of certain religious faiths &mdash; particularly Quakerism &mdash; which could not have England's unstinted approval. Thus an apostolic organization was incorporated in 1701 under the Church of England with the descriptive title: Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Engaged as its first missionary, in the next year, to travel extensively through the continental colonies of the West on an annual stipend of <s>L</s>200 was none other than Keith, the ex-Quaker. It was an inherently brilliant selection; who else could be more effectively competent in the task of leading the unorthodox into the established Church than a former leader in errant beliefs, now repentant of earlier heresies?
+
A family event of consequence in George Walker's household was the return from London to America of his father-inlaw, [[wikipedia:George Keith (missionary)|Rev. George Keith]]. There was a patent need in the British colonies for a more adequate corps of Anglican ministers who could be relied upon to combat the existence within her borders of certain religious faiths &mdash; particularly [[wikipedia:Quakers|Quakerism]] &mdash; which could not have England's unstinted approval. Thus an apostolic organization was incorporated in 1701 under the [[wikipedia:Church of England|Church of England]] with the descriptive title: Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Engaged as its first missionary, in the next year, to travel extensively through the continental colonies of the West on an annual stipend of <s>L</s>200 was none other than Keith, the ex-Quaker. It was an inherently brilliant selection; who else could be more effectively competent in the task of leading the unorthodox into the established Church than a former leader in errant beliefs, now repentant of earlier heresies?
  
 
In this worthy cause Keith set forth immediately, armed with credentials assuring the lieutenant-governor of Virginia and others, whose memories of his Quaker career might be too keen, that he intended "to promote the truth amongst his old
 
In this worthy cause Keith set forth immediately, armed with credentials assuring the lieutenant-governor of Virginia and others, whose memories of his Quaker career might be too keen, that he intended "to promote the truth amongst his old
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===Page 21===
 
===Page 21===
  
acquaintance", especially in Pennsylvania, and that he was "in the full Orders of our Church, so that you may permit him to preach when& where you please…."<sup>1</sup> His itinerary carried him in 1703 and again in 1704 to Elizabeth City County, where he found lodging upon both occasions with his Quaker son-in-law. <sup>2</sup> Of the former visit he recorded his official report:
+
acquaintance", especially in Pennsylvania, and that he was "in the full Orders of our Church, so that you may permit him to preach when& where you please…."<sup>1</sup> His itinerary carried him in 1703 and again in 1704 to [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]], where he found lodging upon both occasions with his Quaker son-in-law. <sup>2</sup> Of the former visit he recorded his official report:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
... we stayed there but Ten Days, at my Daughters [<u>sic</u>] House at Kirketan [Kecoughtan] by <u>James River</u>; she is fully come off from the Quakers, and is a zealous Member of the Church of <u>England</u>, and brings up her children (so many of them as are capable through Age,) in the Christian Religion, Praised be God for it.<sup>3</sup>
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... we stayed there but Ten Days, at my Daughters [<u>sic</u>] [[wikipedia:Kecoughtan, Virginia|House at Kirketan]] [Kecoughtan] by <u>James River</u>; she is fully come off from the Quakers, and is a zealous Member of the Church of <u>England</u>, and brings up her children (so many of them as are capable through Age,) in the Christian Religion, Praised be God for it.<sup>3</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
But since Walker retained his Quaker sympathies, his latch-key was out to members of the Society of Friends as well as to a relative from the S. P. G. F. P. One representative of the former, for example, tells of going in line of duty "to Kicquotan [Kecoughtan], where we had a meeting at our friend, George Walker's house" and reported that his "wife is one of George Keith's daughters and follows him in his apostacy and emity".<sup>4</sup>
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But since Walker retained his Quaker sympathies, his latch-key was out to members of the Society of Friends as well as to a relative from the S. P. G. F. P. One representative of the former, for example, tells of going in line of duty "to Kicquotan [Kecoughtan], where we had a meeting at our friend, George Walker's house" and reported that his "wife is one of [[wikipedia:George Keith (missionary)|George Keith's]] daughters and follows him in his apostacy and emity".<sup>4</sup>
  
 
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3. <u>Ibid</u>., 65. A semi-official contemporary estimate by the Society of the value of Keith's mission may be found in the account of its secretary: David Humphreys, <u>An Historical account of the Incorporated Society for the Propogation of Gospel in Foreign Parts ...</u>, 73-80.
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>., 65. A semi-official contemporary estimate by the Society of the value of Keith's mission may be found in the account of its secretary: David Humphreys, <u>An Historical account of the Incorporated Society for the Propogation of Gospel in Foreign Parts ...</u>, 73-80.
  
4. Quoted from the journal of Thomas Story in Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 30.
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4. Quoted from the journal of Thomas Story in Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 30.
  
 
===Page 22===
 
===Page 22===
  
Thus there existed in the home of George Wythe's maternal grandparents two almost irreconcilable religions. Between George Walker, Quaker, and Ann Keith Walker, Anglican, all other marital relationships may have been promptly and satisfactorily adjusted, but the <u>impasse</u> created by Mrs. Walker's renunciation of the Quaker tenets presented a more difficult domestic problem. Perhaps it could have been best dealt with by a tacit and mutually agreeable "live and let live" &mdash; or "worship and let worship" &mdash; policy, for instances of the successful operation of similar arrangements among other couples were not a contemporary oddity; perhaps, on the other hand, it was inevitable in this case that the question must flare up rather openly and demand more than an implied answer.
+
Thus there existed in the home of George Wythe's maternal grandparents two almost irreconcilable religions. Between George Walker, Quaker, and Ann Keith Walker, Anglican, all other marital relationships may have been promptly and satisfactorily adjusted, but the <u>impasse</u> created by Mrs. Walker's renunciation of Quaker tenets presented a more difficult domestic problem. Perhaps it could have been best dealt with by a tacit and mutually agreeable "live and let live" &mdash; or "worship and let worship" &mdash; policy, for instances of the successful operation of similar arrangements among other couples were not a contemporary oddity; perhaps, on the other hand, it was inevitable in this case that the question must flare up rather openly and demand more than an implied answer.
  
In either event, Ann Keith precipitated a candid but imperfect settlement of the issue by sending in April, 1708, to Virginia's august Council at Williamsburg a petition, in which she "complained…that George Walker her husband violently restrains her from going to Church to worship God according to the established Religion…"<sup>1</sup> The Councillors' consequent order that the two principals in the matter should appear before them a few days later prompted Walker on his part to anticipate the necessity with another petition. In this he stated that fragility of his wife's health and suggested that she might avoid the risks of a trip to Williamsburg by accepting his willingness to permit her in the future to worship as she
+
In either event, Ann Keith precipitated a candid but imperfect settlement of the issue by sending in April, 1708, to Virginia's august Council at Williamsburg a petition, in which she "complained ... that George Walker her husband violently restrains her from going to Church to worship God according to the established Religion...."<sup>1</sup> The Councillors' consequent order that the two principals in the matter should appear before them a few days later prompted Walker on his part to anticipate the necessity with another petition. In this he stated that frailty of his wife's health and suggested that she might avoid the risks of a trip to Williamsburg by accepting his willingness to permit her in the future to worship as she
  
 
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pleased.<sup>1</sup> To the Council this proposal must have seemed a complete solution of a potentially vexatious dispute and was evidently adopted by its members (though no record of their approval is available) and communicated by them, as a sort of intermediary, to Mrs. Walker.
 
pleased.<sup>1</sup> To the Council this proposal must have seemed a complete solution of a potentially vexatious dispute and was evidently adopted by its members (though no record of their approval is available) and communicated by them, as a sort of intermediary, to Mrs. Walker.
  
With his whole-hearted submission to her demand for religious freedom, the matter might have rested; but another element, probably the basic one, was injected into the controversy by Mrs. Walker's second petition to the Council, praying that she might be awarded responsibility for the religious instruction of her children. A plea of this kind was distinctly a horse of another color in the eyes of representatives of eighteenth-century British aristocracy. Accordingly, the Councillors examined Walker and satisfied themselves that he wished only an "athorety [<u>sic</u>] over his Childr. that properly belongs to Every Christian man"—the right "to Bring up his Childr. in whatever Christian Religion he may Be of that is priveliged [<u>sic</u>] By our Christian Laws" &mdash; and an exclusive opportunity to direct their religious studies. Thus assured, they advised his wife that he should rightfully have this liberty, offering her only one dim hope, which hung on the old technicality as to whether or not the Quakers were Christians. In a friendly letter to her they stated, "if yo[u] can prove that he is Not a Christian and So Consequently Not within the virge [<u>sic</u>] of our Christian Laws then we are
+
With his whole-hearted submission to her demand for religious freedom, the matter might have rested; but another element, probably the basic one, was injected into the controversy by Mrs. Walker's second petition to the Council, praying that she might be awarded responsibility for the religious instruction of her children. A plea of this kind was distinctly a horse of another color in the eyes of representatives of eighteenth-century British aristocracy. Accordingly, the Councillors examined Walker and satisfied themselves that he wished only an "athorety [<u>sic</u>] over his Childr. that properly belongs to Every Christian man" — the right "to Bring up his Childr. in whatever Christian Religion he may Be of that is priveliged [<u>sic</u>] By our Christian Laws" &mdash; and an exclusive opportunity to direct their religious studies. Thus assured, they advised his wife that he should rightfully have this liberty, offering her only one dim hope, which hung on the old technicality as to whether or not the Quakers were Christians. In a friendly letter to her they stated, "if yo[u] can prove that he is Not a Christian and So Consequently Not within the virge [<u>sic</u>] of our Christian Laws then we are
  
 
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===Page 24===
 
===Page 24===
  
willing" not to consider the case closed, "but wee [<u>sic</u>] Shuld [<u>sic</u>] be Glad [if] yo[u] Could Be Reconcilled" without its further continuanoo.<sup>1</sup>
+
willing" not to consider the case closed, "but wee [<u>sic</u>] Shuld [<u>sic</u>] be Glad [if] yo[u] Could Be Reconcilled" without its further continuance.<sup>1</sup>
  
With this dictum, though it was couched only at best in a semi-official letter of amicable, almost condescending advice Mrs. Walker's cause was lost. Yet the daughter of George Keith could be obdurate. The Council's challenge to give it a technical basis for some other decision she could not meet successfully; indeed, it is probable that she did not even try. But she could force the issue, in one final, forlorn plea, to a more formal conclusion. Thus the Council found it necessary a few days later to review the whole affair. Its decree confirm again the victory she had gained in respect to her own church attendance. The more unprecedented question of the relative degrees of religious authority of the two parents over their children was utterly evaded through a loophole found in her petition, which did not disclose "of what age those Children are nor how far they are capable of chooseing [sic] a Religion for themselves".<sup>2</sup>
+
With this dictum, though it was couched only at best in a semi-official letter of amicable, almost condescending advice Mrs. Walker's cause was lost. Yet the daughter of [[wikipedia:George Keith (missionary)|George Keith]] could be obdurate. The Council's challenge to give it a technical basis for some other decision she could not meet successfully; indeed, it is probable that she did not even try. But she could force the issue, in one final, forlorn plea, to a more formal conclusion. Thus the Council found it necessary a few days later to review the whole affair. Its decree confirm again the victory she had gained in respect to her own church attendance. The more unprecedented question of the relative degrees of religious authority of the two parents over their children was utterly evaded through a loophole found in her petition, which did not disclose "of what age those Children are nor how far they are capable of chooseing [sic] a Religion for themselves".<sup>2</sup>
  
 
Consequently, this conflict between the Walkers eventuated in a partial triumph for Ann Keith – partial, it must be
 
Consequently, this conflict between the Walkers eventuated in a partial triumph for Ann Keith – partial, it must be
  
 
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1. The Council to Mrs. George Walker, April 25, 1708, ibid, 80-81. The absence in the Council's <u>Executive Journal</u> of regards detailing all the apparent steps of their proceedings in this dispute and the tone of friendly advice which pervades this letter indicate a desire on their part to settle in unofficially or "out of court", as the saying goes.
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1. The Council to Mrs. George Walker, April 25, 1708, <u>ibid</u>., 80-81. The absence in the Council's <u>Executive Journal</u> of records detailing all the apparent steps of their proceedings in this dispute and the tone of friendly advice which pervades this letter indicate a desire on their part to settle in unofficially or "out of court", as the saying goes.
  
 
2. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, III, 180-181.
 
2. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, III, 180-181.
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admitted, because, at most, she had gained only a stalemate and, at worst, had suffered a moral defeat. Yet, if the time and place be granted, perhaps she could not have won a greater victory, for in reality she had raised a question much too advanced for her age.
 
admitted, because, at most, she had gained only a stalemate and, at worst, had suffered a moral defeat. Yet, if the time and place be granted, perhaps she could not have won a greater victory, for in reality she had raised a question much too advanced for her age.
  
There can be little doubt that both parties to this controversy accepted in good faith the incomplete verdict of the somewhat unwilling tribunal to which they had appealed and that they worked out in some manner between themselves the unsolved portion of their riddle. At least such dire possibilities as a disruption of their home was forestalled, and it continued, until Walker's death in 1732,<sup>1</sup> to serve as the chief hotel and assembly hall for Quakers in predominantly hostile Elizabeth City County. One of its guests twenty years later, recording his impressions of a four-day stay, described George Walker as "very loving and hearty to Friends, frequently having meetings at his house", and reported that "his wife ... [was] more loving than I expected. She ... in her younger days showed great dissatisfaction with Friends, but after her father's death [in 1716] the edge of that bitterness abated ...."<sup>2</sup>
+
There can be little doubt that both parties to this controversy accepted in good faith the incomplete verdict of the somewhat unwilling tribunal to which they had appealed and that they worked out in some manner between themselves the unsolved portion of their riddle. At least such dire possibilities as a disruption of their home was forestalled, and it continued, until Walker's death in 1732,<sup>1</sup> to serve as the chief hotel and assembly hall for Quakers in predominantly hostile [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]]. One of its guests twenty years later, recording his impressions of a four-day stay, described George Walker as "very loving and hearty to Friends, frequently having meetings at his house", and reported that "his wife ... [was] more loving than I expected. She ... in her younger days showed great dissatisfaction with Friends, but after her father's death [in 1716] the edge of that bitterness abated ...."<sup>2</sup>
  
 
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1. <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), X, 206.
 
1. <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), X, 206.
  
2. Quoted from an account of Samuel Bownas in <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), IX, 127-128, and in Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 32-33.
+
2. Quoted from an account of Samuel Bownas in <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), IX, 127-128, and in Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 32-33.
  
 
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===Page 27===
 
===Page 27===
  
church of her Anglican mother; the latter was the more likely. Thus the thread of Quakerism in George Wythe's ancestry may have been a broken one. It is true, however, that George Wythe chose a rather independent course in religious affairs; possibly this attitude was derived from the influence of his maternal background. Certainly it is, too, that he never experienced his grandfather's difficulty in advancing to high public offices, though in the simple habits of his old age there was to be some resemblance to the personal lives of Friends &mdash; a fact which was deemed worthy of comment upon his death.<sup>1</sup>
+
church of her Anglican mother; the latter was the more likely. Thus the thread of Quakerism in George Wythe's ancestry may have been a broken one. It is true, however, that [[George Wythe]] chose a rather independent course in religious affairs; possibly this attitude was derived from the influence of his maternal background. Certainly it is, too, that he never experienced his grandfather's difficulty in advancing to high public offices, though in the simple habits of his old age there was to be some resemblance to the personal lives of Friends &mdash; a fact which was deemed worthy of comment upon his death.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
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</center>
 
</center>
  
Pilgrims to the numerous historical shrines of the York-James peninsula are usually unaware that their travels take them near George Wythe's birthplace. One of the Virginia State Commission on Conservation and Development's familiar highway markers a few miles west of Hampton on the road to Newport News proclaims to passersby curious enough to stop that Wythe was born about eight miles north, but no other sign can be found in greater proximity. One who wishes to locate the spot must seek clearest available directions to a certain paved crossroad on the Yorktown highway about seven miles northwest of Hampton, drive a quarter mile northward to a tenant farmer's rural mail box which bears the name "[[Chesterville]]", and walk eastward about 250 yards to a stately clump of tall trees.
+
Pilgrims to the numerous historical shrines of the York-James peninsula are usually unaware that their travels take them near [[George Wythe]]'s birthplace. One of the Virginia State Commission on Conservation and Development's familiar highway markers a few miles west of Hampton on the road to Newport News proclaims to passersby curious enough to stop that Wythe was born about eight miles north, but no other sign can be found in greater proximity. One who wishes to locate the spot must seek clearest available directions to a certain paved crossroad on the Yorktown highway about seven miles northwest of Hampton, drive a quarter mile northward to a tenant farmer's rural mail box which bears the name "[[Chesterville]]", and walk eastward about 250 yards to a stately clump of tall trees.
  
 
This grove is something of a landmark amid surrounding fields, which slope very gently away from it on all sides. To the east one can discern a mile distant the dirigible hangar of Langley Field, United States aviation unit of defense in the Hampton Roads area. To the northeast and north, roughly a thousand yards away, lies the
 
This grove is something of a landmark amid surrounding fields, which slope very gently away from it on all sides. To the east one can discern a mile distant the dirigible hangar of Langley Field, United States aviation unit of defense in the Hampton Roads area. To the northeast and north, roughly a thousand yards away, lies the
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===Page 29===
 
===Page 29===
  
northern branch of Back River. Moderately wide beside "[[Chesterville]]", it broadens considerably at Langley Field and empties directly into Chesapeake Bay about five miles farther east; above "Chesterville" it narrows rapidly into a mere creek and half-encircles that former estate on the west. In the main, the boundary line between Elizabeth City and York counties corresponds with the course of this stream.
+
northern branch of Back River. Moderately wide beside "[[Chesterville]]", it broadens considerably at [[wikipedia:Langley Field|Langley Field]] and empties directly into [[wikipedia:Chesapeake Bay|Chesapeake Bay]] about five miles farther east; above "Chesterville" it narrows rapidly into a mere creek and half-encircles that former estate on the west. In the main, the boundary line between [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City]] and York counties corresponds with the course of this stream.
  
Within the grove of trees which thus mark the site of George Wythe's nativity a pilgrim of today can find little to inspire feelings of awe and reverence. Unless his imagination is brought into play, he will scarcely catch himself involuntarily thinking of sacred grounds and of customary methods of indicating respect in its presence, such as removing one's shoes or lifting one's hat. For nothing remains but irregular heaps of crumbled brick and partial outlines of the brick foundations of the house which was "Chesterville"'s axis.<sup>1</sup>
+
Within the grove of trees which thus mark the site of George Wythe's nativity a pilgrim of today can find little to inspire feelings of awe and reverence. Unless his imagination is brought into play, he will scarcely catch himself involuntarily thinking of sacred grounds and of customary methods of indicating respect in its presence, such as removing one's shoes or lifting one's hat. For nothing remains but irregular heaps of crumbled brick and partial outlines of the brick foundations of the house which was "[[Chesterville]]"'s axis.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
Wythe's first home, which was of medium size, survived through two centuries or more until twenty or twenty-five years ago, when fire destroyed it completely.<sup>2</sup>
 
Wythe's first home, which was of medium size, survived through two centuries or more until twenty or twenty-five years ago, when fire destroyed it completely.<sup>2</sup>
Line 772: Line 776:
 
Tradition says that its brick had been manufactured in England.<sup>1</sup> Little of its design is known, except that it had one of the open-hearth basement kitchens so typical of aristocratic architecture in colonial Virginia.<sup>2</sup>
 
Tradition says that its brick had been manufactured in England.<sup>1</sup> Little of its design is known, except that it had one of the open-hearth basement kitchens so typical of aristocratic architecture in colonial Virginia.<sup>2</sup>
  
To this home Thomas Wythe the Third brought his bride of 1719 or 1720, Margaret Walker, and in it their three children were born within the next ten years. The first, a son, was naturally named Thomas and thereby became the fourth Thomas Wythe of Virginia. The second upset the local Wythe precedent of single male heirs in each generation. For him the Christian name George was adopted, probably in honor of his maternal grandfather, George Walker, or of his widely known maternal great-grandfather, George Keith. The third child, a daughter, received the given name Ann, which had occurred much more frequently in her father's family than in her mother's.
+
To this home Thomas Wythe the Third brought his bride of 1719 or 1720, Margaret Walker, and in it their three children were born within the next ten years. The first, a son, was naturally named Thomas and thereby became the fourth Thomas Wythe of Virginia. The second upset the local Wythe precedent of single male heirs in each generation. For him the Christian name George was adopted, probably in honor of his maternal grandfather, George Walker, or of his widely known maternal great-grandfather, [[wikipedia:George Keith (missionary)|George Keith]]. The third child, a daughter, received the given name Ann, which had occurred much more frequently in her father's family than in her mother's.
  
  
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----
 
----
1. This tradition seems to be acceptable, despite one local authority's contention that "there is no evidence that any houses in Virginia were built of imported brick": Tyler, <u>History of Hampton</u>, 32.
+
1. This tradition seems to be acceptable, despite one local authority's contention that "there is no evidence that any houses in Virginia were built of imported brick": Tyler, [[History of Hampton and Elizabeth City County Virginia|<u>History of Hampton</u>]], 32.
  
 
2. Major Robert S. Hudgins, of Hampton, has owned the place for a great number of years. Through an illness on his part, efforts to have him furnish some data on it failed. For some rather indefinite information given on his authority see Starkey, <u>First Plantation</u>, 45. Dr. S. C. Mitchell tells the writer that he was a guest of Major Hudgins there before the fire.
 
2. Major Robert S. Hudgins, of Hampton, has owned the place for a great number of years. Through an illness on his part, efforts to have him furnish some data on it failed. For some rather indefinite information given on his authority see Starkey, <u>First Plantation</u>, 45. Dr. S. C. Mitchell tells the writer that he was a guest of Major Hudgins there before the fire.
Line 795: Line 799:
  
 
----
 
----
1. "[[Media:HallAmericanLawJournal1810.pdf|George Wythe]]", <u>American Law Journal</u> (ed. by John E. Hall), III (1810), 97. Jefferson erroneously guessed the year as 1727 or 1728: Thomas Jefferson, "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", Ms. filed under date of August 31, 1820, Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress: for his explanation of the surmise <u>cf</u>. [[Jefferson-Sanderson Correspondence|Thomas Jefferson to John Sanderson, August 31, 1820]], <u>ibid</u>.  
+
1. "[[Media:HallAmericanLawJournal1810.pdf|George Wythe]]", <u>American Law Journal</u> (ed. by John E. Hall), III (1810), 97. Jefferson erroneously guessed the year as 1727 or 1728: Thomas Jefferson, "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", Ms. filed under date of August 31, 1820, Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; for his explanation of the surmise <u>cf</u>. [[Jefferson-Sanderson Correspondence|Thomas Jefferson to John Sanderson, August 31, 1820]], <u>ibid</u>.  
  
 
2. Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 54, reports the year definitely as 1729, citing no authority.
 
2. Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 54, reports the year definitely as 1729, citing no authority.
Line 801: Line 805:
 
===Page 32===
 
===Page 32===
  
person. But, no matter how generously he may have shared his heritage, other members of the family must have suffered inconveniences and have seen many a want go unfilled through the rather immutable operation of the law's unequal division of the family's wealth. A later age deemed this deep-seated discrimination in favor of the first-born to be against public policy and grossly unfair. George Wythe, who may be justly considered more or less a victim of the system, put his shoulder to the wheel in the drafting of legislation which would grant each immediate survivor a portion of the real estate in the event of an interstate death.<sup>1</sup>  
+
person. But, no matter how generously he may have shared his heritage, other members of the family must have suffered inconveniences and have seen many a want go unfilled through the rather immutable operation of the law's unequal division of the family's wealth. A later age deemed this deep-seated discrimination in favor of the first-born to be against public policy and grossly unfair. George Wythe, who may be justly considered more or less a victim of the system, put his shoulder to the wheel in the drafting of legislation which would grant each immediate survivor a portion of the real estate in the event of an intestate death.<sup>1</sup>  
  
 
Though it is possible that George Wythe received better early instruction than his more favored brother, the exclusion of his widowed mother from a major portion of his father's estate proved to be a considerable handicap to his education. In some nearby grammar school &mdash; possibly the [http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/Syms_Free_School_Site Syms Free School] or the [[wikipedia:Eaton Charity School|Eaton Charity School]] &mdash; he learned rudiments of the three "R's".<sup>2</sup> But, more significantly, it was at his mother's knee that he obtained his introduction to the classical languages.
 
Though it is possible that George Wythe received better early instruction than his more favored brother, the exclusion of his widowed mother from a major portion of his father's estate proved to be a considerable handicap to his education. In some nearby grammar school &mdash; possibly the [http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/Syms_Free_School_Site Syms Free School] or the [[wikipedia:Eaton Charity School|Eaton Charity School]] &mdash; he learned rudiments of the three "R's".<sup>2</sup> But, more significantly, it was at his mother's knee that he obtained his introduction to the classical languages.
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===Page 33===
 
===Page 33===
  
There may be some exaggeration in the description of her as a "woman of uncommon knowledge and strength of mind" which ascribes to her so intimate an acquaintance with Latin that she spoke it "fluently",<sup>1</sup> but at least she, as a granddaughter of George Keith, was not as illiterate as the mother and grandmother of her husband, neither of whom could sign her own name.<sup>2</sup> Wythe himself in later years attributed to his mother his initiation in the study of the Latin language,<sup>3</sup> but as she taught him only the principles of grammar and, as he said, "to read the colloquies of <u>Corderius</u> very imperfectly...."<sup>4</sup> Another report has been handed through somewhat more indirect channels to the effect that she assisted his translations of the New Testament in its Greek text by referring when necessity demanded to an English version,<sup>5</sup> though she probably "knew of Greek only the alphabet and how to hold the dictionary...."<sup>6</sup> Thus George Wythe's maternal
+
There may be some exaggeration in the description of her as "a woman of uncommon knowledge and strength of mind" which ascribes to her so intimate an acquaintance with Latin that she spoke it "fluently",<sup>1</sup> but at least she, as a granddaughter of [[wikipedia:George Keith (missionary)|George Keith]], was not as illiterate as the mother and grandmother of her husband, neither of whom could sign her own name.<sup>2</sup> Wythe himself in later years attributed to his mother his initiation in the study of the Latin language,<sup>3</sup> but she taught him only the principles of grammar and, as he said, "to read the colloquies of <u>Corderius</u> very imperfectly...."<sup>4</sup> Another report has been handed through somewhat more indirect channels to the effect that she assisted his translations of the [[wikipedia:New Testament|New Testament]] in its Greek text by referring when necessity demanded to an English version,<sup>5</sup> though she probably "knew of Greek only the alphabet and how to hold the dictionary...."<sup>6</sup> Thus George Wythe's maternal
  
 
----
 
----
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heritage of intellectual activity may have partially counteracted the material deficiency of his father's intestate death.
 
heritage of intellectual activity may have partially counteracted the material deficiency of his father's intestate death.
  
Yet means were forthcoming from some source to cover his tuition and other expenses for a brief stay in William and Mary's halls of learning. Loss of the college records by fire forestalls any description of his study there. Indeed, it is a matter of conjecture when he enjoyed his only major formal schooling: the years 1735,<sup>1</sup> and 1740,<sup>2</sup> and, more indefinitely, sometime between 1730 and 1735<sup>3</sup> are recorded. If 1740 be the correct date, he might have been enrolled in the upper school of that historic institution, for college students were often in those days less than sixteen years of age. But it seems more probable that in 1735 he supplemented his mother's teaching by attending for a short time the grammar school in Williamsburg, then an integral unit in William and Mary. Concerning this episode of Wythe's youth perhaps only two facts can be stated without qualification: the College claims him proudly as an alumnus;<sup>4</sup>
+
Yet means were forthcoming from some source to cover his tuition and other expenses for a brief stay in [http://www.wm.edu/ William and Mary's] halls of learning. Loss of the college records by fire forestalls any description of his study there. Indeed, it is a matter of conjecture when he enjoyed his only major formal schooling: the years 1735,<sup>1</sup> and 1740,<sup>2</sup> and, more indefinitely, sometime between 1730 and 1735<sup>3</sup> are recorded. If 1740 be the correct date, he might have been enrolled in the upper school of that historic institution, for college students were often in those days less than sixteen years of age. But it seems more probable that in 1735 he supplemented his mother's teaching by attending for a short time the grammar school in [[wikipedia:Williamsburg, Virginia|Williamsburg]], then an integral unit in William and Mary. Concerning this episode of Wythe's youth perhaps only two facts can be stated without qualification: the College claims him proudly as an alumnus;<sup>4</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
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</center>
 
</center>
  
From so meager an acquaintance with the foundations of classical learning George Wythe's attention was necessarily diverted to the more practical problem of professional training. The system by which he was destined to seek his livelihood in some profession or business was later described well by one of his contemporaries:
+
From so meager an acquaintance with the foundations of classical learning [[George Wythe]]'s attention was necessarily diverted to the more practical problem of professional training. The system by which he was destined to seek his livelihood in some profession or business was later described well by one of his contemporaries:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
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</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Through his father's death the career of Thomas Wythe the Fourth lay in the exclusive superintendence of affairs at "Chesterville". As the younger son, George Wythe's course in life was not prearranged or mapped out ahead of time for him. Necessity demanded a choice of one of the customary alternatives.
+
Through his father's death the career of Thomas Wythe the Fourth lay in the exclusive superintendence of affairs at "[[Chesterville]]". As the younger son, George Wythe's course in life was not prearranged or mapped out ahead of time for him. Necessity demanded a choice of one of the customary alternatives.
  
 
The decision &mdash; made by himself or his mother &mdash; was in favor of the law. Possibly the precedent of her maternal grandfather would have dictated a calling to the ministry, while that of her father leaned toward business occupations.  
 
The decision &mdash; made by himself or his mother &mdash; was in favor of the law. Possibly the precedent of her maternal grandfather would have dictated a calling to the ministry, while that of her father leaned toward business occupations.  
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But George Wythe's lot was to be cast with the legal profession. This choice is certainly the most significant fact in the earlier stages of his life, for avenues of preferment and influence in public affairs were then open to lawyers of average ability which were tacitly but effectively closed by an unconscious tradition to representatives of other pursuits. In fact, it has been a platitude in almost every age of American history that men with legal backgrounds predominate in public offices of all kinds.
 
But George Wythe's lot was to be cast with the legal profession. This choice is certainly the most significant fact in the earlier stages of his life, for avenues of preferment and influence in public affairs were then open to lawyers of average ability which were tacitly but effectively closed by an unconscious tradition to representatives of other pursuits. In fact, it has been a platitude in almost every age of American history that men with legal backgrounds predominate in public offices of all kinds.
  
The road to preparation for the bar led in colonial days through the study at England's Inns of Court and Middle Temple or through an apprenticeship in the office of an American lawyer, for there was then not one law school in the New World &mdash; a situation which Wythe himself altered by becoming in due time America's first professor of law. Unable to afford the more expensive advantages of British training, Wythe availed himself of a nearer opportunity. His mother's older sister, Elizabeth Walker, had married Stephen Dewey, of Prince George County, a wealthy gentleman who was prominent there as justice of the peace and burgess.<sup>1</sup> His ability as a lawyer is attested
+
The road of preparation for the bar led in colonial days through study at England's [[wikipedia:Inns of Court|Inns of Court]] and [[wikipedia:Middle Temple|Middle Temple]] or through an apprenticeship in the office of an American lawyer, for there was then not one law school in the New World &mdash; a situation which Wythe himself altered by becoming in due time America's first professor of law. Unable to afford the more expensive advantages of British training, Wythe availed himself of a nearer opportunity. His mother's older sister, Elizabeth Walker, had married Stephen Dewey, of [[wikipedia:Prince George County, Virginia|Prince George County]], a wealthy gentleman who was prominent there as justice of the peace and burgess.<sup>1</sup> His ability as a lawyer is attested
  
 
----
 
----
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by the fact that he was a few years later one of the colony's three official examiners of candidates for the privilege of seeking admission to the practice of the county courts.<sup>1</sup>
 
by the fact that he was a few years later one of the colony's three official examiners of candidates for the privilege of seeking admission to the practice of the county courts.<sup>1</sup>
  
George Wythe, when he was perhaps about fifteen years of age, went to live for a year or two in his Aunt Elizabeth's home, roughly a hundred miles inland on the south side of the James, approximately four miles below Petersburg. In his uncle's office he doubtless had access to a library of standard legal volumes; there he began his first serious reading of the law. But this typical arrangement made obligatory some compensation for its privileges. Ordinarily, the student spent long hours copying legal documents and papers and "devilling" (to use the language of a print-shop) for his patron in other tedious phases of practise. Dewey was inclined to destroy the inspiration of his library by expecting too many tasks in return for its advantages, by considering his young apprentice more a servant to ease his labors than a scholar to sit at his feet &mdash; such, at least, is the only available picture of their relationship, printed by one of Wythe's close friends in later life, who may have secured its tints from the lips of the apprentice himself. Dewey, so the story goes, "treated him with neglect, and confined him to the drudgery of his [Dewey's] office, with little, or no, attention to his instruction in
+
George Wythe, when he was perhaps about fifteen years of age, went to live for a year or two in his Aunt Elizabeth's home, roughly a hundred miles inland on the south side of the James, approximately four miles below [[wikipedia:Petersburg, Virginia|Petersburg]]. In his uncle's office he doubtless had access to a library of standard legal volumes; there he began his first serious reading of the law. But this typical arrangement made obligatory some compensation for its privileges. Ordinarily, the student spent long hours copying legal documents and papers and "devilling" (to use the language of a print-shop) for his patron in other tedious phases of practise. Dewey was inclined to destroy the inspiration of his library by expecting too many tasks in return for its advantages, by considering his young apprentice more a servant to ease his labors than a scholar to sit at his feet &mdash; such, at least, is the only available picture of their relationship, printed by one of Wythe's close friends in later life, who may have secured its tints from the lips of the apprentice himself. Dewey, so the story goes, "treated him with neglect, and confined him to the drudgery of his [Dewey's] office, with little, or no, attention to his instruction in
  
 
----
 
----
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===Page 38===
 
===Page 38===
  
the general science of the law". Thus George "made little progress".<sup>1</sup>
+
the general science of law". Thus George "made little progress".<sup>1</sup>
  
Yet, as the distinguished editor of the <u>Southern Literary Messenger</u> has aptly suggested, the value of this episode in Wythe's education could easily be underestimated. For the study of law is ever an essentially exacting occupation, requiring "sacrifices of its votaries", and those who apply themselves to it with utmost devotion to irksome details acquire frequently invaluable habits of accuracy, industry, and penetration. Though he may not have looked back appreciatively upon them as a pleasant experience, perhaps in Stephen Dewey's dull and routine assignments George Wythe inured himself to the ennui of thousands of legislative and legal papers which were to confront him ceaselessly in later years. Though probably unexciting, his preceptor's requirements had a certain solidity, and to this may be partially attributed his remarkable capacity for assiduous attention to matters great and small, however boring they might be. It is reasonable to infer, too, that Wythe learned by his own experience in Dewey's office a preliminary lesion in the difference between attractive and unalluring methods of teaching; he profited, no doubt, from his uncle's example when, at a later date, he was in Dewey's shoes or when, still later, he faced a formal law class.<sup>2</sup>
+
Yet, as the distinguished editor of the <u>Southern Literary Messenger</u> has aptly suggested, the value of this episode in Wythe's education could easily be underestimated. For the study of law is ever an essentially exacting occupation, requiring "sacrifices of its votaries", and those who apply themselves to it with utmost devotion to irksome details acquire frequently invaluable habits of accuracy, industry, and penetration. Though he may not have looked back appreciatively upon them as a pleasant experience, perhaps in Stephen Dewey's dull and routine assignments George Wythe inured himself to the ennui of thousands of legislative and legal papers which were to confront him ceaselessly in later years. Though probably unexciting, his preceptor's requirements had a certain solidity, and to this may be partially attributed his remarkable capacity for assiduous attention to matters great and small, however boring they might be. It is reasonable to infer, too, that Wythe learned by his own experience in Dewey's office a preliminary lesson in the difference between attractive and unalluring methods of teaching; he profited, no doubt, from his uncle's example when, at a later date, he was in Dewey's shoes or when, still later, he faced a formal law class.<sup>2</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
 
1. Call, "[[Biographical Sketch of the Judges|Judge Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., xi.
 
1. Call, "[[Biographical Sketch of the Judges|Judge Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., xi.
  
2. Benjamin B. Minor, "[[Memoir of the Author]]", George Wythe, <u>Decisions of Cases in Virginia by the High Court of Chancery...</u> (2nd ed.), xii.
+
2. Benjamin B. Minor, "[[Memoir of the Author]]", George Wythe, <u>Decisions of Cases in Virginia, by the High Court of Chancery ...</u> (2 nd ed.), xii.
  
 
===Page 39===
 
===Page 39===
  
Upon the termination of his apprenticeship in Prince George, Wythe returned to his native county for a few years of independent study in classical languages and in law.<sup>1</sup> Though he lacked the guidance of a tutor, at "Chesterville" his time must have been largely and gloriously his own. Almost complete freedom from vexing hindrances to absorption in the printed page was his own for a while. Within a few months of his twentieth birthday began the long succession of other occupations which made inroads through three score years upon his opportunities for self-instruction, but they could not stamp out the inordinate joy which George Wythe found in erudition nor curtail his insatiable hunger for the constant acquisition of more knowledge.
+
Upon the termination of his apprenticeship in [[wikipedia:Prince George County, Virginia|Prince George]], Wythe returned to his native county for a few years of independent study in classical languages and in law.<sup>1</sup> Though he lacked the guidance of a tutor, at "[[Chesterville]]" his time must have been largely and gloriously his own. Almost complete freedom from vexing hindrances to absorption in the printed page was his own for a while. Within a few months of his twentieth birthday began the long succession of other occupations which made inroads through three score years upon his opportunities for self-instruction, but they could not stamp out the inordinate joy which George Wythe found in erudition nor curtail his insatiable hunger for the constant acquisition of more knowledge.
  
 
His mother, from whom or through whom these ingrained traits of character are supposed to have been derived, died a year or two before he attained his majority, perhaps in the year 1746.<sup>2</sup> Other changes were brought into his life at that
 
His mother, from whom or through whom these ingrained traits of character are supposed to have been derived, died a year or two before he attained his majority, perhaps in the year 1746.<sup>2</sup> Other changes were brought into his life at that
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1. Call, "[[Biographical Sketch of the Judges|Judge Wythe]]," <u>loc. cit</u>., xi.
 
1. Call, "[[Biographical Sketch of the Judges|Judge Wythe]]," <u>loc. cit</u>., xi.
  
2. The sketches of Wythe's life indicate, without exception, that her death preceded his becoming of age. The exact date is given in only one obscure source: Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, <u>The Pioneer Women of America</u>, III, 234. (For their own frank estimate of the authenticity of their work see <u>ibid</u>., I, iv-vi.) In 1734 she preferred charges of trespass against two members of the Mallorry family, but the prosecution was dropped because of the failure of plaintiff and defendants, who may have settled their differences out of court, to appear for the trial of the case: entry of November 20, 1734, [Common Law Order Book, 1731-1747,] 86, Elizabeth City County Records. In 1742/3 she was named a godmother of Martha Tucker: <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IV, 362. She is known definitely to have survived until George Wythe was eighteen years old: indenture of Margaret Wythe, August 15, 1744, [Common Law Order Book, 1731-1747,] 396, Elizabeth City County Records.
+
2. The sketches of Wythe's life indicate, without exception, that her death preceded his becoming of age. The exact date is given in only one obscure source: Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, <u>The Pioneer Women of America</u>, III, 234. (For their own frank estimate of the authenticity of their work see <u>ibid</u>., I, iv-vi.) In 1734 she preferred charges of trespass against two members of the Mallory family, but the prosecution was dropped because of the failure of plaintiff and defendants, who may have settled their differences out of court, to appear for the trial of the case: entry of November 20, 1734, [Common Law Order Book, 1731-1747,] 86, Elizabeth City County Records. In 1742/3 she was named a godmother of Martha Tucker: <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IV, 362. She is known definitely to have survived until George Wythe was eighteen years old: indenture of Margaret Wythe, August 15, 1744, [Common Law Order Book, 1731-1747,] 396, Elizabeth City County Records.
  
 
===Page 40===
 
===Page 40===
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time, but the habit of the profound study remained as a cherished characteristic of his very nature. Indeed, the education of George Wythe had barely begun.
 
time, but the habit of the profound study remained as a cherished characteristic of his very nature. Indeed, the education of George Wythe had barely begun.
  
Meantime, Ann Wythe, his sister, had married Charles Sweeney,<sup>1</sup> a member of a family long prominent in Elizabeth City County.<sup>2</sup> Quite aside from this linkage of the Wythe family with more representatives of colonial Virginia's blue blood, this marriage is of melancholy interest, for a grandson of Ann Wythe Sweeney was to play a most sinister role in George Wythe's death.<sup>3</sup>
+
Meantime, Ann Wythe, his sister, had married Charles Sweeney,<sup>1</sup> a member of a family long prominent in [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]].<sup>2</sup> Quite aside from this linkage of the Wythe family with more representatives of colonial Virginia's blue blood, this marriage is of melancholy interest, for a grandson of Ann Wythe Sweeney was to play a most sinister role in George Wythe's death.<sup>3</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
1. Indenture of Margaret Wythe, August 15, 1744, [Common Law Order Book, 1731-1747,] 396, Elizabeth City County Records; <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), II, 69.
+
1. Indenture of Margaret Wythe, August 15, 1744, [Common Law Order Book, 1731-1747,] 396, Elizabeth City County Records; [[Ancestry of George Wythe, LL.D.|<u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u>]] (1st series), II, 69.
  
 
2. <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), VI, 228, VII, 45-46, XIII, 122, 277, XVI, 237-239, gives piecemeal much information on the Sweeney family and its relatives in the Tabb, Sclater, Wilson, Curle, Ricketts, Moss, and Armistead families.
 
2. <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), VI, 228, VII, 45-46, XIII, 122, 277, XVI, 237-239, gives piecemeal much information on the Sweeney family and its relatives in the Tabb, Sclater, Wilson, Curle, Ricketts, Moss, and Armistead families.
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</center>
 
</center>
  
The responsibilities involved in the legal vocation suggest the advisability of a careful selection of candidates for the bar. Until George Wythe's generation the colonial government of Virginia evolved no lastingly satisfactory method for weeding out incapable and unworthy applicants; a number of laws were tried, only to be repealed.<sup>1</sup>
+
The responsibilities involved in the legal vocation suggest the advisability of a careful selection of candidates for the bar. Until [[George Wythe|George Wythe's]] generation the colonial government of Virginia evolved no lastingly satisfactory method for weeding out incapable and unworthy applicants; a number of laws were tried, only to be repealed.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
Better fortune attended the enactment by the General Assembly in 1745 of a new and final scheme to insure general quality in the profession. An official board or committee of examiners was created for the licensing of embryonic layers, its members to be appointed by the supreme General Court from the judges on its bench and the lawyers at its bar. To gain the requisite approval of this board one had to present to it a certificate from some inferior court vouching for "his probity, honesty, and good demeanor", to pay it a fee of twenty shillings, and to undergo as much of an examination as it thought necessary to determine his ability or ineligibility. If this question were decided affirmatively, a commission to practise in county courts was issued, for inspection by the
 
Better fortune attended the enactment by the General Assembly in 1745 of a new and final scheme to insure general quality in the profession. An official board or committee of examiners was created for the licensing of embryonic layers, its members to be appointed by the supreme General Court from the judges on its bench and the lawyers at its bar. To gain the requisite approval of this board one had to present to it a certificate from some inferior court vouching for "his probity, honesty, and good demeanor", to pay it a fee of twenty shillings, and to undergo as much of an examination as it thought necessary to determine his ability or ineligibility. If this question were decided affirmatively, a commission to practise in county courts was issued, for inspection by the
Line 949: Line 953:
 
justices of the peace in each county before whose tribunal the approved candidate desired to engage in suits. They alone had power to admit him to the bar of their court. If acceptable to them, he had to take the usual oaths of allegiance and to "swear, that I will truly and honestly demean myself, in the practice of an attorney, according to the best of my knowledge and ability. <u>So help me God.</u>"<sup>1</sup>
 
justices of the peace in each county before whose tribunal the approved candidate desired to engage in suits. They alone had power to admit him to the bar of their court. If acceptable to them, he had to take the usual oaths of allegiance and to "swear, that I will truly and honestly demean myself, in the practice of an attorney, according to the best of my knowledge and ability. <u>So help me God.</u>"<sup>1</sup>
  
George Wythe probably journeyed to Williamsburg to take the test of his legal knowledge at the time of the spring term of the General Court in 1746. His license was signed by Peyton Randolph, St. Lawrence Burford, Stephen Dewey, and William Nimmo.<sup>2</sup> Thereupon, within a few months of his twentieth birth day, he sought permission to practise before the justices of Elizabeth City's county court. The official minutes of their proceedings on June 18, 1746, include this entry:
+
[[George Wythe]] probably journeyed to [[wikipedia:Williamsburg, Virginia|Williamsburg]] to take the test of his legal knowledge at the time of the spring term of the General Court in 1746. His license was signed by Peyton Randolph, St. Lawrence Burford, Stephen Dewey, and William Nimmo.<sup>2</sup> Thereupon, within a few months of his twentieth birth day, he sought permission to practise before the justices of Elizabeth City's county court. The official minutes of their proceedings on June 18, 1746, include this entry:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Line 956: Line 960:
  
 
----
 
----
1. <u>Ibid</u>., V, 345-348. For minor changes in this act during the remained of the colonial period <u>cf</u>. <u>ibid</u>., VI, 140142, VII, 124, 397-398, VIII, 198, 385-386.
+
1. <u>Ibid</u>., V, 345-348. For minor changes in this act during the remainder of the colonial period <u>cf</u>. <u>ibid</u>., VI, 140142, VII, 124, 397-398, VIII, 198, 385-386.
  
2. Entry of May 21, 1747, <u>Order Book No.1</u>, 196, Augusta County Records. This county's record is the only one among those of several counts courts to which he was admitted as a practicing attorney which names his examiners. How he happened to apply to Augusta's bench will appear later.
+
2. Entry of May 21, 1747, <u>Order Book No.1</u>, 196, Augusta County Records. This county's record is the only one among those of several county courts to which he was admitted as a practising attorney which names his examiners. How he happened to apply to Augusta's bench will appear later.
  
 
3. [Order Book, 1731-1747], 489, Elizabeth City County Records It is interesting to note that, among seven justices whom Wythe faced that day, he was more or less distantly kin to four: Merritt Sweeney, James Wallace, Jr., John Tabb, and Wilson Curle.
 
3. [Order Book, 1731-1747], 489, Elizabeth City County Records It is interesting to note that, among seven justices whom Wythe faced that day, he was more or less distantly kin to four: Merritt Sweeney, James Wallace, Jr., John Tabb, and Wilson Curle.
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===Page 43===
 
===Page 43===
  
Thus the fledgling barrister was equipped for flight. Of his initial effort — that dreaded, momentous experience which every lawyer must undergo &mdash; nothing is known. But if neighbors in Elizabeth City became his first clientele, they had soon to seek another advocate, for Wythe moved away from his native county a second time to live during the next two years in another section of the state.
+
Thus the fledgling barrister was equipped for flight. Of his initial effort — that dreaded, momentous experience which every lawyer must undergo &mdash; nothing is known. But if neighbors in [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City (Virginia Company)|Elizabeth City]] became his first clientele, they had soon to seek another advocate, for Wythe moved away from his native county a second time to live during the next two years in another section of the state.
  
  
Line 971: Line 975:
 
</center>
 
</center>
  
To the northwest of the familiar York-James peninsula was Spotsylvania County, extending from Caroline County in the east at the fall line westward into the Piedmont. In this strange upland region George Wythe was to establish for the first time his financial independence and legal fame. Why he left Elizabeth City County is a matter of guesswork rather than of record; perhaps the likeliest conjecture is that his mother's death made a change advisable for George, who could not expect to share his older brother's home forever and should now become entirely self-supporting. Granting this necessity, why he went so far afield from "Chesterville" is more inexplicable, for he is not known to have had a single acquaintance outside of the Tidewater.
+
To the northwest of the familiar York-James peninsula was [[wikipedia:Spotsylvania County, Virginia|Spotsylvania County]], extending from [[wikipedia:Caroline County, Virginia|Caroline County]] in the east at the fall line westward into the Piedmont. In this strange upland region George Wythe was to establish for the first time his financial independence and legal fame. Why he left Elizabeth City County is a matter of guesswork rather than of record; perhaps the likeliest conjecture is that his mother's death made a change advisable for George, who could not expect to share his older brother's home forever and should now become entirely self-supporting. Granting this necessity, why he went so far afield from "[[Chesterville]]" is more inexplicable, for he is not known to have had a single acquaintance outside of the Tidewater.
  
 
But, if some unknown contacts did not exist previously, George Wythe made friends soon in Spotsylvania. The chief of these seems to have been Zachary Lewis (1702-1765), by far
 
But, if some unknown contacts did not exist previously, George Wythe made friends soon in Spotsylvania. The chief of these seems to have been Zachary Lewis (1702-1765), by far
Line 980: Line 984:
  
 
----
 
----
1. His father, Zachary Lewis, had patented land in King and Queen County in 1694 and in King William County in 1703: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), IX, 259-260. He qualified as an attorney in Caroline County in 1734 and as King's attorney in 1739: <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XX, 203-204; he took the oaths as an attorney there again in 1746, apparently requalifying under the act of 1745: entry of August 8, 1746, <u>Order Book, 1740-1746</u>, 609, Caroline County Records. <u>Cf</u>. entry of June 14, 1746, <u>ibid</u>., 598, and entry of July 11, 1748, <u>Order Book, 1746-1754</u>, 87, <u>ibid</u>. In 1742 he was sworn as an attorney in Spotsylvania: entry of December 7, 1742, <u>Orders, 1738-1749</u>, 190, Spotsylvania County Records. He was for a number of years King's attorney in Orange County; in the official records of its court his name appears much more frequently than any other: <u>e.g</u>., <u>Order Book No. 4, 1743-1746</u>, <u>passim</u>, <u>Order Book No. 5, 1747-1754</u>, <u>passim</u>, Orange County Records. <u>Cf</u>. also Green, <u>Pioneer Mothers of America</u>, III, 233; John Merriwether McAllister and Lura Boulton Tandy, <u>Genealogies of the Lewis and Kindred Families</u>, 134.
+
1. His father, Zachary Lewis, had patented land in King and Queen County in 1694 and in King William County in 1703: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), IX, 259-260. He qualified as an attorney in Caroline County in 1734 and as King's attorney in 1739: <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XX, 203-204; he took the oaths as an attorney there again in 1746, apparently requalifying under the act of 1745: entry of August 8, 1746, <u>Order Book, 1740-1746</u>, 609, Caroline County Records. <u>Cf</u>. entry of June 14, 1746, <u>ibid</u>., 598, and entry of July 11, 1748, <u>Order Book, 1746-1754</u>, 87, <u>ibid</u>. In 1742 he was sworn as an attorney in Spotsylvania: entry of December 7, 1742, <u>Orders, 1738-1749</u>, 190, Spotsylvania County Records. He was for a number of years King's attorney in Orange County; in the official records of its court his name appears much more frequently than any other: <u>e.g</u>., <u>Order Book No. 4, 1743-1746</u>, <u>passim</u>, <u>Order Book No. 5, 1747-1754</u>, <u>passim</u>, Orange County Records. <u>Cf</u>. also Green, <u>Pioneer Mothers of America</u>, III, 233; John Meriwether McAllister and Lura Boulton Tandy, <u>Genealogies of the Lewis and Kindred Families</u>, 134.
  
 
2. Jefferson, "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., was the first to mention this, referring indefinitely to "a Mr. Lewis". [William R. Smith,] "[[Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence|George Wythe]]", John Sanderson, [ed.,] <u>Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence</u>, 174, names John Lewis, from him the majority of all later Wythe sketches have adopted the legend that the son was Wythe's patron. How Smith lit upon the name John is a pertinent curiosity. The authorship of the sketch published by Sanderson was long and widely attributed to Jefferson: <u>e.g</u>., Massachusetts Historical Society <u>Proceedings</u> (1st series), XV, 393; William Brotherhead, <u>Book of the Signers</u> (1861 ed.), iv <u>n</u>. Denying this report, Smith explained that he wrote that sketch from two sources, the "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe|Notes]]" furnished by Jefferson and "a biographical notice of Wythe published (I think) in a Baltimore magazine of that day", which "afforded me very trifling aid": [[Book of the Signers (letter to the editor)|William R. Smith to John W. Forney, November 20, 1860]], John A. McAllister Collection, Library Company of Philadelphia; <u>cf</u>. <u>ibid</u>. The magazine to which he acknowledged indebtedness was probably Hall's [[Media:HallAmericanLawJournal1810.pdf|<u>American Law Journal</u>]], III, published in Philadelphia, which mentions nothing of Wythe's connection with Spotsylvania. Thus neither of Smith's sources named John Lewis. That Smith's assumption was inaccurate is indicated partially by the fact that John Lewis, who
 
2. Jefferson, "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., was the first to mention this, referring indefinitely to "a Mr. Lewis". [William R. Smith,] "[[Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence|George Wythe]]", John Sanderson, [ed.,] <u>Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence</u>, 174, names John Lewis, from him the majority of all later Wythe sketches have adopted the legend that the son was Wythe's patron. How Smith lit upon the name John is a pertinent curiosity. The authorship of the sketch published by Sanderson was long and widely attributed to Jefferson: <u>e.g</u>., Massachusetts Historical Society <u>Proceedings</u> (1st series), XV, 393; William Brotherhead, <u>Book of the Signers</u> (1861 ed.), iv <u>n</u>. Denying this report, Smith explained that he wrote that sketch from two sources, the "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe|Notes]]" furnished by Jefferson and "a biographical notice of Wythe published (I think) in a Baltimore magazine of that day", which "afforded me very trifling aid": [[Book of the Signers (letter to the editor)|William R. Smith to John W. Forney, November 20, 1860]], John A. McAllister Collection, Library Company of Philadelphia; <u>cf</u>. <u>ibid</u>. The magazine to which he acknowledged indebtedness was probably Hall's [[Media:HallAmericanLawJournal1810.pdf|<u>American Law Journal</u>]], III, published in Philadelphia, which mentions nothing of Wythe's connection with Spotsylvania. Thus neither of Smith's sources named John Lewis. That Smith's assumption was inaccurate is indicated partially by the fact that John Lewis, who
Line 1,003: Line 1,007:
 
The early court records of these counties, so far as they are preserved, adhere uniformly to a form of entry which hides the identity of the lawyers who argued the two sides of each suit; the report of each case opens with an anonymous statement, such as "This day Came the Pl<sup>t</sup>. [plaintiff] by his Attorney ...", or "This day Came the Parties by their Attornies...." Thus nothing is disclosed concerning the business done by the separate members of the bar in these courts.  
 
The early court records of these counties, so far as they are preserved, adhere uniformly to a form of entry which hides the identity of the lawyers who argued the two sides of each suit; the report of each case opens with an anonymous statement, such as "This day Came the Pl<sup>t</sup>. [plaintiff] by his Attorney ...", or "This day Came the Parties by their Attornies...." Thus nothing is disclosed concerning the business done by the separate members of the bar in these courts.  
  
More enlightening for those who would know something of George Wythe's early success in the inferior courts are the records of Orange County, partially preserved. When Wythe was admitted to practise in Orange cannot be ascertained, for a gap occurs in the records, covering the period between June,
+
More enlightening for those who would know something of George Wythe's early success in the inferior courts are the records of [[wikipedia:Orange County, Virginia|Orange County]], partially preserved. When Wythe was admitted to practise in Orange cannot be ascertained, for a gap occurs in the records, covering the period between June,
  
 
----
 
----
 
1. Entry of February 13, 1746/7, <u>Order Book, 1746-1754</u>, 15, Caroline County Records.
 
1. Entry of February 13, 1746/7, <u>Order Book, 1746-1754</u>, 15, Caroline County Records.
  
2. Entry of May 21, 1747, <u>Order Book No.1</u>, 196, Augusta County Records. His application there was sponsored by Gabriel Jones, the first and for some time the only lawyer living in the county: <u>ibid</u>.; <u>Viriginia Historical Register</u>, III, 16-17. The writer failed to learn whether or not Zachary Lewis practiced in Augusta, as he did at the other courts which Wythe entered; it is possible that Wythe acted independently in crossing the Blue Ridge.
+
2. Entry of May 21, 1747, <u>Order Book No.1</u>, 196, Augusta County Records. His application there was sponsored by Gabriel Jones, the first and for some time the only lawyer living in the county: <u>ibid</u>.; <u>Viriginia Historical Register</u>, III, 16-17. The writer failed to learn whether or not Zachary Lewis practised in Augusta, as he did at the other courts which Wythe entered; it is possible that Wythe acted independently in crossing the Blue Ridge.
  
 
===Page 47===
 
===Page 47===
  
1746, and July 1747.<sup>1</sup> At one of the courts during this interval, however, he did undoubtedly enter the bar there. His name occurs frequently on the records thereafter in entries reading, "This day came the Pl<sup>t</sup>. by George Wythe his Attorney..." and the like. A somewhat cursory examination reveals that, in the official chronicles of eight out of the eleven courts held during the fifteen months beginning July, 1747, Wythe's name appears in this manner under fifty-four cases.<sup>2</sup> Nor does this mean that Wythe appeared in the trials of only fifty-four suits. Anonymous reports of lawyers' presence and pleas were often made; and when a case was continued from one term to the session of the next &mdash; a
+
1746, and July 1747.<sup>1</sup> At one of the courts during this interval, however, he did undoubtedly enter the bar there. His name occurs frequently on the records thereafter in entries reading, "This day came the Pl<sup>t</sup>. by George Wythe his Attorney..." and the like. A somewhat cursory examination reveals that, in the official chronicles of eight out of the eleven courts held during the fifteen months beginning July, 1747, Wythe's name appears in this manner under fifty-four cases.<sup>2</sup> Nor does this mean that Wythe appeared in the trials of only fifty-four suits. Anonymous reports of lawyers' presence and pleas were often made; and when a case was continued from one term to the session of the next month &mdash; a
  
 
----
 
----
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| style="text-align: right;" |9 cases
 
| style="text-align: right;" |9 cases
 
|-
 
|-
| style="text-align: left;" |April 1748 &mdash; no court session recorded
+
| style="text-align: left;" |April, 1748 &mdash; no court session recorded
 
| style="text-align: right;" |&nbsp;
 
| style="text-align: right;" |&nbsp;
 
|-
 
|-
| style="text-align: left;" |May 1748
+
| style="text-align: left;" |May, 1748
 
| style="text-align: right;" |3 cases
 
| style="text-align: right;" |3 cases
 
|-
 
|-
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===Page 48===
 
===Page 48===
  
situation of common occurrence, through technicalities of the law or insufficient evidence &mdash; the names of attorneys for each party were frequently not repeated in later entries.<sup>1</sup> If this statistical summary alone is not sufficient attestation of the place which Wythe held among his rivals at the Orange bar, comparison of it with that of others indicates that he plead many more cases than any other advocate there except Zachary Lewis, who, as King's attorney, was naturally the preeminent figure.<sup>2</sup> And, lest any doubt be entertained concerning the breadth of knowledge which these cases required of the twenty-two year old lawyer, it may be observed that he was engaged in diversified phases of actions in criminal, civil, and chancery jurisdiction. They involved such matters as alleged debts, trespass, assault and battery, retailing of liquors without license, and grand jury presentments against persons who obstructed with dams the navigation of the Rappahannock River.3 That he was retained as counsel for the substantial element in Orange citizenry is suggested by the fact that William Russell, one of the court's justices,
+
situation of common occurrence, through technicalities of the law or insufficient evidence &mdash; the names of attorneys for each party were frequently not repeated in later entries.<sup>1</sup> If this statistical summary alone is not sufficient attestation of the place which Wythe held among his rivals at the Orange bar, comparison of it with that of others indicates that he plead many more cases than any other advocate there except Zachary Lewis, who, as King's attorney, was naturally the preeminent figure.<sup>2</sup> And, lest any doubt be entertained concerning the breadth of the knowledge which these cases required of the twenty-two year old lawyer, it may be observed that he was engaged in diversified phases of actions in criminal, civil, and chancery jurisdiction. They involved such matters as alleged debts, trespass, assault and battery, retailing of liquors without license, and grand jury presentments against persons who obstructed with dams the navigation of the [[wikipedia:Rappahannock River|Rappahannock River]].<sup>3</sup> That he was retained as counsel for the substantial element in Orange citizenry is suggested by the fact that William Russell, one of the court's justices,
  
 
----
 
----
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was his client in more than one suit.<sup>1</sup>
 
was his client in more than one suit.<sup>1</sup>
  
On the basis of these incomplete records it is safe to picture Wythe as a very successful attorney at law during 1747 and 1748, riding the circuit of the monthly courts from Caroline County, in the western Tidewater, on the east, through Spotsylvania and Orange to Augusta, in the Shenandoah Valley, on the west. He managed to make at least one visit to Elizabeth City, however, for in May, 1743, he sold to George Wray a slave girl named Lucy for &pound;23 5s, the court record of the transaction identifying him as "of the county of Spotsylvania, attorney at law".<sup>2</sup> Presumably, he was aided in getting his start as a practitioner by Zachary Lewis, perhaps living in Lewis' home. They must have often travelled together in the best of fellowship from courthouse to courthouse; locked horns, matched eloquence, and pitted wits against wits and argument against argument in dead earnest, upon arrival at a county seat, while upholding opposites sites of the same suit;<sup>3</sup> and ridden off together, upon adjournment,
+
On the basis of these incomplete records it is safe to picture Wythe as a very successful attorney at law during 1747 and 1748, riding the circuit of the monthly courts from [[wikipedia:Caroline County, Virginia|Caroline County]], in the western Tidewater, on the east, through Spotsylvania and Orange to Augusta, in the Shenandoah Valley, on the west. He managed to make at least one visit to Elizabeth City, however, for in May, 1748, he sold to George Wray a slave girl named Lucy for <s>L</s>23 5s, the court record of the transaction identifying him as "of the county of Spotsylvania, attorney at law".<sup>2</sup> Presumably, he was aided in getting his start as a practitioner by Zachary Lewis, perhaps living in Lewis' home. They must have often travelled together in the best of fellowship from courthouse to courthouse; locked horns, matched eloquence, and pitted wits against wits and argument against argument in dead earnest, upon arrival at a county seat, while upholding opposites sides of the same suit;<sup>3</sup> and ridden off together, upon adjournment,
  
 
----
 
----
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 15, 18, and <u>passim</u>. For references to Wythe in capacities other than that of attorney see <u>ibid</u>., 49, 140. He witnesses three deeds in Orange, the first two with John Lewis, the last with Jon Lewis and William Russell: indentures of October 22, 1747, <u>Deed Book No.10</u>, 532, 533, and indenture of November 27, 1747, <u>Deed Book No.11</u>, 25, Orange County Records.
+
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 15, 18, and <u>passim</u>. For references to Wythe in capacities other than that of attorney see <u>ibid</u>., 49, 140. He witnessed three deeds in Orange, the first two with John Lewis, the last with John Lewis and William Russell: indentures of October 22, 1747, <u>Deed Book No.10</u>, 532, 533, and indenture of November 27, 1747, <u>Deed Book No.11</u>, 25, Orange County Records.
  
2. Indenture of George Wythe, May 3, 1748, <u>Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1736-1753</u>, 232, Elizabeth City County Records. <u>Cf</u>. entry of that date, <u>Order Book, 1747-1755</u>, 33. Jones <u>loc. cit</u>., 326, errs in reporting the year of this sale to be 1746. George Wray was a brother-in-law of Wythe's mother.
+
2. Indenture of George Wythe, May 3, 1748, <u>Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1736-1753</u>, 282, Elizabeth City County Records. <u>Cf</u>. entry of that date, <u>Order Book, 1747-1755</u>, 33. Jones <u>loc. cit</u>., 326, errs in reporting the year of this sale to be 1746. George Wray was a brother-in-law of Wythe's mother.
  
 
3. In Orange they were called upon to oppose each other in more than half of Wythe's cases: <u>Order Book No.5, 1747-1745</u>, 1-155, Orange County Records.
 
3. In Orange they were called upon to oppose each other in more than half of Wythe's cases: <u>Order Book No.5, 1747-1745</u>, 1-155, Orange County Records.
Line 1,111: Line 1,115:
  
 
----
 
----
1. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1702-1712</u>, ix; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1712-1726</u>, vii, x; <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), VIII, 79, IX, 63; Horace Edwin Hayden, <u>Virginia Genealogies</u>, 381. For an abstract of John Waller's will see Crozier, ed., <u>Virginia County Records</u>, I, 13-14; for abstracts relating to his sons see <u>ibid</u>., <u>passim</u>. Of them Edmund and John became clerks of SpotSylvania County, William was a colleague of Wythe and Zachary Lewis at the bar, and Benjamin moved to Williamsburg and became a judge of the admiralty court and a burgess for a number of years.
+
1. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1702-1712</u>, ix; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1712-1726</u>, vii, x; <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), VIII, 79, IX, 63; Horace Edwin Hayden, <u>[[Virginia Genealogies]]</u>, 381. For an abstract of John Waller's will see Crozier, ed., <u>Virginia County Records</u>, I, 13-14; for abstracts relating to his sons see <u>ibid</u>., <u>passim</u>. Of them Edmund and John became clerks of SpotSylvania County, William was a colleague of Wythe and Zachary Lewis at the bar, and Benjamin moved to Williamsburg and became a judge of the admiralty court and a burgess for a number of years.
  
 
2. Hayden, <u>op. cit</u>., 381; McAllister and Tandy, <u>op. cit</u>., 134-135. She received a legacy in 1783: Crozier, ed., <u>Virginia County Records</u>, I, 5; with her father, her brother John, or her sister Mary she witnessed deeds of her uncles, Edmund and John Waller: <u>ibid</u>., 154, 158. For some information on her brothers and sisters see <u>ibid</u>., 30, 30, 41; <u>Tyler's Quarterly Magazine</u>, IV, 439; Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), May 7, 1773, University of Virginia Library.
 
2. Hayden, <u>op. cit</u>., 381; McAllister and Tandy, <u>op. cit</u>., 134-135. She received a legacy in 1783: Crozier, ed., <u>Virginia County Records</u>, I, 5; with her father, her brother John, or her sister Mary she witnessed deeds of her uncles, Edmund and John Waller: <u>ibid</u>., 154, 158. For some information on her brothers and sisters see <u>ibid</u>., 30, 30, 41; <u>Tyler's Quarterly Magazine</u>, IV, 439; Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), May 7, 1773, University of Virginia Library.
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</center>
 
</center>
  
So early a personal reminder that Death has no season would be a violent blow to the young husband of almost any recent bride. Perhaps George Wythe was staggered for a time after its sudden impact, weighed down with heavy, disconsolate bereavement; or perhaps he consoled himself as best he could with some reassuring philosophy from his beloved classics.
+
So early a personal reminder that Death has no season would be a violent blow to the young husband of almost any recent bride. Perhaps [[George Wythe]] was staggered for a time after its sudden impact, weighed down with heavy, disconsolate bereavement; or perhaps he consoled himself as best he could with some reassuring philosophy from his beloved classics.
  
 
A principal tie which bound him to friends in upland Spotsylvania had been severed, but it has not been previously realized that Wythe himself recognized this fact. It has been stated without denial that he continued to reside there "some eight years after his wife's death ..."<sup>2</sup> &mdash; an assumption which every page in the remainder of this chapter will help to disprove utterly. Almost immediately after this rudest of all possible tragedies in his domestic life he returned to Tidewater.<sup>3</sup> Possibly he moved in full
 
A principal tie which bound him to friends in upland Spotsylvania had been severed, but it has not been previously realized that Wythe himself recognized this fact. It has been stated without denial that he continued to reside there "some eight years after his wife's death ..."<sup>2</sup> &mdash; an assumption which every page in the remainder of this chapter will help to disprove utterly. Almost immediately after this rudest of all possible tragedies in his domestic life he returned to Tidewater.<sup>3</sup> Possibly he moved in full
Line 1,141: Line 1,145:
 
retreat from scenes and faces which would remind him inevitably and unrelentingly of his misfortune. Or perhaps the natural desire of one whose career is launched successfully to be in the theater which affords most opportunity for advancement motivated the change.
 
retreat from scenes and faces which would remind him inevitably and unrelentingly of his misfortune. Or perhaps the natural desire of one whose career is launched successfully to be in the theater which affords most opportunity for advancement motivated the change.
  
Williamsburg, which had supplanted Jamestown as the colonial capital about the opening of the eighteenth century, was the location in Virginia which fitted this description. By no means an imposing town most of the year, it bustled during the semi-annual terms of the General Court and during the House of Burgesses' more irregular sessions with all the activities and fineries of a provincial government proudly imitating Britain's royal hierarchy. For those to whom the gates of its somewhat exclusive officialdom were not barred through want of family position, acceptable social graces, or ability, it was ambition's chief point of vantage. The easier path toward its inner circle, via the attainment of sufficient local prominence and wealth to become the representative of one's county in the House of Burgesses, George Wythe found barricaded to all intents and purposes by the
+
[[wikipedia:Williamsburg, Virginia|Williamsburg]], which had supplanted [[wikipedia:Jamestown, Virginia|Jamestown]] as the colonial capital about the opening of the eighteenth century, was the location in Virginia which fitted this description. By no means an imposing town most of the year, it bustled during the semi-annual terms of the General Court and during the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]]' more irregular sessions with all the activities and fineries of a provincial government proudly imitating Britain's royal hierarchy. For those to whom the gates of its somewhat exclusive officialdom were not barred through want of family position, acceptable social graces, or ability, it was ambition's chief point of vantage. The easier path toward its inner circle, via the attainment of sufficient local prominence and wealth to become the representative of one's county in the House of Burgesses, George Wythe found barricaded to all intents and purposes by the
  
 
----
 
----
Line 1,148: Line 1,152:
 
===Page 54===
 
===Page 54===
  
destiny which had transferred "Chesterville"'s tobacco fields to Thomas Wythe the Fourth and had made of him a successful but landless lawyer. The other road was built upon the principle of bearding the lion in its den or of camping just outside the gates until one's knocks were answered by admission. The latter, though more difficult under ordinary circumstances, was the more direct and surer route to self-improvement for the able.
+
destiny which had transferred [[Chesterville|"Chesterville"'s]] tobacco fields to Thomas Wythe the Fourth and had made of him a successful but landless lawyer. The other road was built upon the principle of bearding the lion in its den or of camping just outside the gates until one's knocks were answered by admission. The latter, though more difficult under ordinary circumstances, was the more direct and surer route to self-improvement for the able.
  
Wythe had not long to wait before a stepping-stone to official position was placed at his feet. The House of Burgesses convened in the second month after his wife's death, and in its organization he was appointed on October 28, 1748, clerk to its largest and most important standing committees, that of Privileges and Elections and that of Propositions and Grievances.<sup>1</sup> His task was to keep minutes of the proceedings of these committees. The former made decisions on disputed elections; the latter considered all major petitions. It was an humble but honorable position. To an attorney of twenty-two it produced enviable facilities for a liberal education in colonial legislation and for association in their recurrent meetings with the most influential members of the House. From so small an acorn as this grew the great oak of Wythe's connection with the House in one capacity or another through all but two of the remaining years before its unlamented demise at the opening of the Revolution.
+
Wythe had not long to wait before a stepping-stone to official position was placed at his feet. The [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] convened in the second month after his wife's death, and in its organization he was appointed on October 28, 1748, clerk to its largest and most important standing committees, that of Privileges and Elections and that of Propositions and Grievances.<sup>1</sup> His task was to keep minutes of the proceedings of these committees. The former made decisions on disputed elections; the latter considered all major petitions. It was an humble but honorable position. To an attorney of twenty-two it produced enviable facilities for a liberal education in colonial legislation and for association in their recurrent meetings with the most influential members of the House. From so small an acorn as this grew the great oak of Wythe's connection with the House in one capacity or another through all but two of the remaining years before its unlamented demise at the opening of the Revolution.
  
 
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===Page 55===
 
===Page 55===
  
Thus Williamsburg became the center from which Wythe rode the circuit of the county courts in pursuit of his daily bread. In one of these, Elizabeth City, he had already been admitted to practise. Early in 1749 he qualified and took the oaths before the justices of York and Warwick counties;<sup>1</sup> probably the same preliminaries were performed in James City, possibly also in other county courts.<sup>2</sup> Surviving records, which usually bury the identity of the advocates in each suit in the noncommittal "by his Attorney" phrase already noted, disclose just enough data to hint that he built up readily a new clientele to replace that which he had abandoned. He argued three cases in the first term of the Warwick court following that in which he was admitted to its bar.<sup>3</sup> One of these is extremely typical of colonial litigation. Wythe defended one Andrew Giles in his prosecution "on a presentment by the grand jury for not frequently his Parish Church". In his behalf Wythe secured two postponements of the trial, but his plea for a dismissal of the case brought adverse judgment from the bench, which deemed the demurrer invalid.
+
Thus [[wikipedia:Williamsburg, Virginia|Williamsburg]] became the center from which Wythe rode the circuit of the county courts in pursuit of his daily bread. In one of these, [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City]], he had already been admitted to practise. Early in 1749 he qualified and took the oaths before the justices of York and Warwick counties;<sup>1</sup> probably the same preliminaries were performed in James City, possibly also in other county courts.<sup>2</sup> Surviving records, which usually bury the identity of the advocates in each suit in the noncommittal "by his Attorney" phrase already noted, disclose just enough data to hint that he built up readily a new clientele to replace that which he had abandoned. He argued three cases in the first term of the Warwick court following that in which he was admitted to its bar.<sup>3</sup> One of these is extremely typical of colonial litigation. Wythe defended one Andrew Giles in his prosecution "on a presentment by the grand jury for not frequently his Parish Church". In his behalf Wythe secured two postponements of the trial, but his plea for a dismissal of the case brought adverse judgment from the bench, which deemed the demurrer invalid.
  
 
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===Page 57===
 
===Page 57===
  
When a new House of Burgesses convened in 1752 Wythe was reappointed clerk to the committees of Privileges and Elections and of Propositions and Grievances.<sup>1</sup> A defeated candidate in the preceding election contested, as would-be burgesses were wont to do in those days, the seat which had been given to one of his recent opponents and wanted Wythe to present his side of the controversy. An apparently unprecedented question of procedure was thereby raised &mdash; could the House rightfully permit the clerk of one of its committees to serve as counsel for either party in a controversy before that committee? It was moved from the floor and ordered specifically that Wythe might defend in committee the claims of the petitioning candidate.<sup>2</sup> But this deposition of the question as it applied to one case did not prevent its recurrence in similar cases; a few days later the House found it advisable to grant to Wythe "Liberty to appear as Counsel, in any Matter of controverted Elections, that shall happen before the said Committee.",sup>3</sup>
+
When a new [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] convened in 1752 Wythe was reappointed clerk to the committees of Privileges and Elections and of Propositions and Grievances.<sup>1</sup> A defeated candidate in the preceding election contested, as would-be burgesses were wont to do in those days, the seat which had been given to one of his recent opponents and wanted Wythe to present his side of the controversy. An apparently unprecedented question of procedure was thereby raised &mdash; could the House rightfully permit the clerk of one of its committees to serve as counsel for either party in a controversy before that committee? It was moved from the floor and ordered specifically that Wythe might defend in committee the claims of the petitioning candidate.<sup>2</sup> But this deposition of the question as it applied to one case did not prevent its recurrence in similar cases; a few days later the House found it advisable to grant to Wythe "Liberty to appear as Counsel, in any Matter of controverted Elections, that shall happen before the said Committee.",sup>3</sup>
  
 
Where Wythe made his home during these early years of his long residence in Williamsburg is not revealed. Presumably, at about twenty-five years of age, the young widower was still boarding in the homes of friends. It is true that he bought
 
Where Wythe made his home during these early years of his long residence in Williamsburg is not revealed. Presumably, at about twenty-five years of age, the young widower was still boarding in the homes of friends. It is true that he bought
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===Page 58===
 
===Page 58===
  
a house and lot there, but he resold it so soon to the former owner that the purpose of his purchase must be considered obscure, at least, if not indeed unfathomable. On the fifteenth of December, 1752, John Palmer, a Williamsburg lawyer, received from George Wythe "of the same place Attorney at Law" the ridiculously small sum of &pound;5 as payment in full for his property rights to the lot and home on the south side of Duke of Gloucester Street at its eastern end, opposite Capitol Square, which had been his residence.<sup>1</sup> Less than three weeks later Wythe's &pound;5 was returned to him, and he transferred to Palmer the ownership of that well-situated property.<sup>2</sup> The financial consideration &mdash; minute enough to be entirely incommensurate to the values involved in this exchange by Wythe of cash for house and house for cash &mdash; suggests as one explanation of this equivocal transaction a desire on his part to tide Palmer over some temporary economic crisis with a loan protected by more than ample collateral.
+
a house and lot there, but he resold it so soon to the former owner that the purpose of his purchase must be considered obscure, at least, if not indeed unfathomable. On the fifteenth of December, 1752, John Palmer, a Williamsburg lawyer, received from George Wythe "of the same place Attorney at Law" the ridiculously small sum of <s>L</s>5 as payment in full for his property rights to the lot and home on the south side of [[wikipedia:Colonial Williamsburg|Duke of Gloucester Street]] at its eastern end, opposite [[wikipedia:Colonial Williamsburg|Capitol Square]], which had been his residence.<sup>1</sup> Less than three weeks later Wythe's <s>L</s>5 was returned to him, and he transferred to Palmer the ownership of that well-situated property.<sup>2</sup> The financial consideration &mdash; minute enough to be entirely incommensurate to the values involved in this exchange by Wythe of cash for house and house for cash &mdash; suggests as one explanation of this equivocal transaction a desire on his part to tide Palmer over some temporary economic crisis with a loan protected by more than ample collateral.
  
Though he was to be for two or three more years just a landless lawyer, life in Williamsburg's pleasant legal and political circles must have proved interesting to their young newcomer. And social diversions were doubtless as plentiful
+
Though he was to be for two or three more years just a landless lawyer, life in [[wikipedia:Colonial Williamsburg|Williamsburg's]] pleasant legal and political circles must have proved interesting to their young newcomer. And social diversions were doubtless as plentiful
  
 
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===Page 59===
 
===Page 59===
  
as official activities, despite the solemn decision of the Council that some comedians who had arrived recently should not be granted permission to "act or exhibit any Plays or theoretical Entertainment in this Government."<sup>1</sup> Probably after an agreeable dinner and several hours of delightful conversation on a diarist recorded tersely: "Mr. Wyth [sic] spent the eveng here."<sup>2</sup>
+
as official activities, despite the solemn decision of the Council that some comedians who had arrived recently should not be granted permission to "act or exhibit any Plays or theoretical Entertainment in this Government."<sup>1</sup> Probably after an agreeable dinner and several hours of delightful conversation on a diarist recorded tersely: "Mr. Wyth [sic] spent the even<sup>g</sup> here."<sup>2</sup>
  
  
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</center>
  
Advancement in the House of Burgesses came much sooner than might have been reasonably expected by the lowly but favored clerk whose duties required him to rub elbows in a subordinate capacity with its leaders. At the age of twenty-eight he was elevated to a position of technical equality with them.
+
Advancement in the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] came much sooner than might have been reasonably expected by the lowly but favored clerk whose duties required him to rub elbows in a subordinate capacity with its leaders. At the age of twenty-eight he was elevated to a position of technical equality with them.
  
The Burgesses who were elected in 1752 had met for three sessions before the capitulation of Col. George Washington's forces at Fort Necessity, in one of the earlier military episodes of the French and Indian War, occasioned a fourth meeting. When the people's representatives convened in 1754 to cope with this emergency, the seat of the member from the incorporated town of Williamsburg was vacant; Armistead Burwell, its occupant during the earlier sessions, had died in
+
The Burgesses who were elected in 1752 had met for three sessions before the capitulation of [[wikipedia:George Washington|Col. George Washington's]] forces at [[wikipedia:Fort Necessity National Battlefield|Fort Necessity]], in one of the [[wikipedia:Battle of Fort Necessity|earlier military episodes]] of the [[wikipedia:French and Indian War|French and Indian War]], occasioned a fourth meeting. When the people's representatives convened in 1754 to cope with this emergency, the seat of the member from the incorporated town of [[wikipedia:Colonial Williamsburg|Williamsburg]] was vacant; Armistead Burwell, its occupant during the earlier sessions, had died in
  
 
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===Page 60===
 
===Page 60===
  
the interim. In accordance with the formalities usual in such cases the House took steps immediately to secure the prompt election of a new representative by the qualified voters of the capitol city.<sup>1</sup> Their duty of selection was probably an easy one &mdash; nearly all the men of prominence among them were ineligible by reason of places which they held already in some branch of the government. Of available citizens George Wythe was chosen, and in the same year he took his seat as a full-fledged burgess.<sup>2</sup> Henceforth the House must look elsewhere to supply scribes for its standing committees.
+
the interim. In accordance with the formalities usual in such cases the House took steps immediately to secure the prompt election of a new representative by the qualified voters of the capitol city.<sup>1</sup> Their duty of selection was probably an easy one &mdash; nearly all the men of prominence among them were ineligible by reason of places which they held already in some branch of the government. Of available citizens [[George Wythe]] was chosen, and in the same year he took his seat as a full-fledged burgess.<sup>2</sup> Henceforth [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|the House]] must look elsewhere to supply scribes for its standing committees.
  
This partially fortuitous promotion in the fourth session of the Assembly of 1752-1755 was followed in its fourth remaining terms by recognitions given within the House itself which prove that it shared Williamsburg's esteem for Wythe. His ability was apparently adequate to counteract any jealous
+
This partially fortuitous promotion in the fourth session of the Assembly of 1752-1755 was followed in its fourth remaining terms by recognitions given within the House itself which prove that it shared [[wikipedia:Colonial Williamsburg|Williamsburg's]] esteem for Wythe. His ability was apparently adequate to counteract any jealous
  
 
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1. McIlwaine, <u>Journal of the House of Burgesses, 1752-1758</u>, 190. This action was taken on the day of convening, August 22.
+
1. McIlwaine, <u>[[Journal of the House of Burgesses|Journal of the House of Burgesses, 1752-1758]]</u>, 190. This action was taken on the day of convening, August 22.
  
 
2. <u>Ibid</u>., viii. The exact date is unknown. If the election was held without delay, he could have been one of the anonymous new burgesses who were admitted Saturday, August 24, and Monday, August 26: <u>ibid</u>., 193, 194. But it is possible that Williamsburg was unrepresented in the fourth session and that Wythe qualified during the later session of that year, when more unnamed members entered the House: <u>ibid</u>., 211, 213, 217, 219. A Virginia Almanac for the year 1755 listed him a representative for Williamsburg in 1754: <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, VIII, 256. Among Wythe's associates were [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], [[wikipedia:Landon Carter|Landon Carter]], Charles Carter, John Robinson, [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]], [[wikipedia:John Page (Virginia politician)|John Page]], [[wikipedia:Benjamin Harrison|Benjamin Harrison]], [[Edmund Pendleton]], each of whom attained great renown in the House, and his less preeminent kinsmen, uncle Stephen Dewey and uncle-in-law [[wikipedia:Benjamin Waller|Benjamin Waller]].
 
2. <u>Ibid</u>., viii. The exact date is unknown. If the election was held without delay, he could have been one of the anonymous new burgesses who were admitted Saturday, August 24, and Monday, August 26: <u>ibid</u>., 193, 194. But it is possible that Williamsburg was unrepresented in the fourth session and that Wythe qualified during the later session of that year, when more unnamed members entered the House: <u>ibid</u>., 211, 213, 217, 219. A Virginia Almanac for the year 1755 listed him a representative for Williamsburg in 1754: <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, VIII, 256. Among Wythe's associates were [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], [[wikipedia:Landon Carter|Landon Carter]], Charles Carter, John Robinson, [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]], [[wikipedia:John Page (Virginia politician)|John Page]], [[wikipedia:Benjamin Harrison|Benjamin Harrison]], [[Edmund Pendleton]], each of whom attained great renown in the House, and his less preeminent kinsmen, uncle Stephen Dewey and uncle-in-law [[wikipedia:Benjamin Waller|Benjamin Waller]].
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===Page 61===
 
===Page 61===
  
imputation that he deserved at his comparatively immature age a smaller measure of good fortune. In 1754 an appropriation of &pound;20,000 was passed to help finance the current war against the French in the West. But such generous cooperation was circumscribed by an almost unprecedented condition: in the disbursement of these funds His Majesty's lieutenant-governor, who alone had previously superintended colonial expenditures, should act in conjunction with a special committee of directors, on which Wythe was the junior member named by the General Assembly.<sup>1</sup> When a sum twice as large was made available in the following year on the same terms, Wythe was again among those to whom the House delegated the assignment of guarding against the possibility that it might not be so expended as to render greatest aid to England's cause.<sup>2</sup> Upon a reorganization of four standing committees in 1755, to consider an accumulation of provincial business which had piled up under the exigencies of international conflict, he was given a place as the newest member of the three major subdivisions &mdash; the committees on Privileges and Elections
+
imputation that he deserved at his comparatively immature age a smaller measure of good fortune. In 1754 an appropriation of <s>L</s>20,000 was passed to help finance the current war against the French in the West. But such generous cooperation was circumscribed by an almost unprecedented condition: in the disbursement of these funds His Majesty's lieutenant-governor, who alone had previously superintended colonial expenditures, should act in conjunction with a special committee of directors, on which Wythe was the junior member named by the General Assembly.<sup>1</sup> When a sum twice as large was made available in the following year on the same terms, Wythe was again among those to whom the House delegated the assignment of guarding against the possibility that it might not be so expended as to render greatest aid to England's cause.<sup>2</sup> Upon a reorganization of four standing committees in 1755, to consider an accumulation of provincial business which had piled up under the exigencies of international conflict, he was given a place as the newest member of the three major subdivisions &mdash; the committees on Privileges and Elections
  
 
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</center>
  
Before he had reached the age of thirty George Wythe became intimately entangled in the long series of constitutional conflicts between the House of Burgesses and England's royal government which recurred periodically until the colon of Virginia became an independent commonwealth. The first of these was the pistole fee crisis, In it he attained a rank higher and more honorable than that of a burgess &mdash; but it was a position gained under circumstances peculiar and ticklish, literally reeking with possibilities for misinterpretation and jealousy.
+
Before he had reached the age of thirty [[George Wythe]] became intimately entangled in the long series of constitutional conflicts between the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] and England's royal government which recurred periodically until the colony of Virginia became an independent commonwealth. The first of these was the pistole fee crisis. In it he attained a rank higher and more honorable than that of a burgess &mdash; but it was a position gained under circumstances peculiar and ticklish, literally reeking with possibilities for misinterpretation and jealousy.
  
His Majesty had delegated the choicest of thirteen continental plums of colonial patronage to the Earl of Albemarle, who held the title of Governor General of Virginia but continued his residence in England. It was then customary among such appointees to sublet the actual supervision of a colony's affairs to one of their own favorites, who held the
+
His Majesty had delegated the choicest of thirteen continental plums of colonial patronage to the [[wikipedia:Willem van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle|Earl of Albemarle]], who held the title of [[wikipedia:List of colonial governors of Virginia|Governor General of Virginia]] but continued his residence in England. It was then customary among such appointees to sublet the actual supervision of a colony's affairs to one of their own favorites, who held the
  
 
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title of Lieutenant-Governor and presided personally over the government of his province in the name of the King. In this capacity there arrived in Virginia during the early fifties [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Robert Dinwiddie]] (1693-1770), an administrator destined to unpopularity. Tidewater Cavaliers could find precious little in his personality and policies to attract them to his support. It is true that the French and Indian War as an important contributory factor in their inharmonious relations, for Virginia carried the major colonial burden in that conflict. But Dinwiddie's background and character were not assets in his favor &mdash; Virginians were not flattered at the elevation to their leadership of a man who had been merely "the master of a little vessel trading in the [Tidewater] rivers ..." and who possessed "neither science not just ambition...."<sup>1</sup>
 
title of Lieutenant-Governor and presided personally over the government of his province in the name of the King. In this capacity there arrived in Virginia during the early fifties [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Robert Dinwiddie]] (1693-1770), an administrator destined to unpopularity. Tidewater Cavaliers could find precious little in his personality and policies to attract them to his support. It is true that the French and Indian War as an important contributory factor in their inharmonious relations, for Virginia carried the major colonial burden in that conflict. But Dinwiddie's background and character were not assets in his favor &mdash; Virginians were not flattered at the elevation to their leadership of a man who had been merely "the master of a little vessel trading in the [Tidewater] rivers ..." and who possessed "neither science not just ambition...."<sup>1</sup>
  
His predecessors had permitted an evasion of royal tax laws to grow to proportions which he deemed serious. More vigilant or avaricious than they,<sup>2</sup> he refused to place his signature and seal upon the thousand-odd patents pending in 1752 until receipt of a pistole (a Spanish coin then in current use, worth about $3.50) as a fee for the service of making legal the titles to lands whose surveys had been duly registered in the office of the colony's secretary. For
+
His predecessors had permitted an evasion of royal tax laws to grow to proportions which he deemed serious. More vigilant or avaricious than they,<sup>2</sup> he refused to place his signature and seal upon the thousand-odd patents pending in 1752 until receipt of a [[wikipedia:Pistole|pistole]] (a Spanish coin then in current use, worth about $3.50) as a fee for the service of making legal the titles to lands whose surveys had been duly registered in the office of the colony's secretary. For
  
 
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years these surveys had been recorded and actually possessed without having been entered on the quitrent rolls, by which the royal revenues were annually being defrauded of the taxes on more than a million acres. To this deliberate scheme of tax-dodging [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] proposed to put a stop; and, since unpatented lands were the property of the King by whose authority he claimed to act, he had the law on his side in his demand of a fee before their titles were confirmed.<sup>1</sup> Just to be certain of steadfast support from across the Atlantic in the reform, he took the mater up with the British Lords of Trade and received official approval of his plan, in which the members of Virginia's Council had already concurred.<sup>2</sup>
+
years these surveys had been recorded and actually possessed without having been entered on the quitrent rolls, by which the royal revenues were annually being defrauded of the taxes on more than a million acres. To this deliberate scheme of tax-dodging [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] proposed to put a stop; and, since unpatented lands were the property of the King by whose authority he claimed to act, he had the law on his side in his demand of a fee before their titles were confirmed.<sup>1</sup> Just to be certain of steadfast support from across the Atlantic in the reform, he took the matter up with the British [[wikipedia:Board of Trade|Lords of Trade]] and received official approval of his plan, in which the members of Virginia's Council had already concurred.<sup>2</sup>
  
The lower house of the colonial legislature, on the other hand, wary with fear that Dinwiddie's executive proclamation might become a precedent for rigid execution through all the future of a law which had been unobserved for decades, availed itself of its earliest opportunity to register its emphatic disapproval. Late in the fall of 1753 the Burgesses addressed to the lieutenant-governor a rousing indictment of the fee as an infringement of the constitutional rights and royal declarations which prohibited the exaction of any part of a subject's property under authority other than that of an
+
The lower house of the colonial legislature, on the other hand, wary with fear that Dinwiddie's executive proclamation might become a precedent for rigid execution through all the future of a law which had been unobserved for decades, availed itself of its earliest opportunity to register its emphatic disapproval. Late in the fall of 1753 the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses]] addressed to the lieutenant-governor a rousing indictment of the fee as an infringement of the constitutional rights and royal declarations which prohibited the exaction of any part of a subject's property under authority other than that of an
  
 
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established law.<sup>1</sup> Ignoring the issue of valid law enforcement which was at the bottom of the controversy, the House thus elected wisely to fight the whole battle on the most vulnerable flank of [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie's]] position &mdash; the question whether or not he had a right to extort by proclamation a fee for the use of the public seal. A few days later it resolved that any person paying a pistole for a land patent should be deemed a "Betrayer of the Rights and Privileges of the People" and determined to send an agent to the English court as a messenger for its claims.<sup>2</sup>
 
established law.<sup>1</sup> Ignoring the issue of valid law enforcement which was at the bottom of the controversy, the House thus elected wisely to fight the whole battle on the most vulnerable flank of [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie's]] position &mdash; the question whether or not he had a right to extort by proclamation a fee for the use of the public seal. A few days later it resolved that any person paying a pistole for a land patent should be deemed a "Betrayer of the Rights and Privileges of the People" and determined to send an agent to the English court as a messenger for its claims.<sup>2</sup>
  
When the adamant lieutenant-governor, surprised at these unexpectedly forceful attacks,<sup>3</sup> and his loyal Council gave not one inch of ground,<sup>4</sup> the Burgesses proceeded to the selection of their agent. [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]] (1721-1775), representative of corporate [http://www.wm.edu/ William and Mary College], which had a sort of "rotten borough" seat in the House, was chosen, and it was resolved that he should be paid &pound;2500 from the public
+
When the adamant lieutenant-governor, surprised at these unexpectedly forceful attacks,<sup>3</sup> and his loyal Council gave not one inch of ground,<sup>4</sup> the Burgesses proceeded to the selection of their agent. [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]] (1721-1775), representative of corporate [http://www.wm.edu/ William and Mary College], which had a sort of "rotten borough" seat in the House, was chosen, and it was resolved that he should be paid <s>L</s>2500 from the public
  
 
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2. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1752-1758</u>, 155.
 
2. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1752-1758</u>, 155.
  
3. Robert Dinwiddie to James Abercrombie, February 24, 175, Brock, ed., <u>Records of Dinwiddie</u>, I, 511-512, gives a bitter and disillusioned statement of his later wish that he had never precipitated the crisis.
+
3. Robert Dinwiddie to James Abercrombie, February 24, 1755, Brock, ed., <u>Records of Dinwiddie</u>, I, 511-512, gives a bitter and disillusioned statement of his later wish that he had never precipitated the crisis.
  
 
4. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), December 15, 17, 19, 1753, University of Virginia Library.
 
4. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), December 15, 17, 19, 1753, University of Virginia Library.
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===Page 66===
 
===Page 66===
  
treasury for his trouble. The fact that [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Randolph]] had been since 1748 His Majesty's Attorney-General made him the most promising candidate to carry an appeal to the Crown, but his duties lay in Virginia. Accordingly, the Burgesses anticipated later objections with an address to the King explaining their selection and urging that his mission should not bring down royal disfavor upon his head.<sup>1</sup>
+
treasury for his trouble. The fact that [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Randolph]] had been since 1748 His Majesty's Attorney-General made him the most promising candidate to carry an appeal to the Crown, but his duties lay in Virginia. Accordingly, the [[wikipedia:House of Bugresses|Burgesses]] anticipated later objections with an address to the King explaining their selection and urging that his mission should not bring down royal disfavor upon his head.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
The Council refused to concur in the resolution for salary,<sup>2</sup> and [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] took the appointment of a disloyal member of the small official family who received their commissions from the King as an unrivalled personal affront.<sup>3</sup> When Randolph approached him for permission to leave the colony, Dinwiddie pointed out the inconsistency between his intended absence and the terms of his commission and refused flatly to grant his request. But, as he stated later, Randolph "had then so far engaged in the thing that he could
 
The Council refused to concur in the resolution for salary,<sup>2</sup> and [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] took the appointment of a disloyal member of the small official family who received their commissions from the King as an unrivalled personal affront.<sup>3</sup> When Randolph approached him for permission to leave the colony, Dinwiddie pointed out the inconsistency between his intended absence and the terms of his commission and refused flatly to grant his request. But, as he stated later, Randolph "had then so far engaged in the thing that he could
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===Page 67===
 
===Page 67===
  
not recede...."<sup>1</sup> Accordingly, he sailed for London despite Dinwiddie's opposition.
+
not recede...."<sup>1</sup> Accordingly, he sailed for London despite [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie's]] opposition.
  
As the House had foreseen, the lieutenant-governor, "wounded to the soul", thereupon adopted "personal revenge" as his "weapon" by seizing the opportunity of declaring that Randolph's office had been vacated by his departure.<sup>2</sup> In January, 1754, he appointed George Wythe to it &mdash; apparently with no intention of creating merely a <u>pro tempore</u> or Acting Attorney General to serve until Randolph's return.<sup>3</sup> Admitted to a hearing before the Board of Trade in April of that year, Randolph was examined not upon the purpose of his mission but as to whether or not he had abandoned his royal office. Forced thereby to fence with a disapproving Board for his own rather than the Burgesses' interests, he admitted that he did not consider himself Attorney General during his absence and
+
As the House had foreseen, the lieutenant-governor, "wounded to the soul", thereupon adopted "personal revenge" as his "weapon" by seizing the opportunity of declaring that Randolph's office had been vacated by his departure.<sup>2</sup> In January, 1754, he appointed [[George Wythe]] to it &mdash; apparently with no intention of creating merely a <u>pro tempore</u> or Acting Attorney General to serve until Randolph's return.<sup>3</sup> Admitted to a hearing before the [[wikipedia:Board of Trade|Board of Trade]] in April of that year, Randolph was examined not upon the purpose of his mission but as to whether or not he had abandoned his royal office. Forced thereby to fence with a disapproving Board for his own rather than the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses']] interests, he admitted that he did not consider himself Attorney General during his absence and
  
 
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letter of instructions to [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] pursuant thereto.
 
letter of instructions to [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] pursuant thereto.
  
The worth to Virginia of these concessions has, perhaps, been too greatly minimized.<sup>1</sup> The Burgesses had staked their fortune in their battle with the lieutenant-governor on a protest against his somewhat arbitrary demand of a pistole for his signature and seal on land patents &mdash; their most tenable constitutional ground. This attack upon the wings of his defense was quite ineffective, for his right to extract the fee was limited only by prohibitions against its application to patents for less than 100 acres, to patents for the time-honored land bounties given those who were responsible for the immigration of new colonists, and to patents located west of the mountains, where all discouragements to settlement then met official frowns &mdash; and for such cases the fee had never been demanded. But a significant inroad was made upon his center in respect to the tacit but fundamental issue of the evasion of quitrents. Having purposely avoided an assault upon Dinwiddie's claim that the royal revenues were being defrauded, the House must have been pleasantly surprised that Dinwiddie was told to waive the fee and all arrears of quitrents on lands surveyed but unpatented before 1752. To Dinwiddie this dictum on the "Chief dispute between the People and me", as he termed it,
+
The worth to Virginia of these concessions has, perhaps, been too greatly minimized.<sup>1</sup> [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|The Burgesses]] had staked their fortune in their battle with the lieutenant-governor on a protest against his somewhat arbitrary demand of a [[wikipedia:Pistole|pistole]] for his signature and seal on land patents &mdash; their most tenable constitutional ground. This attack upon the wings of his defense was quite ineffective, for his right to extract the fee was limited only by prohibitions against its application to patents for less than 100 acres, to patents for the time-honored land bounties given those who were responsible for the immigration of new colonists, and to patents located west of the mountains, where all discouragements to settlement then met official frowns &mdash; and for such cases the fee had never been demanded. But a significant inroad was made upon his center in respect to the tacit but fundamental issue of the evasion of quitrents. Having purposely avoided an assault upon Dinwiddie's claim that the royal revenues were being defrauded, the House must have been pleasantly surprised that Dinwiddie was told to waive the fee and all arrears of quitrents on lands surveyed but unpatented before 1752. To Dinwiddie this dictum on the "Chief dispute between the People and me", as he termed it,
  
 
----
 
----
1. <u>Cf</u>. <u>e.g</u>., Brock, ed., <u>Records of Dinwiddie</u>, I, x; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses</u>, 1752-1758, xx.
+
1. <u>Cf</u>. <u>e.g</u>., Brock, ed., <u>Records of Dinwiddie</u>, I, x; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1752-1758</u>, xx.
  
 
===Page 70===
 
===Page 70===
  
came as the severest of shocks.<sup>1</sup> Thus public policy as the Lords of Trade saw it awarded a partial victory to the aggrieved subjects by ignoring certain overdue taxes &mdash; a rare phenomenon in British colonial administration of that century, whose zeal for revenue was usually quite keen.
+
came as the severest of shocks.<sup>1</sup> Thus public policy as the [[wikipedia:Board of Trade|Lords of Trade]] saw it awarded a partial victory to the aggrieved subjects by ignoring certain overdue taxes &mdash; a rare phenomenon in British colonial administration of that century, whose zeal for revenue was usually quite keen.
  
Fearful lest these concessions be deemed insufficient atonement for the affirmation of [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie's]] right to his pistols, another was made in which George Wythe was directly concerned. Of no material advantage to the colony, it was nevertheless well calculated to serve as a psychological balm. The pangs of Randolph's failure to secure a denunciation of the pisole fee would be sharpened by public remorse over his personal fall from royal grace. Since official confirmation of Dinwiddie's appointment of Wythe as Attorney General, in the form of a royal commission, had not yet cleared the hurdle of red tape, bitterness over Randolph's sacrifice could be forestalled without undue difficulty by his reinstatement in office. This would constitute &mdash; so the Board of Trade and
+
Fearful lest these concessions be deemed insufficient atonement for the affirmation of [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie's]] right to his pistole, another was made in which [[George Wythe]] was directly concerned. Of no material advantage to the colony, it was nevertheless well calculated to serve as a psychological balm. The pangs of Randolph's failure to secure a denunciation of the pistole fee would be sharpened by public remorse over his personal fall from royal grace. Since official confirmation of Dinwiddie's appointment of Wythe as Attorney General, in the form of a royal commission, had not yet cleared the hurdle of red tape, bitterness over Randolph's sacrifice could be forestalled without undue difficulty by his reinstatement in office. This would constitute &mdash; so the [[wikipedia:Board of Trade|Board of Trade]] and
  
 
----
 
----
1. The peculiarly indefinite provisions of the Board of Trade's instructions must be gleaned from the correspondence of Dinwiddie, who decided to withhold still longer the pending patents until replies came to some specific questions: Robert Dinwiddie to the Lords of Trade, October 25, 1754, Brock, ed., <u>Records of Dinwiddie</u>, I, 362-363; <u>id</u>. to Horace Walpole, October 25, 1754, <u>ibid</u>., 370-371. Recorded information about the Board's consideration of these questions is rather unenlightening: entries of January 7, 10, 14, 1755, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXIII, 18, 29, 30, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library. The final arrangement is partially told in Robert Dinwiddie to James Abercrombie, June 23, 1755, Brock, ed., <u>Records of Dinwiddie</u>, xx, 73; id. to Lord Walpole, November 9, 1756, <u>ibid</u>., 542.
+
1. The peculiarly indefinite provisions of the [[wikipedia:Board of Trade|Board of Trade's]] instructions must be gleaned from the correspondence of Dinwiddie, who decided to withhold still longer the pending patents until replies came to some specific questions: Robert Dinwiddie to the Lords of Trade, October 25, 1754, Brock, ed., <u>Records of Dinwiddie</u>, I, 362-363; <u>id</u>. to Horace Walpole, October 25, 1754, <u>ibid</u>., 370-371. Recorded information about the Board's consideration of these questions is rather unenlightening: entries of January 7, 10, 14, 1755, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXIII, 18, 29, 30, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library. The final arrangement is partially told in Robert Dinwiddie to James Abercrombie, June 23, 1755, Brock, ed., <u>Records of Dinwiddie</u>, II, 73; id. to Lord Walpole, November 9, 1756, <u>ibid</u>., 542.
  
 
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===Page 71===
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===Page 72===
 
===Page 72===
  
an incumbency there of roughly twelve months.<sup>1</sup> A nephew of Peyton Randolph has supposed that Wythe had privately intended to give up the office when Randolph's mission was completed, out of friendship for Randolph and sympathy for Burgesses' cause. According to this view, when Dinwiddie approached Wythe with an appointment in Randolph's stead,
+
an incumbency there of roughly twelve months.<sup>1</sup> A nephew of Peyton Randolph has supposed that [[George Wythe|Wythe]] had privately intended to give up the office when Randolph's mission was completed, out of friendship for Randolph and sympathy for [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses']] cause. According to this view, when [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] approached Wythe with an appointment in Randolph's stead,
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
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</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
The premise upon which this assumption is based was undoubtedly true: Wythe was loyal in every known respect to friends and country. But it does not necessarily follow that he positively and voluntarily intrigued with Randolph to defeat Dinwiddie's aims, however thoroughly in character such action might be. Nevertheless, the hint of such a patriotic and sacrificial course must be deemed a most interesting possibility, if not indeed probability. Granting its verity,
+
The premise upon which this assumption is based was undoubtedly true: Wythe was loyal in every known respect to friends and country. But it does not necessarily follow that he positively and voluntarily intrigued with Randolph to defeat [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie's]] aims, however thoroughly in character such action might be. Nevertheless, the hint of such a patriotic and sacrificial course must be deemed a most interesting possibility, if not indeed probability. Granting its verity,
  
 
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----
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Wythe was saved from the obligation to resign, with the consequent danger of having to explain a cancellation of his previous acceptance, by the commands from abroad that Randolph be given a second appointment. Doubtless it was [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] who had to face the agony of apologetic explanations.
 
Wythe was saved from the obligation to resign, with the consequent danger of having to explain a cancellation of his previous acceptance, by the commands from abroad that Randolph be given a second appointment. Doubtless it was [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] who had to face the agony of apologetic explanations.
  
Whether or not Wythe accepted the lieutenant-governor's appointment with professions of loyalty to one or more of the Burgesses, his position during 1754 was a treacherous one. One misstep might have turned against him the irascible Dinwiddie, whose temperament was not bettered by ill-health, and lost for him the benefits of royal patronage and of the Attorney-General's &pound;140 annual salary. On the other hand, Virginians were quick to detect and condemn in appointees of the Crown sentiments which they considered prejudicial to their interests. In the heated atmosphere of 1754 Wythe had outwardly taken Dinwiddie's side, yet he seems to have steered safely the difficult course between a Scylla and a Charybdis. So far as is known, he received no censure from the critical tongue or caustic pen of Dinwiddie. His selection late in the summer of 1754 by the freeholders of Williamsburg as their representative in the General Assembly and the assignments given him by the House during that and the following year are adequate testimony of the public's approval of his role in the pistole controversy.
+
Whether or not Wythe accepted the lieutenant-governor's appointment with professions of loyalty to one or more of the Burgesses, his position during 1754 was a treacherous one. One misstep might have turned against him the irascible Dinwiddie, whose temperament was not bettered by ill-health, and lost for him the benefits of royal patronage and of the Attorney-General's <s>L</s>140 annual salary. On the other hand, Virginians were quick to detect and condemn in appointees of the Crown sentiments which they considered prejudicial to their interests. In the heated atmosphere of 1754 Wythe had outwardly taken Dinwiddie's side, yet he seems to have steered safely the difficult course between a [[wikipedia:Scylla|Scylla]] and a [[wikipedia:Charybdis|Charybdis]]. So far as is known, he received no censure from the critical tongue or caustic pen of Dinwiddie. His selection late in the summer of 1754 by the freeholders of Williamsburg as their representative in the General Assembly and the assignments given him by the House during that and the following year are adequate testimony of the public's approval of his role in the pistole controversy.
  
  
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</center>
 
</center>
  
While George Wythe had been in Spotsylvania, his older brother, Thomas Wythe the Fourth, began a career which gave
+
While [[George Wythe]] had been in Spotsylvania, his older brother, Thomas Wythe the Fourth, began a career which gave
  
 
===Page 74===
 
===Page 74===
  
promise of emulating the examples set by his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. In 1747 he became a justice of the Elizabeth City county court, and until the winter of 1753 he managed to attend his duties somewhat faithfully despite the demands of "Chesterville" upon his time.<sup>1</sup> As had been the case with his grandfather, his death came before he reached an age at which he might reasonably expect to occupy one of Elizabeth City's seats in the House of Burgesses, in which his father and great-grandfather had sat and in which his younger brother was then representing Williamsburg. He
+
promise of emulating the examples set by his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. In 1747 he became a justice of the [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City]] county court, and until the winter of 1753 he managed to attend his duties somewhat faithfully despite the demands of "Chesterville" upon his time.<sup>1</sup> As had been the case with his grandfather, his death came before he reached an age at which he might reasonably expect to occupy one of Elizabeth City's seats in the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]], in which his father and great-grandfather had sat and in which his younger brother was then representing [[wikipedia:Colonial Williamsburg|Williamsburg]]. He
  
 
----
 
----
 
1. He took the oaths as justice on June 2, 1747, and was present at the sessions of July 7 and August 4, 1747: [Order Book, 1731-1747,] 541, 545, 546, respectively, Elizabeth City County Records. A cursory but fairly thorough inspection of the pages of the succeeding volume, <u>Order Book, 1747-1755</u>, showed that he was present at sessions on the following days, which are tabulated with the pages on which his name occurs:
 
1. He took the oaths as justice on June 2, 1747, and was present at the sessions of July 7 and August 4, 1747: [Order Book, 1731-1747,] 541, 545, 546, respectively, Elizabeth City County Records. A cursory but fairly thorough inspection of the pages of the succeeding volume, <u>Order Book, 1747-1755</u>, showed that he was present at sessions on the following days, which are tabulated with the pages on which his name occurs:
  
{| width="50%" style="border-collapse: collapse;"
+
{| width="40%" style="border-collapse: collapse;"
| width="40%" style="text-align: left;" |<u>Date</u>
+
| width="50%" style="text-align: left;" |<u>Date</u>
 
| style="text-align: right;" |<u>Page</u>
 
| style="text-align: right;" |<u>Page</u>
 
|-
 
|-
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===Page 75===
 
===Page 75===
  
died probably early in 1755,<sup>1</sup> an intestate bachelor. In this respect it was a fortunate event for George Wythe, to whom ownership of "Chesterville" descended automatically under the primogeniture law.
+
died probably early in 1755,<sup>1</sup> an intestate bachelor. In this respect it was a fortunate event for [[George Wythe]], to whom ownership of "Chesterville" descended automatically under the primogeniture law.
  
The possession of property in Elizabeth City made the younger Wythe eligible to become a judge of the county court and he was appointed almost immediately its presiding justice, sitting upon its bench (instead of pleading cause before its bar as an attorney) for the first time on July 1, 1755.2 In later sessions he attended the court for several years in
+
The possession of property in [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City]] made the younger Wythe eligible to become a judge of the county court and he was appointed almost immediately its presiding justice, sitting upon its bench (instead of pleading cause before its bar as an attorney) for the first time on July 1, 1755.<sup>2</sup> In later sessions he attended the court for several years in
  
 
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Wythe had become too intimately involved in the legislative and legal life of Williamsburg to consider very seriously a personal, permanent occupancy of "Chesterville". His political ties in the capital have already been enumerated; to these an advancement in the practise of his profession was added. Some time before May of 1755 he was admitted to the colony's supreme bar as an attorney before the semi-annual General Court.<sup>1</sup> No greater badge of distinction could be attained by a lawyer in Virginia's colonial period than the reputation of success in this superior tribunal of original and appellate jurisdiction, over which it was a primary duty of the lieutenant-governor to preside and in which the members of his Council sat as <u>ex officio</u> judges.
 
Wythe had become too intimately involved in the legislative and legal life of Williamsburg to consider very seriously a personal, permanent occupancy of "Chesterville". His political ties in the capital have already been enumerated; to these an advancement in the practise of his profession was added. Some time before May of 1755 he was admitted to the colony's supreme bar as an attorney before the semi-annual General Court.<sup>1</sup> No greater badge of distinction could be attained by a lawyer in Virginia's colonial period than the reputation of success in this superior tribunal of original and appellate jurisdiction, over which it was a primary duty of the lieutenant-governor to preside and in which the members of his Council sat as <u>ex officio</u> judges.
  
Another link in the chain which bound George Wythe to residence in Williamsburg was the blossoming of social interests there into a second marriage. After several years of widowerhood, probably about 1755, Wythe married [[Elizabeth Taliaferro Wythe|Elizabeth Taliaferro]],
+
Another link in the chain which bound [[George Wythe]] to residence in Williamsburg was the blossoming of social interests there into a second marriage. After several years of widowerhood, probably about 1755, Wythe married [[Elizabeth Taliaferro Wythe|Elizabeth Taliaferro]],
  
 
----
 
----
1. All the sketches of Wythe either ignore, evade, or falsify the time of his entrance to this court, the official records of which have never been available to scholars; when any information on the point has been given, it has been stated or implied that the date was 1756. But an earlier though indefinite date can be deductively established from the fact that Paul Carrington (1732/3-1818) received May, 1755, a license to practise law signed by [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], [[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John Randolph]], and George Wythe: Alexander Brown, <u>The Cabells and Their Kin: a Memorial Volume of History, Biography and Genealogy</u>, 205. Since the official board of examiners could then consist only of judges of the General Court and of members of its bar, and since Wythe was never a member of the Council, it follows indubitably that he had gained admission to its bar before May, 1755. The original act of 1745 setting up the board of examiners had been renewed in 1748 without change in that respect: Hening, ed. <u>Statutes</u>, VI, 140-143.
+
1. All the sketches of Wythe either ignore, evade, or falsify the time of his entrance to this court, the official records of which have never been available to scholars; when any information on the point has been given, it has been stated or implied that the date was 1756. But an earlier though indefinite date can be deductively established from the fact that Paul Carrington (1732/3-1818) received in May, 1755, a license to practise law signed by [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], [[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John Randolph]], and George Wythe: Alexander Brown, <u>The Cabells and Their Kin: a Memorial Volume of History, Biography and Genealogy</u>, 205. Since the official board of examiners could then consist only of judges of the General Court and of members of its bar, and since Wythe was never a member of the Council, it follows indubitably that he had gained admission to its bar before May, 1755. The original act of 1745 setting up the board of examiners had been renewed in 1748 without change in that respect: Hening, ed. <u>Statutes</u>, VI, 140-143.
  
 
===Page 78===
 
===Page 78===
  
daughter of Richard and Eliza Eggleston Taliaferro.<sup>1</sup> Her father owned an estate called [http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/jamesriver/pow.htm "Powhatan",] located in James City County some four or five miles south of Williamsburg; he was a wealthy man, probably a "gentleman farmer" by vocation, an architect by avocation, and had been a judge of his county's court.<sup>2</sup> With his second bride it is possible, perhaps even likely, that he secure the use of the [[George Wythe House|comfortable brick house]] which was for many years his home. Situated on the west side of the Palace Green, adjoining far-famed [http://www.brutonparish.org/ Bruton Parish Church,] less than a block from Duke of Gloucester Street, with the palatial Governor's Palace two blocks distant on the north, this handsome residence was built about 1755 by Wythe's second father-in-law. Under the terms of Richard Taliaferro's will its legal title was vested in his daughter and her husband.<sup>3</sup>
+
daughter of Richard and Eliza Eggleston Taliaferro.<sup>1</sup> Her father owned an estate called [http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/jamesriver/pow.htm "Powhatan",] located in [[wikipedia:James City County, Virginia|James City County]] some four or five miles south of Williamsburg; he was a wealthy man, probably a "gentleman farmer" by vocation, an architect by avocation, and had been a judge of his county's court.<sup>2</sup> With his second bride it is possible, perhaps even likely, that he secured the use of the [[George Wythe House|comfortable brick house]] which was for many years his home. Situated on the west side of the Palace Green, adjoining far-famed [http://www.brutonparish.org/ Bruton Parish Church,] less than a block from Duke of Gloucester Street, with the palatial Governor's Palace two blocks distant on the north, this handsome residence was built about 1755 by Wythe's second father-in-law. Under the terms of Richard Taliaferro's will its legal title was vested in his daughter and her husband.<sup>3</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
1. Jefferson, "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", filed under August 31, 1820, Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; Hayden, <u>Virginia Genealogies</u>, 382; Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 82-83, is authority for the date, for which no citation is given
+
1. Jefferson, "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", filed under August 31, 1820, Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; Hayden, <u>[[Virginia Genealogies]]</u>, 382; Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 82-83, is authority for the date, for which no citation is given
  
 
2. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, IV, 369, 413. In November, 1936, the writer was told in Williamsburg that "Powhatan" is now owned by a Mr. E. M. Slauson. The writer noted in passing that the name Taliaferro is one of frequent occurrence in the mid-eighteenth century records of Caroline and Spotsylvania counties, but he did not determine the relationships of these families to that in James City County.
 
2. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, IV, 369, 413. In November, 1936, the writer was told in Williamsburg that "Powhatan" is now owned by a Mr. E. M. Slauson. The writer noted in passing that the name Taliaferro is one of frequent occurrence in the mid-eighteenth century records of Caroline and Spotsylvania counties, but he did not determine the relationships of these families to that in James City County.
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But Wythe almost certainly occupied the building long before Taliaferro's death in 1779, and it is quite possible that the latter had constructed it specifically for Wythe as his daughter's dowry.
 
But Wythe almost certainly occupied the building long before Taliaferro's death in 1779, and it is quite possible that the latter had constructed it specifically for Wythe as his daughter's dowry.
  
Despite such attachments as these to Williamsburg, George Wythe did not lack a substantial interest in Elizabeth City County. Early in 1756 an election of representatives in the House of Burgesses took place. The burgess chosen by Williamsburg's electorate to fill Armistead Burwell's unexpired term announced his candidacy for one of his native county's two seats, to which he was quite eligible by virtue of his legal residence and property at "Chesterville",<sup>1</sup> but he was defeated in this effort at the polls. Freeholders in Elizabeth City appeared as a whole to prefer their actual rather than technical neighbors as representatives, no matter how distinguished the latter might be, for Wythe ran no better than fourth in a race between four or more candidates. Subsequent generations would not know even this much about that election, were it not for the facts that John Tabb, burgess in the House of 1752-1755, whose votes were third largest, protested against the award of a seat to William Wager <sup>2</sup> and that the Committee on Privileges and Elections spread certain records of their
+
Despite such attachments as these to Williamsburg, George Wythe did not lack a substantial interest in [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]]. Early in 1756 an election of representatives in the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] took place. The burgess chosen by Williamsburg's electorate to fill Armistead Burwell's unexpired term announced his candidacy for one of his native county's two seats, to which he was quite eligible by virtue of his legal residence and property at "Chesterville",<sup>1</sup> but he was defeated in this effort at the polls. Freeholders in Elizabeth City appeared as a whole to prefer their actual rather than technical neighbors as representatives, no matter how distinguished the latter might be, for Wythe ran no better than fourth in a race between four or more candidates. Subsequent generations would not know even this much about that election, were it not for the facts that John Tabb, burgess in the House of 1752-1755, whose votes were third largest, protested against the award of a seat to William Wager <sup>2</sup> and that the Committee on Privileges and Elections spread certain records of their
  
 
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contest upon the printed pages of official <u>Journals</u>.
 
contest upon the printed pages of official <u>Journals</u>.
  
As was usual in cases of contested elections in counties more or less distant from Williamsburg, the Committee appointed a commission of leading citizens to get at the bottom of the affair by examining under oath witnesses for each party on the legality of their freeholds or rights to exercise the suffrage and on any alleged irregular electioneering methods. It was not at all usual that one of the defeated candidates, George Wythe, should have been named chairman of this commission of five.<sup>1</sup> Yet, because Elizabeth City was not so very far away, it was soon agreed upon that the commission should examine only witnesses too infirm or ill to travel, the remainder to testify in person at the capital before the Committee.<sup>2</sup>
+
As was usual in cases of contested elections in counties more or less distant from Williamsburg, the Committee appointed a commission of leading citizens to get at the bottom of the affair by examining under oath witnesses for each party on the legality of their freeholds or rights to exercise the suffrage and on any alleged irregular electioneering methods. It was not at all usual that one of the defeated candidates, [[George Wythe]], should have been named chairman of this commission of five.<sup>1</sup> Yet, because [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City]] was not so very far away, it was soon agreed upon that the commission should examine only witnesses too infirm or ill to travel, the remainder to testify in person at the capital before the Committee.<sup>2</sup>
  
 
Evidence gathered by these two agencies and reported by the Committee serves as a fairly good mirror of Virginia's colonial political campaigns. Tabb had evidently charged Wager with illegally serving liquors to his intended constituents. But the testimony showed only that Wager "for many Years past hath kept an hospitable House, and freely entertained all Persons that came there...." It was his friends, who could do so with impunity, who had treated assembled voters with punch and bought the liquor served at his
 
Evidence gathered by these two agencies and reported by the Committee serves as a fairly good mirror of Virginia's colonial political campaigns. Tabb had evidently charged Wager with illegally serving liquors to his intended constituents. But the testimony showed only that Wager "for many Years past hath kept an hospitable House, and freely entertained all Persons that came there...." It was his friends, who could do so with impunity, who had treated assembled voters with punch and bought the liquor served at his
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===Page 81===
 
===Page 81===
  
home during the campaign. One of these explained that Wager "had assisted him in his Distress, and therefore he did treat the Freeholders at that Time", adding his intention to do the same thing "as often as M<sup>r</sup> <u>Wager</u> and M<sup>r</sup> <u>Wythe</u>, should be candidates for that County." The Committee learned, too, that at a meeting of freeholders "procured by M<sup>r</sup> <u>Wythe</u> who was a Candidate or his Friends" some of his backers promised that Wythe would serve as burgess without compensation and "that they would give Bond to repay any Thing that should be levied on the County for him...." Not to be outdone, Wager had offered to match these terms, which gave an unheralded wag by the name of Cary his cue to declare, "now we have got two men that will serve us for nothing, which he was glad of, as he found it very difficult to pay his Taxes...."<sup>1</sup> But, since Cary had not voted for Wager, the Committee could find nothing illegal in Wager's campaign practises. Accordingly, the result of the disputed election hinged upon the qualifications of the voters. The Committee found that seven of Wager's supporters were not freeholders and ruled out only three of Tabb's votes. By these subtractions Tabb was seated by a plurality of one over Wager, who had originally polled a three-vote lead.<sup>2</sup>
+
home during the campaign. One of these explained that Wager "had assisted him in his Distress, and therefore he did treat the Freeholders at that Time", adding his intention to do the same thing "as often as M<sup>r</sup> <u>Wager</u> and [[George Wythe|M<sup>r</sup> <u>Wythe</u>]], should be candidates for that County." The Committee learned, too, that at a meeting of freeholders "procured by M<sup>r</sup> <u>Wythe</u> who was a Candidate or his Friends" some of his backers promised that Wythe would serve as burgess without compensation and "that they would give Bond to repay any Thing that should be levied on the County for him...." Not to be outdone, Wager had offered to match these terms, which gave an unheralded wag by the name of Cary his cue to declare, "now we have got two men that will serve us for nothing, which he was glad of, as he found it very difficult to pay his Taxes...."<sup>1</sup> But, since Cary had not voted for Wager, the Committee could find nothing illegal in Wager's campaign practises. Accordingly, the result of the disputed election hinged upon the qualifications of the voters. The Committee found that seven of Wager's supporters were not freeholders and ruled out only three of Tabb's votes. By these subtractions Tabb was seated by a plurality of one over Wager, who had originally polled a three-vote lead.<sup>2</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
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===Page 82===
 
===Page 82===
  
Defeated in this somewhat typical campaign, George Wythe watched for two years from the outside the sessions of the Burgesses elected in 1756. That, as has been previously intimated, was the only House between 1748 and the Revolution with which he had no official connection.
+
[[File:WytheNaimeAndBlunt10July1755.jpg|thumb|500px|Wythe's order for scientific equipment, dated July 10, 1755. Original in the [http://library.haverford.edu/file-id-1037 Charles Roberts Autograph Letters Collection,] [http://library.haverford.edu/places/special-collections/ Quaker & Special Collections, Haverford College,] Haverford, Pennsylvania.]]
 +
Defeated in this somewhat typical campaign, [[George Wythe]] watched for two years from the outside the sessions of the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses]] elected in 1756. That, as has been previously intimated, was the only House between 1748 and the [[wikipedia:American Revolution|Revolution]] with which he had no official connection.
  
 
The earliest available writing from Wythe's pen now known to be extant constitutes a signed order for certain merchandize, but exactly what the articles he desired were is a matter of conjecture: "an aelolipyle a receiver and wood cup for shower of Mercury to be had of Naime and Blunt mr Shermer will be so good as [to] procure for G. Wythe."<sup>1</sup>
 
The earliest available writing from Wythe's pen now known to be extant constitutes a signed order for certain merchandize, but exactly what the articles he desired were is a matter of conjecture: "an aelolipyle a receiver and wood cup for shower of Mercury to be had of Naime and Blunt mr Shermer will be so good as [to] procure for G. Wythe."<sup>1</sup>
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</center>
 
</center>
  
The activities and attainments of the third decade in George Wythe's life have thus been reconstructed as fully as authentic sources permit. To complete this review of those years only one consideration remains. An uncomplimentary legend, base in its implications, cannot be ignored.
+
The activities and attainments of the third decade in [[George Wythe|George Wythe's]] life have thus been reconstructed as fully as authentic sources permit. To complete this review of those years only one consideration remains. An uncomplimentary legend, base in its implications, cannot be ignored.
  
 
Certain fictional reports have portrayed the Wythe of this period as a "wild and thoughtless youth" who yielded to the "seductions of pleasure" for nine or ten years, during which his career consisted of "dissipation and intemperance". This tradition was first promulgated obscurely in the year after his death<sup>2</sup> and was popularized and spread abroad for
 
Certain fictional reports have portrayed the Wythe of this period as a "wild and thoughtless youth" who yielded to the "seductions of pleasure" for nine or ten years, during which his career consisted of "dissipation and intemperance". This tradition was first promulgated obscurely in the year after his death<sup>2</sup> and was popularized and spread abroad for
  
 
----
 
----
1. Ms. of George Wythe, July 10, 1755, Roberts Autograph Collection, Haverford College Library.
+
1. [[Wythe to Shermer, 10 July 1755|Ms. of George Wythe, July 10, 1755]], [http://library.haverford.edu/file-id-1037 Roberts Autograph Collection,] [http://library.haverford.edu/places/special-collections/ Haverford College Library.]
  
 
2. "[[Memoirs of the Late George Wythe, Esquire]]", <u>The American Gleaner, and Virginia Magazine</u>, I (1807), 1-2. This account is openly didactic.
 
2. "[[Memoirs of the Late George Wythe, Esquire]]", <u>The American Gleaner, and Virginia Magazine</u>, I (1807), 1-2. This account is openly didactic.
Line 1,608: Line 1,613:
 
years by certain biographers of "Grub Street" caliber or less.<sup>1</sup> Significantly, no memoirs written by persons known to have been intimately acquainted with the man suggest any such traits in his character.<sup>2</sup> A full century had passed before enough thought was focussed on the theory to bring forth an
 
years by certain biographers of "Grub Street" caliber or less.<sup>1</sup> Significantly, no memoirs written by persons known to have been intimately acquainted with the man suggest any such traits in his character.<sup>2</sup> A full century had passed before enough thought was focussed on the theory to bring forth an
  
 +
[[File:RichmondEnquirer13June1806P3Detail.jpg|thumb|left|250px|Detail from page three of the Richmond ''Enquirer'' for June 13, 1806, with William Munford's [[Oration, Pronounced at the Funeral of George Wythe|funeral oration for George Wythe]].]]
 
----
 
----
 
1. An extremely slavish paraphrase of the 1807 "[[Memoirs of the Late George Wythe, Esquire|Memoirs]]" adopted the account almost verbatim: "[[Media:HallAmericanLawJournal1810.pdf|George Wythe]]", <u>American Law Journal</u>, III (1810), 93. Thence the idea was transmitted to [Smith,] "[[Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 173. Three later condensations of Smith's sketch, each of which sacrificed disproportionately other information in preference to omitting the moral of Wythe's youthful aberrations, adopted the fable: Charles A. Goodrich, "George Wythe", in his<u> Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence</u>, 365; N. Dwight, "George Wythe", in his <u>The Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence</u>, 267; B. J. Lossing, "George Wythe", in his <u>Biographical Sketches of the Signers of the Declaration of American Independence</u>, 163. Like that cited in the preceding footnote, all of these sources use the fable because of its possibilities as an instructive example. Indication of the widespread credence which unauthoritative tales of this kind may sometimes gain is given in the fact that this legend is solemnly reported as unquestioned truth in the article on Wythe in the large French biographical dictionary, <u>[[Biographie Universelle]]</u>.
 
1. An extremely slavish paraphrase of the 1807 "[[Memoirs of the Late George Wythe, Esquire|Memoirs]]" adopted the account almost verbatim: "[[Media:HallAmericanLawJournal1810.pdf|George Wythe]]", <u>American Law Journal</u>, III (1810), 93. Thence the idea was transmitted to [Smith,] "[[Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 173. Three later condensations of Smith's sketch, each of which sacrificed disproportionately other information in preference to omitting the moral of Wythe's youthful aberrations, adopted the fable: Charles A. Goodrich, "George Wythe", in his<u> Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence</u>, 365; N. Dwight, "George Wythe", in his <u>The Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence</u>, 267; B. J. Lossing, "George Wythe", in his <u>Biographical Sketches of the Signers of the Declaration of American Independence</u>, 163. Like that cited in the preceding footnote, all of these sources use the fable because of its possibilities as an instructive example. Indication of the widespread credence which unauthoritative tales of this kind may sometimes gain is given in the fact that this legend is solemnly reported as unquestioned truth in the article on Wythe in the large French biographical dictionary, <u>[[Biographie Universelle]]</u>.
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outright doubt,<sup>1</sup> and it is only in the last decade that distinct denials have been made.<sup>2</sup>
 
outright doubt,<sup>1</sup> and it is only in the last decade that distinct denials have been made.<sup>2</sup>
  
These recent defenders of Wythe's personal conduct have pointed out the probability that his distinctions in the House of Burgesses, success in the county courts, and appointment as Attorney General could not have come to a conspicuous degenerate or to any one of the greater-than-average self-indulgence &mdash; and that is in itself convincing testimony against the allegation. But its details alone are inaccurate enough to puncture this fabricated story, which supplies a motive by stating that an orphaned George came by inheritance on his twenty-first birthday into the unprotected control of a sizable fortune, that he squandered it in a prodigal fashion. Indubitable refutation of such assumptions has been given within this chapter in the fact that George Wythe became his father's heir, by the intestate death of his older brother, only when he was approaching the age of thirty. Wythe never possessed enough wealth to have suffered its enervating influence.
+
These recent defenders of Wythe's personal conduct have pointed out the probability that his distinctions in the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]], success in the county courts, and appointment as [[wikipedia:List of Attorneys General of Virginia|Attorney General]] could not have come to a conspicuous degenerate or to any one of the greater-than-average self-indulgence &mdash; and that is in itself convincing testimony against the allegation. But its details alone are inaccurate enough to puncture this fabricated story, which supplies a motive by stating that an orphaned George came by inheritance on his twenty-first birthday into the unprotected control of a sizable fortune, that he squandered it in a prodigal fashion. Indubitable refutation of such assumptions has been given within this chapter in the fact that [[George Wythe]] became his father's heir, by the intestate death of his older brother, only when he was approaching the age of thirty. Wythe never possessed enough wealth to have suffered its enervating influence.
  
 
Had the legend of misspent years had any other origin than its true one, it might be a malicious slander, significant in any delineation of Wythe's character merely because some calumniator had taken the trouble to defame his reputation with a deliberate libel or aspersion. Yet no such
 
Had the legend of misspent years had any other origin than its true one, it might be a malicious slander, significant in any delineation of Wythe's character merely because some calumniator had taken the trouble to defame his reputation with a deliberate libel or aspersion. Yet no such
Line 1,637: Line 1,643:
 
===Page 86===
 
===Page 86===
  
positive that Wythe lived moderately, observing faithfully the rules of contemporary conventions and the dictates of his own conscience. One of his friends admitted, about six years after his death, that he had had a "natural" tendency to "instability" but recalled that it had been held in check "with a tight rein".<sup>1</sup> Others spoke of his "truly laudable" conduct in a "private life ... spent in the practice of social virtues, and in the enjoyment of much domestic felicity ...",<sup>2</sup> described his virtue as "of the purest tint", and attributed his "general good health" to "temperance and regularity in all his habits."<sup>3</sup> To one of the very biographers who contributed to the spread of the falsehood of Wythe's alleged dissipation Thomas Jefferson had given, together with some information designed to serve as "landmarks to distinguish truth from error, in what you hear from others", assurance that "the exalted virtue of the man will also be a polar star to guide you in all matters which may touch that element of his character", adding on second thought, "but on that you will receive [<u>sic</u>] imputations from no man; for, as far as I know, he never had an enemy."<sup>4</sup>
+
positive that Wythe lived moderately, observing faithfully the rules of contemporary conventions and the dictates of his own conscience. One of his friends admitted, about six years after his death, that he had had a "natural" tendency to "instability" but recalled that it had been held in check "with a tight rein".<sup>1</sup> Others spoke of his "truly laudable" conduct in a "private life ... spent in the practice of social virtues, and in the enjoyment of much domestic felicity ...",<sup>2</sup> described his virtue as "of the purest tint", and attributed his "general good health" to "temperance and regularity in all his habits."<sup>3</sup> To one of the very biographers who contributed to the spread of the falsehood of Wythe's alleged dissipation [[wikipedia:Thomas Jefferson|Thomas Jefferson]] had given, together with some information designed to serve as "landmarks to distinguish truth from error, in what you hear from others", assurance that "the exalted virtue of the man will also be a polar star to guide you in all matters which may touch that element of his character", adding on second thought, "but on that you will receive [<u>sic</u>] imputations from no man; for, as far as I know, he never had an enemy."<sup>4</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
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===Page 87===
 
===Page 87===
  
It has been shown by his own admission that George Wythe neglected during his third decade some opportunities for the improvement of his scanty education. Of this fault he was never again guilty. Demands of public or private business made incessant inroads upon his time, but nothing could prevent the penetrating study of a man who developed, after his professional career had been established, the genuine love of learning for its own sake which is so essential a foundation for scholarship. The loss of hours spent less beneficially was redeemed a hundred fold within the next fifty years.<sup>1</sup> Indefatigable in his application, he became noted for a solidity and penetration which none of his contemporaries surpassed. Breadth of interest, too, characterized his self-education. In his later years he was respectfully dubbed "the walking library".<sup>2</sup> And when he died someone reflected that "there was no art or profession of which he had not a correct idea."<sup>3</sup>
+
It has been shown by his own admission that [[George Wythe]] neglected during his third decade some opportunities for the improvement of his scanty education. Of this fault he was never again guilty. Demands of public or private business made incessant inroads upon his time, but nothing could prevent the penetrating study of a man who developed, after his professional career had been established, the genuine love of learning for its own sake which is so essential a foundation for scholarship. The loss of hours spent less beneficially was redeemed a hundred fold within the next fifty years.<sup>1</sup> Indefatigable in his application, he became noted for a solidity and penetration which none of his contemporaries surpassed. Breadth of interest, too, characterized his self-education. In his later years he was respectfully dubbed "the walking library".<sup>2</sup> And when he died someone reflected that "there was no art or profession of which he had not a correct idea."<sup>3</sup>
  
 
First among the fields of knowledge to which Wythe turned his attention was the treasury of classical literature. Therein lay throughout a long lifetime his chief intellectual interest, and until he was about fifty years of age his unremitting diligence in self-instruction was concentrated
 
First among the fields of knowledge to which Wythe turned his attention was the treasury of classical literature. Therein lay throughout a long lifetime his chief intellectual interest, and until he was about fifty years of age his unremitting diligence in self-instruction was concentrated
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===Page 88===
 
===Page 88===
  
primarily on the acquisition of facts and principles recorded by the writers of ancient Greece and Rome. The handicap of inadequate formal schooling and of only preliminary grammatical study at his mother's knee meant nothing to him, though they had together been barely sufficient to let him realize how unqualified for progress he was. On his own initiative and with no other tutor than himself, he plunged deeply into a discriminating absorption in the classics.<sup>1</sup>
+
primarily on the acquisition of facts and principles recorded by the [[wikipedia:Ancient Greek literature|writers of ancient Greece]] and [[wikipedia:Latin literature|Rome]]. The handicap of inadequate formal schooling and of only preliminary grammatical study at his mother's knee meant nothing to him, though they had together been barely sufficient to let him realize how unqualified for progress he was. On his own initiative and with no other tutor than himself, he plunged deeply into a discriminating absorption in the classics.<sup>1</sup>
  
Rather early in this study he procured a volume of blank pages, average in size, not unlike a typical eighteenth-century lawyer's commonplace book, in which he recorded minute notes of his personal [[Etymological Praxis|research in the etymology of Greek and Latin words]]. About 150 pages of his book, which has been preserved, contain his comparisons of Latin equivalents with the original Greek text of Homer's <u>Iliad</u> and with other Hellenic literature. No better monument to Wythe's patient burrowings in linguistics can be imagined than this private product of his explorations in the original meanings of words,
+
Rather early in this study he procured a volume of blank pages, average in size, not unlike a typical eighteenth-century lawyer's commonplace book, in which he recorded minute notes of his personal [[Etymological Praxis|research in the etymology of Greek and Latin words]]. About 150 pages of his book, which has been preserved, contain his comparisons of Latin equivalents with the original Greek text of [[wikipedia:Iliad|Homer's <u>Iliad</u>]] and with other Hellenic literature. No better monument to Wythe's patient burrowings in linguistics can be imagined than this private product of his explorations in the original meanings of words,
  
 
----
 
----
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which he certainly never intended for the eye of posterity.<sup>1</sup> By such labors he acquired a knowledge of the ancient languages which was "critically correct".<sup>2</sup>
 
which he certainly never intended for the eye of posterity.<sup>1</sup> By such labors he acquired a knowledge of the ancient languages which was "critically correct".<sup>2</sup>
  
Homer's immortal tale of the fall of Troy, however, was only a beginning. Wythe's mind ran the gamut of Greek and Latin poets, historians, and philosophers; with all of these whose writings he could obtain he became as familiar as he was with any English author, reading them with equal ease.<sup>3</sup> Thomas Jefferson spoke of him later without reservation as
+
Homer's immortal [[wikipedia:Iliad|tale]] of the fall of Troy, however, was only a beginning. Wythe's mind ran the gamut of Greek and Latin poets, historians, and philosophers; with all of these whose writings he could obtain he became as familiar as he was with any English author, reading them with equal ease.<sup>3</sup> Thomas Jefferson spoke of him later without reservation as
  
 
----
 
----
1. [George Wythe, [[Etymological Praxis|An Etymological Praxis]]], Virginia Historical Society Library. This Ms. quarto volume has no title page and is undated; but Wythe's characteristic handwriting constitutes a positive means to identification. The writer is of the opinion, on the basis of penmanship comparisons with Wythe's letters, that it was definitely of a period before 1765. The last six of its unnumbered pages contain a copy of biographical sketches of John Holloway and William Hopkins, colonial Virginia lawyers who died in 1734, transcribed by some one other than Wythe from Sir John Randolph's "Breviate Book". A letter of transmittal to the Society is pasted to its front cover. "I herewith sent you, the book which I promised you for your Society. It was (as I informed you) the property of the late venerable and learned Chancellor Wythe, and I believe is altogether in his hand writing [<u>sic</u>], although the character of the copy from 'Sir John's Breviate Book' seems to be different from that of the Greek and Latin. Much of the largest portion of the book is a Clavis Όμηρου, or Etymological Praxis, on which several of the books of the Iliad, and some of the παχωίδία<ref>As Hemphill did not possess Greek characters on his typewriter, these characters were originally added to the [[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937.pdf|dissertation]] in pen (18MB PDF).</ref> which will serve in a striking manner to illustrate the great industry of that distinguished man": [[John Page, Jr., to James E. Heath, 3 January 1834|John Page to James B. Heath, January 3, 1834]]. The existence of this Ms. has been previously commented upon only by Grigsby, [[Virginia Convention of 1776|<u>Virginia Convention of 1776</u>]], 120, who cited it as evidence that Wythe's accurate familiarity with Latin and Greek began in middle life. The two biographical sketches were reprinted in <u>The Virginia Historical Register</u>, I, 119-123.
+
1. [[George Wythe]], [[Etymological Praxis|An Etymological Praxis]], Virginia Historical Society Library. This Ms. quarto volume has no title page and is undated; but Wythe's characteristic handwriting constitutes a positive means to identification. The writer is of the opinion, on the basis of penmanship comparisons with Wythe's letters, that it was definitely of a period before 1765. The last six of its unnumbered pages contain a copy of biographical sketches of John Holloway and William Hopkins, colonial Virginia lawyers who died in 1734, transcribed by some one other than Wythe from Sir John Randolph's "Breviate Book". A letter of transmittal to the Society is pasted to its front cover. "I herewith sent you, the book which I promised you for your Society. It was (as I informed you) the property of the late venerable and learned Chancellor Wythe, and I believe is altogether in his hand writing [<u>sic</u>], although the character of the copy from 'Sir John's Breviate Book' seems to be different from that of the Greek and Latin. Much of the largest portion of the book is a Clavis Όμηρου, or Etymological Praxis, on which several of the books of the Iliad, and some of the παχωίδία<ref>As Hemphill did not possess Greek characters on his typewriter, these characters were originally added to the [[Media:HemphillGeorgeWytheTheColonialBriton1937.pdf|dissertation]] in pen (18MB PDF).</ref> which will serve in a striking manner to illustrate the great industry of that distinguished man": [[John Page, Jr., to James E. Heath, 3 January 1834|John Page to James B. Heath, January 3, 1834]]. The existence of this Ms. has been previously commented upon only by Grigsby, [[Virginia Convention of 1776|<u>Virginia Convention of 1776</u>]], 120, who cited it as evidence that Wythe's accurate familiarity with Latin and Greek began in middle life. The two biographical sketches were reprinted in <u>The Virginia Historical Register</u>, I, 119-123.
  
 
2. Anonymous "[[Richmond Enquirer, 10 June 1806|Communication]]", <u>The Enquirer</u>, June 10, 1806.
 
2. Anonymous "[[Richmond Enquirer, 10 June 1806|Communication]]", <u>The Enquirer</u>, June 10, 1806.
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===Page 90===
 
===Page 90===
  
"the best Latin and Greek scholar" in Virginia,<sup>1</sup> and a contemporary who was better qualified than Jefferson to pass judgment in literary matters asserted that his attainments in the classics had rarely been equaled in all the American colonies and states.<sup>2</sup> Or, as still another contemporary put it, he labored delightedly "not only through an apprenticeship, but almost through a life in the dead language."<sup>3</sup> A rather recent figure in the world of American letters boasted that he owned a rare [[Anacreontis Carmina cum Sapphonis, et Alcaei fragmentis|1757 edition of the odes to Anacreon, Sappho, and Alcaeus]], which had once been in the library of George Wythe.<sup>4</sup> If anything, he carried too far his love of ancient scholarship, which became increasingly as he grew older his pride as well as his joy. Conversation and correspondence he naturally enriched with quotations, but there is a limit at which the foible of classical quotation borders upon pedantry pure and simple. Any Wythe appears never to have hesitated to sprinkle even the most technical legal opinions and decisions with excerpts from his studies, to the utter consternation of less learned associates who could not
+
"the best Latin and Greek scholar" in Virginia,<sup>1</sup> and a contemporary who was better qualified than Jefferson to pass judgment in literary matters asserted that his attainments in the classics had rarely been equaled in all the American colonies and states.<sup>2</sup> Or, as still another contemporary put it, he labored delightedly "not only through an apprenticeship, but almost through a life in the dead language."<sup>3</sup> A rather recent figure in the world of American letters boasted that he owned a rare [[Anacreontis Carmina cum Sapphonis, et Alcaei fragmentis|1757 edition of the odes to Anacreon, Sappho, and Alcaeus]], which had once been in the library of [[George Wythe]].<sup>4</sup> If anything, he carried too far his love of ancient scholarship, which became increasingly as he grew older his pride as well as his joy. Conversation and correspondence he naturally enriched with quotations, but there is a limit at which the foible of classical quotation borders upon pedantry pure and simple. Any Wythe appears never to have hesitated to sprinkle even the most technical legal opinions and decisions with excerpts from his studies, to the utter consternation of less learned associates who could not
  
 
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----
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===Page 93===
 
===Page 93===
  
 +
[[File:Leney1807Wythe.jpg|thumb|left|300px|"George Wythe, Esq.," by William Satchwell Leney, engraved for the [[Memoirs of the Late George Wythe, Esquire|''American Gleaner and Virginia Magazine'']] 1. no. 1 (24 January 1807) 1-3. Original at the [http://vhs4.vahistorical.org/starweb/vhs/servlet.starweb?path=vhs/vhs.web Virginia Historical Society].]]
 
between grey eyes as the most readily distinguishable item among his engagingly blended features. A complete absence of affection controlled courteous manners naturally urbane in both social and professional contacts.<sup>1</sup>
 
between grey eyes as the most readily distinguishable item among his engagingly blended features. A complete absence of affection controlled courteous manners naturally urbane in both social and professional contacts.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
1. <u>Ibid</u>.; Cooke, "George Wythe", Manuscript Biographies Collection, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library. An excellent portrait in the lobby of the George Wythe Hotel, Wytheville, Virginia, pictures him at an earlier age than any other &mdash; apparently at about thirty-five. The [[George Wythe House|Wythe House]] in Williamsburg houses a handsome Turnbull [''sic''] semi-profile painting of a somewhat later date. A [[:File:Leney1807Wythe.jpg|full-profile by Longacre]], originally painted in the missing issues of <u>The American Gleaner, and Virginia Magazine</u>,<ref>The original portrait in the 1807 ''American Gleaner'' was created by [[:File:Leney1807Wythe.jpg|William Satchwell Leney]], not J.B. Longacre. Longacre's engraving is labeled as being based on "a Portrait in the American Gleaner," but was created for Sanderson's [[Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence]], c. 1823.</ref> is definitely applicable only to Wythe's old age and is very widely available through engraved copies in publications and libraries. Mrs. Catherine Carter Critcher of Washington, D. C., a collateral descendant, presented to the Wythe House in 1927 an original oil painting done from the [[:File:LongacreWythe.jpg|Longacre model]]. In the Wythe House there is also a small circular profile, giving the impression of a semi-caricature, done by the famous elder Peale with the aid of an extinct "profilograph" invention. In Wythe's last years he became stooped and thin.
+
1. <u>Ibid</u>.; Cooke, "George Wythe", Manuscript Biographies Collection, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library. An excellent portrait in the lobby of the George Wythe Hotel, Wytheville, Virginia, pictures him at an earlier age than any other &mdash; apparently at about thirty-five. The [[George Wythe House|Wythe House]] in Williamsburg houses a handsome Turnbull [''sic''] semi-profile painting of a somewhat later date. A [[:File:Leney1807Wythe.jpg|full-profile by Longacre]], originally painted in the missing issues of <u>The American Gleaner, and Virginia Magazine</u>,<ref>The original portrait in the 1807 ''American Gleaner'' was created by [[:File:Leney1807Wythe.jpg|William Satchwell Leney]], not J.B. Longacre. Longacre's engraving is labeled as being based on "a Portrait in the American Gleaner," but was created for Sanderson's [[Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence]], c. 1823.</ref> is definitely applicable only to Wythe's old age and is very widely available through engraved copies in publications and libraries. Mrs. [[wikipedia:Catharine Carter Critcher|Catherine Carter Critcher]] [''sic''] of Washington, D. C., a collateral descendant, presented to the Wythe House in 1927 an original oil painting done from the [[:File:LongacreWythe.jpg|Longacre model]]. In the Wythe House there is also a small circular profile, giving the impression of a semi-caricature, done by the famous elder Peale with the aid of an extinct "profilograph" invention. In Wythe's last years he became stooped and thin.
  
 
==Chapter IV==
 
==Chapter IV==
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</center>
 
</center>
  
The legal profession in Virginia, as in England's other American colonies during the seventeenth century, was a casual or struggling one. Advocates were despised or regarded with suspicion; litigation ran uniformly along channels of the simplest actions in debt and trespass; and the practise of law was frequently a mere avocation by which untrained merchants and landowners protected their commercial interests. It was only after 1700 that the bar in Virginia began to bud with learned and respected names,<sup>1</sup> and it was not until 1750 that the bud blossomed into full flower. During the quarter-century preceding the end of the colonial regime lawyers developed in Virginia's General Court who were in every respect at least equal to the best produced in other colonies, if indeed the Virginia bar of that period was not distinctly superior to any of the others.<sup>2</sup>
+
The legal profession in Virginia, as in England's other [[wikipedia:Thirteen Colonies|American colonies]] during the seventeenth century, was a casual or struggling one. Advocates were despised or regarded with suspicion; litigation ran uniformly along channels of the simplest actions in debt and trespass; and the practise of law was frequently a mere avocation by which untrained merchants and landowners protected their commercial interests. It was only after 1700 that the bar in Virginia began to bud with learned and respected names,<sup>1</sup> and it was not until 1750 that the bud blossomed into full flower. During the quarter-century preceding the end of the colonial regime lawyers developed in Virginia's General Court who were in every respect at least equal to the best produced in other colonies, if indeed the Virginia bar of that period was not distinctly superior to any of the others.<sup>2</sup>
  
The preceding chapter has shown that George Wythe was
+
The preceding chapter has shown that [[George Wythe]] was
  
 
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===Page 95===
 
===Page 95===
  
admitted to practise in the General Court some time before May, 1755. For two decades or more the advocacy of causes before its bench, composed of the members of the Council with the lieutenant-governor or governor as presiding judge, furnished Wythe's principal income and his chief occupation. This supreme tribunal convened in Williamsburg only twice each year, in April and October, for sessions continuing about two weeks each; but long intervals between terms were not vacations for the scholarly Wythe, who had so much success in attracting clients that months of intensive research and preparation were required for him to do justice to them all.
+
admitted to practise in the General Court some time before May, 1755. For two decades or more the advocacy of causes before its bench, composed of the members of the Council with the lieutenant-governor or governor as presiding judge, furnished Wythe's principal income and his chief occupation. This supreme tribunal convened in [[wikipedia:colonial Williamsburg|Williamsburg]] only twice each year, in April and October, for sessions continuing about two weeks each; but long intervals between terms were not vacations for the scholarly Wythe, who had so much success in attracting clients that months of intensive research and preparation were required for him to do justice to them all.
  
Thomas Jefferson, who joined Wythe at this bar in its later days, pronounced him unqualifiedly as the greatest of its members during the second of the two decades in which Wythe practiced there, "taking into consideration his superior learning, correct elocution, and logical style of reasoning."<sup>1</sup> This could have hardly have been true of the ten years before 1765, for one could not leap suddenly into the leadership of such a company of legal giants. Though Wythe "soon became eminent among them", advance to priority over such colleagues could come only "in process of time."<sup>2</sup> Four men, only one of
+
[[Thomas Jefferson]], who joined Wythe at this bar in its later days, pronounced him unqualifiedly as the greatest of its members during the second of the two decades in which Wythe practiced there, "taking into consideration his superior learning, correct elocution, and logical style of reasoning."<sup>1</sup> This could have hardly have been true of the ten years before 1765, for one could not leap suddenly into the leadership of such a company of legal giants. Though Wythe "soon became eminent among them", advance to priority over such colleagues could come only "in process of time."<sup>2</sup> Four men, only one of
  
 
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whom could have entered the General Court after Wythe, appear to have shared with him the dominance of its bar.
 
whom could have entered the General Court after Wythe, appear to have shared with him the dominance of its bar.
  
The titular head of the group was Attorney-General Peyton Randolph. A son of the much respected Sir John Randolph, Peyton had been educated at William and Mary, Oxford, and the Inner Temple. His appearance was extremely gentlemanly, his manners friendly to all but strangers, his nature conciliatory; his mind was sound enough and his arguments substantial enough to counterbalance fully an utter lack of the arts and graces of eloquence. His frame carried some excessive weight, and the resultant physical inertness became characteristic of his mental habits &mdash; "he was rather indolent and careless for business, which occasioned him to get a smaller proportion of it at the bar than his abilities would otherwise have commanded." Beginning in 1748 he drew for some time a steady salary as the government's chief prosecutor, except for a year in which Wythe supplanted him; thus "he did not seem to court, nor scarcely to welcome business."<sup>1</sup>
+
The titular head of the group was Attorney-General [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]]. A son of the much respected [[wikipedia:John Randolph (politician)|Sir John Randolph]], Peyton had been educated at [[wikipedia:College of William & Mary|William and Mary]], [[wikipedia:University of Oxford|Oxford]], and the [[wikipedia:Inner Temple|Inner Temple]]. His appearance was extremely gentlemanly, his manners friendly to all but strangers, his nature conciliatory; his mind was sound enough and his arguments substantial enough to counterbalance fully an utter lack of the arts and graces of eloquence. His frame carried some excessive weight, and the resultant physical inertness became characteristic of his mental habits &mdash; "he was rather indolent and careless for business, which occasioned him to get a smaller proportion of it at the bar than his abilities would otherwise have commanded." Beginning in 1748 he drew for some time a steady salary as the government's chief prosecutor, except for a year in which Wythe supplanted him; thus "he did not seem to court, nor scarcely to welcome business."<sup>1</sup>
  
John Randolph (<u>b</u>. 1727), younger brother of Peyton, was another of the principal practitioners in the General Court. The advantages of experience in the Inner Temple, following an education at William and Mary, had also been his. Like his brother, he lived in Williamsburg, but in politics he was generally more conservative and a bit less distinguished than Peyton. During a large part of the latter's tenure as Attorney
+
[[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John Randolph]] (<u>b</u>. 1727), younger brother of Peyton, was another of the principal practitioners in the General Court. The advantages of experience in the Inner Temple, following an education at William and Mary, had also been his. Like his brother, he lived in [[wikipedia:Williamsburg, Virginia|Williamsburg]], but in politics he was generally more conservative and a bit less distinguished than Peyton. During a large part of the latter's tenure as Attorney
  
 
----
 
----
1. Biographical Sketch of Peyton Randolph, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, XVII, 139.
+
1. Biographical Sketch of Peyton Randolph, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, XVIII, 139.
  
 
===Page 97===
 
===Page 97===
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was his sole handicap in public life.<sup>1</sup> He, too, lived in Williamsburg, and, though they were often associated in the same legal and political circles, rivalry never sprung up to mar or to make tense his friendship for Wythe.
 
was his sole handicap in public life.<sup>1</sup> He, too, lived in Williamsburg, and, though they were often associated in the same legal and political circles, rivalry never sprung up to mar or to make tense his friendship for Wythe.
  
Edmund Pendleton was a fourth lawyer who attained a dominant position at the bar of the General Court, and to investigators of Wythe's career he is much the most interesting colleague Wythe ever had. In all the history of Virginia there have never been two lives which presented so many striking parallels and contrasts as did those of Wythe and Pendleton. Throughout more than half a century in public service they were engaged almost incessantly in the same political, legal, and judicial activities. In a series of many issues which confronted them, however, they were rarely aligned on the same side of any question, and even in those instances they reached the same opinions by substantially diverse mental paths. Rivals for every kind of official preferment for fifty years, no genuine antipathy ever really existed between them, though each upheld tenaciously his principles against the other's attacks until the very day on which Pendleton preceded Wythe to the grave by three years. Theirs was an absolutely unique relationship, and its inherent drama was intensified by the fact that its similarities and conflicts became
+
[[Edmund Pendleton]] was a fourth lawyer who attained a dominant position at the bar of the General Court, and to investigators of Wythe's career he is much the most interesting colleague Wythe ever had. In all the history of Virginia there have never been two lives which presented so many striking parallels and contrasts as did those of Wythe and Pendleton. Throughout more than half a century in public service they were engaged almost incessantly in the same political, legal, and judicial activities. In a series of many issues which confronted them, however, they were rarely aligned on the same side of any question, and even in those instances they reached the same opinions by substantially diverse mental paths. Rivals for every kind of official preferment for fifty years, no genuine antipathy ever really existed between them, though each upheld tenaciously his principles against the other's attacks until the very day on which Pendleton preceded Wythe to the grave by three years. Theirs was an absolutely unique relationship, and its inherent drama was intensified by the fact that its similarities and conflicts became
  
 
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===Page 100===
 
===Page 100===
of the legal profession. Two or three years later he became clerk of the vestry of St. Mary's Parish; his earnings as such he claimed to have devoted to the purchase of a few books, presumably law treatises, which he "read ... very diligently".<sup>1</sup> As his term of servitude to Robinson was approaching its conclusion, he gained his master's consent to enter the bar. In April, 1741, he received a license to practise after an examination by Edward Barradall,<sup>2</sup> and in the following month he was sworn as an attorney in Caroline.<sup>3</sup> A year and a half later he was admitted with Zachary Lewis to plead causes before the Spotsylvania bench.<sup>4</sup> It was probably in 1746 or 1747, at one of these two county seats, that Wythe first became acquainted with him. Pendleton had married a short time before he was quizzed by Barradall, but his first bride had died before a year elapsed, as did Ann Lewis Wythe.<sup>5</sup> A few years later Pendleton married a second time, as Wythe was to do, and each of them survived his
+
of the legal profession. Two or three years later he became clerk of the vestry of St. Mary's Parish; his earnings as such he claimed to have devoted to the purchase of a few books, presumably law treatises, which he "read ... very diligently".<sup>1</sup> As his term of servitude to Robinson was approaching its conclusion, he gained his master's consent to enter the bar. In April, 1741, he received a license to practise after an examination by [[wikipedia:Edward Barradall|Edward Barradall]],<sup>2</sup> and in the following month he was sworn as an attorney in Caroline.<sup>3</sup> A year and a half later he was admitted with Zachary Lewis to plead causes before the Spotsylvania bench.<sup>4</sup> It was probably in 1746 or 1747, at one of these two county seats, that Wythe first became acquainted with him. Pendleton had married a short time before he was quizzed by Barradall, but his first bride had died before a year elapsed, as did Ann Lewis Wythe.<sup>5</sup> A few years later Pendleton married a second time, as Wythe was to do, and each of them survived his
  
 
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2. <u>Ibid</u>.
 
2. <u>Ibid</u>.
  
3. Entry of May 8, 1741, <u>Order Book</u>, <u>1740-1746</u>, 42, Caroline County Record.
+
3. Entry of May 8, 1741, <u>Order Book</u>, <u>1740-1746</u>, 42, Caroline County Records.
  
 
4. Entry of December 7, 1742, <u>Orders</u>, <u>1738-1749</u>, 190, Spotsylvania County Records.
 
4. Entry of December 7, 1742, <u>Orders</u>, <u>1738-1749</u>, 190, Spotsylvania County Records.
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===Page 101===
 
===Page 101===
  
second wife by a number of years, dying without issue. In 1751 Pendleton became a judge of the Caroline court, and for many years he was its presiding justice, as Wythe was over that of Elizabeth City County. Pendleton became a burgess for Caroline in 1752, two years earlier than Wythe's promotion to the floor of the House from his clerkships to standing committee. His entrance to the bar of the General Court, however, preceded Wythe's by almost a decade, for he became an advocate before that bench in its October session of 1745.<sup>1</sup> His success there far exceeded that of any other practitioner who lived more than a few miles from Williamsburg.
+
second wife by a number of years, dying without issue. In 1751 Pendleton became a judge of the Caroline court, and for many years he was its presiding justice, as Wythe was over that of [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]]. Pendleton became a burgess for Caroline in 1752, two years earlier than Wythe's promotion to the floor of the House from his clerkships to standing committees. His entrance to the bar of the General Court, however, preceded Wythe's by almost a decade, for he became an advocate before that bench in its October session of 1745.<sup>1</sup> His success there far exceeded that of any other practitioner who lived more than a few miles from Williamsburg.
  
 
It was men like these who made the bar of the General Court so splendid and so redolent with talents. With these four most prominent members Wythe's career was more frequently entwined, but a number of lesser lights increased the brilliance of that picturesque tribunal. Only very incomplete records remain to tell a disconnected story of Wythe's first ten years in that court.
 
It was men like these who made the bar of the General Court so splendid and so redolent with talents. With these four most prominent members Wythe's career was more frequently entwined, but a number of lesser lights increased the brilliance of that picturesque tribunal. Only very incomplete records remain to tell a disconnected story of Wythe's first ten years in that court.
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===Page 102===
 
===Page 102===
  
to Elizabeth City County, Wythe wrote in the next year the following letter (which is the first from his pen now extant and available) to a client in northern Fairfax County:
+
to [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]], Wythe wrote in the next year the following letter (which is the first from his pen now extant and available) to a client in northern Fairfax County:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Your suit agt. West is set for trial [on] the 10th day of [the] next [General] court. I have directed a subpoena to be inclosed, if Mr. [Edmund] Pendleton or Mr. [Robert Carter] Nicholas has not sent you one, for summoning your witnesses, since your adversary insists on a special verdict, in stead [sic] of the case intended to have been agreed last court. You may know of him I suppose what facts he desires to prove, and [to] which to agree.<sup>1</sup>
+
Your suit ag<sup>t</sup>. West is set for trial [on] the 10th day of [the] next [General] court. I have directed a subpoena to be inclosed, if M<sup>r</sup>. [[wikipedia:Edmund Pendleton|[Edmund] Pendleton]] or M<sup>r</sup>. [Robert Carter] Nicholas has not sent you one, for summoning your witnesses, since your adversary insists on a special verdict, in stead [sic] of the case intended to have been agreed last court. You may know of him I suppose what facts he desires to prove, and [to] which to agree.<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
In 1758<sup>2</sup> and again in 1760<sup>3</sup> Wythe was co-counsel with Robert Carter Nicholas for Col. George Washington in matters relating to the latter's titles to certain tracts of land. A receipt given by Wythe in acknowledgment of payment for his services by another client indicates that he was business-like in his financial dealings: "Received Oct. 26th 1763 of mr Towles fifty shillings, my fee for defending the suit brought against
+
In 1758<sup>2</sup> and again in 1760<sup>3</sup> Wythe was co-counsel with [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas, Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]] for [[wikipedia:George Washington|Col. George Washington]] in matters relating to the latter's titles to certain tracts of land. A receipt given by Wythe in acknowledgment of payment for his services by another client indicates that he was business-like in his financial dealings: "Received Oct. 26th 1763 of mr Towles fifty shillings, my fee for defending the suit brought against
  
 
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<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Wh[ereas] I am inform'd, that John Davis did this day suffer and permit, unlawful [<u>sic</u>] gaming in his house (being an ordinary [tavern]) contrary to the Acct [<u>sic</u>] of Assembly in that case made and provided &mdash;<br />These are therefore in his Majestie's [<u>sic</u>] Name to require before me or some other Justice for the said County to answer the [above] Premises [charges] Given under my hand this 10th day of September 1761 &mdash; <div align="right">George Wythe</div>To
+
Wh[ereas] I am inform'd, that John Davis did this day suffer and permit, unlawfull [<u>sic</u>] gaming in his house (being an ordinary [tavern]) contrary to the Acct [<u>sic</u>] of Assembly in that case made and provided &mdash;<br />These are therefore in his Majestie's [<u>sic</u>] Name to require you to summon the said John Davis immediately to appear before me or some other Justice for the said County to answer the [above] Premises [charges] Given under my hand this 10th day of September 1761 &mdash;<div align="right">George Wythe</div>To
:The Sheriff of Londoun
+
:The Sheriff of Loudoun
 
:County
 
:County
 
Summon, James Vessell<br />
 
Summon, James Vessell<br />
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1. Receipt of George Wythe, October 26, 1763, Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, New York Historical Society Library.
 
1. Receipt of George Wythe, October 26, 1763, Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, New York Historical Society Library.
  
2. Ms. in the New York City office of The Rosenbach Company in December, 1936.
+
2. Ms. in the New York City office of [https://rosenbach.pastperfectonline.com/archive/BBB56D7D-FF68-469C-AA26-341940618139 The Rosenbach Company] in December, 1936.
  
3. Londoun had been constituted a separate county in 1757. The only genuine Wythe autograph recalled by the writer to have been signed "George Wythe" (instead of the usual "G. Wythe") is that on the Declaration of Independence, which would be a counterfeiter's most available source.
+
3. Loudoun had been constituted a separate county in 1757. The only genuine Wythe autograph recalled by the writer to have been signed "George Wythe" (instead of the usual "G. Wythe") is that on the [[Declaration of Independence]], which would be a counterfeiter's most available source.
  
 
===Page 104===
 
===Page 104===
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of a crude and naïve forgery seems to be tenable. It is just possible, however, that this summons furnishes a reliable and sole clue to a lost episode in Wythe's career.
 
of a crude and naïve forgery seems to be tenable. It is just possible, however, that this summons furnishes a reliable and sole clue to a lost episode in Wythe's career.
  
A hint that Wythe met financial success in his General Court practise is given by two records of business transacttions in Elizabeth City County, which show that he had enough ready cash to expand his property by rent and purchase. His inherited lands were evidently deemed insufficient by him. Probably he found that his overseer could farm profitably a substantially larger territory than "Chesterville" afforded. Thus it was that he secured in 1760 from the trustees of the Syms Free School a lease under whose terms he was to have the use of all but one of the 200 acres left for the school by the will of Benjamin Syms. In addition to an annual rental of <s>L</s>30 5s, Wythe contracted to supply four milch cows for the use of the school several months each year, to plant an orchard of 100 trees, and to leave in good repair any buildings which he might erect on the leased land.<sup>1</sup> How many years he maintained this lease-hold is not a matter of record. In 1763, however, he added 40 acres by patent to those in he county which he owned outright.<sup>2</sup>
+
A hint that Wythe met financial success in his General Court practise is given by two records of business transactions in [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]], which show that he had enough ready cash to expand his property by rent and purchase. His inherited lands were evidently deemed insufficient by him. Probably he found that his overseer could farm profitably a substantially larger territory than "[[Chesterville]]" afforded. Thus it was that he secured in 1760 from the trustees of the [http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/Syms_Free_School_Site Syms Free School] a lease under whose terms he was to have the use of all but one of the 200 acres left for the school by the will of Benjamin Syms. In addition to an annual rental of <s>L</s>30 5s, Wythe contracted to supply four milch cows for the use of the school several months each year, to plant an orchard of 100 trees, and to leave in good repair any buildings which he might erect on the leased land.<sup>1</sup> How many years he maintained this lease-hold is not a matter of record. In 1763, however, he added 40 acres by patent to those in the county which he owned outright.<sup>2</sup>
  
 
During 1757 and 1758 he had served as the legal guardian of one of the county's orphans, Lockey Collier by name, who
 
During 1757 and 1758 he had served as the legal guardian of one of the county's orphans, Lockey Collier by name, who
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had attended in 1756 the grammar school at William and Mary College.<sup>1</sup> As a refund for his services and expenses in this connection, Wythe was awarded <s>L</s>28 14s 11 2/4d of the estate which was held in trust until Collier became of age.<sup>2</sup>
 
had attended in 1756 the grammar school at William and Mary College.<sup>1</sup> As a refund for his services and expenses in this connection, Wythe was awarded <s>L</s>28 14s 11 2/4d of the estate which was held in trust until Collier became of age.<sup>2</sup>
  
So far as is known, Wythe was constantly one of the lawyers at the bar of the General Court who were chosen to com pose the board of examiners for embryo attorneys. In this capacity there appeared before him early in 1760 a rather uncouth and unprepared young man, who had failed miserably in a merchandizing venture as he proprietor of a country store in upland Hanover County and had turned to the law because he might be able in that profession to secure remuneration for his ability to talk. His name was Patrick Henry. Through his application for a certificate attesting his qualifications and licensing him to practise in the county courts, Wythe undoubtedly received his first introduction to a man who was more than any other his total antithesis, and with whom he was to be upon no known occasion in anything approaching even a virtual agreement. Henry had read law for only a very short while, perhaps about six weeks, and promises of diligent future study on his part seem to have been necessary to secure the approval of some of his examiners. An impression that Wythe refused resolutely to sign his license has
+
So far as is known, Wythe was constantly one of the lawyers at the bar of the General Court who were chosen to compose the board of examiners for embryo attorneys. In this capacity there appeared before him early in 1760 a rather uncouth and unprepared young man, who had failed miserably in a merchandizing venture as he proprietor of a country store in upland Hanover County and had turned to the law because he might be able in that profession to secure remuneration for his ability to talk. His name was [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Patrick Henry]]. Through his application for a certificate attesting his qualifications and licensing him to practise in the county courts, Wythe undoubtedly received his first introduction to a man who was more than any other his total antithesis, and with whom he was to be upon no known occasion in anything approaching even a virtual agreement. Henry had read law for only a very short while, perhaps about six weeks, and promises of diligent future study on his part seem to have been necessary to secure the approval of some of his examiners. An impression that Wythe refused resolutely to sign his license has
  
 
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===Page 106===
 
===Page 106===
  
prevailed without exception among Henry's biographers,<sup>1</sup> but a county court record disproves this misconception.<sup>2</sup> In his more vindictive moments Wythe may have later regretted his share in promoting young Patrick's entrance into the professsion in which Henry found himself.
+
prevailed without exception among Henry's biographers,<sup>1</sup> but a county court record disproves this misconception.<sup>2</sup> In his more vindictive moments Wythe may have later regretted his share in promoting young Patrick's entrance into the profession in which Henry found himself.
  
  
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</center>
 
</center>
  
Patrick Henry was not the only young man of large later influence who travelled to Williamsburg early in the year 1760. There was another, a mere lad of about seventeen years, in whom Wythe seemed to detect a greater, more solid genius and a more congenial personality than he had found in the illprepared applicant whose license he signed. The name of this rather freckle-faced, red-headed, and gangling youth was Thomas Jefferson.
+
[[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Patrick Henry]] was not the only young man of large later influence who travelled to [[wikipedia:Williamsburg, Virginia|Williamsburg]] early in the year 1760. There was another, a mere lad of about seventeen years, in whom Wythe seemed to detect a greater, more solid genius and a more congenial personality than he had found in the illprepared applicant whose license he signed. The name of this rather freckle-faced, red-headed, and gangling youth was [[Thomas Jefferson]].
  
 
Born and reared just east of the Blue Ridge, farther west than Henry, Jefferson came to the capital for a longer
 
Born and reared just east of the Blue Ridge, farther west than Henry, Jefferson came to the capital for a longer
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===Page 107===
 
===Page 107===
  
stay and under circumstances more favorable than Henry's. His father, Peter, an outstanding colonial surveyor and a justice of Albemarle County, had died three years earlier, leaving "Shadwell" and a sizeable estate, though not quite enough to assure his son of independence from the necessity of becoming a breadwinner. His mother was a first cousin of the Randolph brothers, Peyton and John, and related to other socially prominent families of the eastern Tidewater. The advantages of adequate elementary instruction had not been denied him, and for the two preceding years his teacher in the classics had been Rev. James Maury, whose name is famous as an Anglican rector and more famous as Virginia's preeminent private tutor. With this superior background he enrolled early in 1760 as a student in William and Mary.
+
stay and under circumstances more favorable than Henry's. His father, Peter, an outstanding colonial surveyor and a justice of Albemarle County, had died three years earlier, leaving [https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/shadwell "Shadwell"] and a sizeable estate, though not quite enough to assure his son of independence from the necessity of becoming a breadwinner. His mother was a first cousin of the Randolph brothers, [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton]] and [[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John]], and related to other socially prominent families of the eastern Tidewater. The advantages of adequate elementary instruction had not been denied him, and for the two preceding years his teacher in the classics had been [[wikipedia:James Maury|Rev. James Maury]], whose name is famous as an Anglican rector and more famous as Virginia's preeminent private tutor. With this superior background he enrolled early in 1760 as a student in [[wikipedia:College of William & Mary|William and Mary]].
  
A few weeks before Jefferson took that momentous step he argued with himself, in a letter asking for his guardian's approval, the pros and cons of further formal study, foretelling accurately that "by going to the College, I shall get a more universal Acquaintance, which may hereafter be serviceable to me ...."<sup>1</sup> It was an intelligent prophecy; yet its
+
A few weeks before [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] took that momentous step he argued with himself, in a letter asking for his guardian's approval, the pros and cons of further formal study, foretelling accurately that "by going to the College, I shall get a more universal Acquaintance, which may hereafter be serviceable to me...."<sup>1</sup> It was an intelligent prophecy; yet its
  
 
----
 
----
1. Thomas Jefferson to John Harvey, January 14, 1760, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, IV, specially printed on an insert between 268 and 269. An interesting picture of his feelings fifty years later along the same line is given in a letter of very paternal advice to a grandson. "When I recollect the various sorts of bad company with which I associated from time to time, I am astonished [that] I did not turn off with some of them, and become as worthless to society as they were. I had the good fortune to become acquainted with very early with some characters of very
+
1. Thomas Jefferson to John Harvey, January 14, 1760, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, IV, specially printed on an insert between 268 and 269. An interesting picture of his feelings fifty years later along the same line is given in a letter of very paternal advice to a grandson. "When I recollect that at fourteen years of age, the whole care and direction of myself was thrown on myself entirely ... and recollect the various sorts of bad company with which I associated from time to time, I am astonished [that] I did not turn off with some of them, and become as worthless to society as they were. I had the good fortune to become acquainted with very early with some characters of very
  
 
===Page 108===
 
===Page 108===
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fulfillment must have far exceeded his wildest dreams.
 
fulfillment must have far exceeded his wildest dreams.
  
First among Jefferson's significant and intimate friends outside the circle of his classmates was Dr. William Small (<u>d</u>. 1775), a Scot who held from 1758 to 1764 the professorship of mathematics and chair of science, which educators then usually designated natural philosophy.<sup>1</sup> In a faculty consisting largely of clerics, Small was the outstanding member. To Virginia he brought a reputation for thorough training in the learning of European universities, an extensive and costly experimental apparatus, and a very scholarly knowlede of the exact sciences. Previously educational studies in the colony had been confined almost exclusively to history, the languages, and other subjects classified among the arts. Small popularized among curious Virginians for the first time inquiries into the higher types of mathematics, into atronomy, and into physical principles;<sup>2</sup> his influence may be detected, for example, in the exciting attempts of William and Mary students and professors late in the century to make balloons ascend by suspending a fire under their open bottoms.
+
First among Jefferson's significant and intimate friends outside the circle of his classmates was Dr. William Small (<u>d</u>. 1775), a Scot who held from 1758 to 1764 the professorship of mathematics and chair of science, which educators then usually designated natural philosophy.<sup>1</sup> In a faculty consisting largely of clerics, Small was the outstanding member. To Virginia he brought a reputation for thorough training in the learning of European universities, an extensive and costly experimental apparatus, and a very scholarly knowlede of the exact sciences. Previously educational studies in the colony had been confined almost exclusively to history, the languages, and other subjects classified among the arts. Small popularized among curious Virginians for the first time inquiries into the higher types of mathematics, into astronomy, and into physical principles;<sup>2</sup> his influence may be detected, for example, in the exciting attempts of William and Mary students and professors late in the century to make balloons ascend by suspending a fire under their open bottoms.
  
 
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----
high standing, and to feel the incessant wich that I could ...become what they were. Under temptations and difficulties, I would ask myself what…will insure me their approbation? I am certain that this mode of deciding on my conduct, tended more to correctness than any reasoning powers I possessed": <u>id</u>. To Thomas Jefferson Randolph, November 24, 1808, <u>ibid</u>., XII, 197.
+
high standing, and to feel the incessant wish that I could ...become what they were. Under temptations and difficulties, I would ask myself what…will insure me their approbation? I am certain that this mode of deciding on my conduct, tended more to correctness than any reasoning powers I possessed": <u>id</u>. to Thomas Jefferson Randolph, November 24, 1808, <u>ibid</u>., XII, 197.
  
 
1. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, <u>Williamsburg, the Old Colonial Capital</u>, 147, 153, 268. Jefferson was inaccurate in supposing that he returned to England in 1762: Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 3.
 
1. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, <u>Williamsburg, the Old Colonial Capital</u>, 147, 153, 268. Jefferson was inaccurate in supposing that he returned to England in 1762: Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 3.
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===Page 109===
 
===Page 109===
  
John Page, one of Jefferson's collegiate chums, fell completely under the spell of Small's enticing studies. He gloried in the subsequent renown of his illustrious professor as "the great Dr. Small, of Birmingham, the darling friend" of Erasmus Darwin, a British scientist who was Charles Darwin's grandfather, and he shifted his intellectual interest abruptly under Small's tutelage from military and naval history to mathematics and astronomy.<sup>1</sup> To American educational method Small made an epochal contribution by being the acknowledged pioneer in the introduction and by discarding for his purposes the typical textbook recitation.<sup>2</sup>
+
[[wikipedia:John Page (Virginia politician)|John Page]], one of [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson's]] collegiate chums, fell completely under the spell of [[wikipedia:William Small|Small's]] enticing studies. He gloried in the subsequent renown of his illustrious professor as "the great Dr. Small, of Birmingham, the darling friend" of [[wikipedia:Erasmus Darwin|Erasmus Darwin]], a British scientist who was [[wikipedia:Charles Darwin|Charles Darwin's]] grandfather, and he shifted his intellectual interest abruptly under Small's tutelage from military and naval history to mathematics and astronomy.<sup>1</sup> To American educational method Small made an epochal contribution by being the acknowledged pioneer in the introduction and by discarding for his purposes the typical textbook recitation.<sup>2</sup>
  
 
As a student Jefferson had the utmost respect for this teacher who became the first real moulder of his character, and in later years he wrote of small in terms of downright fervency. Describing him as "a man profound in most of the useful branches of science, with a happy talent of communication, correct and gentlemanly manners, and an enlarged and liberal mind",<sup>3</sup> Jefferson attributed to him the initiation in both the grammar school and the college of "rational and
 
As a student Jefferson had the utmost respect for this teacher who became the first real moulder of his character, and in later years he wrote of small in terms of downright fervency. Describing him as "a man profound in most of the useful branches of science, with a happy talent of communication, correct and gentlemanly manners, and an enlarged and liberal mind",<sup>3</sup> Jefferson attributed to him the initiation in both the grammar school and the college of "rational and
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2. Tyler, <u>Williamsburg</u>, 153, 268; Cornelius J. Heatwole, <u>A History of Education in Virginia</u>, 91.
 
2. Tyler, <u>Williamsburg</u>, 153, 268; Cornelius J. Heatwole, <u>A History of Education in Virginia</u>, 91.
  
3. "Autobiography", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 3.
+
3. "Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson|Autobiography]]", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 3.
  
 
===Page 110===
 
===Page 110===
  
elevated courses of study", and recalled that, "from an extraordinary conjunction of eloquence and logic", he had been able to teach his students "with great effect." "Dr. Small", Jefferson affirmed, "was … to me as a father. to [<u>sic</u>] his enlightened and affectionate guidance of my studies … at College I am indebted for every thing [<u>sic</u>]";<sup>1</sup> and upon another occasion the grateful pupil wrote: "He, most happily for me, became soon attached to me, and made me his daily companion when not engaged in the school; and from his conversation I got my first views of the expansion of science, and of the system of things in which we are placed."<sup>2</sup>
+
elevated courses of study", and recalled that, "from an extraordinary conjunction of eloquence and logic", he had been able to teach his students "with great effect." "Dr. Small", [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] affirmed, "was … to me as a father. to [<u>sic</u>] his enlightened and affectionate guidance of my studies … at College I am indebted for every thing [<u>sic</u>]";<sup>1</sup> and upon another occasion the grateful pupil wrote: "He, most happily for me, became soon attached to me, and made me his daily companion when not engaged in the school; and from his conversation I got my first views of the expansion of science, and of the system of things in which we are placed."<sup>2</sup>
  
Wythe was Small's "bosom friend";<sup>3</sup> they were "inseparable". And it was undoubtedly in reference to the fact that the professor procured for his pupil Wythe's "patronage" that Jefferson could look back upon his contact with the Scotch educator as the thing which "probably fixed the destinies of my life ...."<sup>4</sup> For Jefferson graduated from the College in 1762, and Small returned to England two years later; but the young graduate's intimate association with Wythe continued for about two decades in actuality and was never interrupted in spirit until Wythe's death.
+
Wythe was Small's "bosom friend";<sup>3</sup> they were "inseparable". And it was undoubtedly in reference to the fact that the professor procured for his pupil Wythe's "patronage" that Jefferson could look back upon his contact with the Scotch educator as the thing which "probably fixed the destinies of my life...."<sup>4</sup> For Jefferson graduated from the College in 1762, and Small returned to England two years later; but the young graduate's intimate association with Wythe continued for about two decades in actuality and was never interrupted in spirit until Wythe's death.
  
 
----
 
----
 
1. [[Thomas Jefferson to Louis H. Girardin, 15 January 1815|Thomas Jefferson to L. H. Girardin, January 15, 1815]], Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.
 
1. [[Thomas Jefferson to Louis H. Girardin, 15 January 1815|Thomas Jefferson to L. H. Girardin, January 15, 1815]], Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.
  
2. "Autobiography", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 3.
+
2. "[[Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson|Autobiography]]", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 3.
  
 
3. [[Thomas Jefferson to Louis H. Girardin, 15 January 1815|Thomas Jefferson to L. H. Girardin, January 15, 1815]], Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.
 
3. [[Thomas Jefferson to Louis H. Girardin, 15 January 1815|Thomas Jefferson to L. H. Girardin, January 15, 1815]], Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.
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===Page 111===
 
===Page 111===
  
There was also a third man whose friendship Jefferson valued much. By Small and Wythe Jefferson was introduced to Francis Fauquier,<sup>1</sup> a "highly enlightened" official who had come to Virginia as successor to Lieutenant-Governor Dinwiddie in the same year that Small had taken over a professorship in the College. He was a man of "much greater learning and judgment" than his predecessor, whose lack of education had prompted an artificial fondness for appearing to be a patron of learning.<sup>2</sup> To Fauquier, who was a fellow of the Royal Society of England,<sup>3</sup> this role was utterly natural, not a thing to be simulated. After two or three years Fauquier's family gave up its residence in the colony, and he lived the life of a wealthy bachelor in the handsome Governor's Palace, which could thus be devoted unrestrictedly to almost any use his fancy might suggest, including informal weekly concerts by violinist Jefferson and several other amateur musicians.<sup>4</sup>
+
There was also a third man whose friendship [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] valued much. By Small and Wythe Jefferson was introduced to [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Francis Fauquier]],<sup>1</sup> a "highly enlightened" official who had come to Virginia as successor to Lieutenant-Governor [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] in the same year that Small had taken over a professorship in the College. He was a man of "much greater learning and judgment" than his predecessor, whose lack of education had prompted an artificial fondness for appearing to be a patron of learning.<sup>2</sup> To Fauquier, who was a fellow of the [[wikipedia:Royal Society|Royal Society of England]],<sup>3</sup> this role was utterly natural, not a thing to be simulated. After two or three years Fauquier's family gave up its residence in the colony, and he lived the life of a wealthy bachelor in the handsome Governor's Palace, which could thus be devoted unrestrictedly to almost any use his fancy might suggest, including informal weekly concerts by violinist Jefferson and several other amateur musicians.<sup>4</sup>
  
 
George Wythe was, in Jefferson's phrase, Fauquier's "<u>amici omnium horarum</u> [friend of all hours]", and another fancy of the pleasant lieutenant-governor took the form of invitations to Wythe, Small, and Jefferson for meals at the Palace. To the "habitual conversations on these occasions", Jefferson recalled with pride many years later, "I owed much
 
George Wythe was, in Jefferson's phrase, Fauquier's "<u>amici omnium horarum</u> [friend of all hours]", and another fancy of the pleasant lieutenant-governor took the form of invitations to Wythe, Small, and Jefferson for meals at the Palace. To the "habitual conversations on these occasions", Jefferson recalled with pride many years later, "I owed much
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===Page 112===
 
===Page 112===
  
instruction";<sup>1</sup> again, he stated almost boastingly that these men "admitted me always to make it a partie quarrée" [<u>sic</u>] [<u>i.e</u>., party of four], observing in conclusion that "at these dinners I … heard more good sense, more rational & philosophical conversations than in all my life besides. they [<u>sic</u>] were truly attic [<u>sic</u>] societies."<sup>2</sup> Yet Jefferson, then about twenty years old, was in some measure entitled to exult over his acceptance on a basis approaching equality in the society of Fauquier, then about fifty-five, of Small, then about forty-five, and of Wythe, then about thirty-five; the disparity in ages is sufficient excuse for he pardonable vanity with which the youngest of the quartet told of their social and intellectual companionship. Just how long this association continued cannot be determined, though it would seem that all four met intermittently during 1761 and 1762.<sup>3</sup> But there can be no doubt as to its benefits for the student Jefferson. Few facilities at any spot upon the globe could have equalled the opportunity for the acquisition of culture, for a liberal education, and for abstract lessons in the
+
instruction";<sup>1</sup> again, he stated almost boastingly that these men "admitted me always to make it a partie quarrée" [<u>sic</u>] [<u>i.e</u>., party of four], observing in conclusion that "at these dinners I … heard more good sense, more rational & philosophical conversations than in all my life besides. they [<u>sic</u>] were truly attic [<u>sic</u>] societies."<sup>2</sup> Yet [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]], then about twenty years old, was in some measure entitled to exult over his acceptance on a basis approaching equality in the society of Fauquier, then about fifty-five, of Small, then about forty-five, and of Wythe, then about thirty-five; the disparity in ages is sufficient excuse for he pardonable vanity with which the youngest of the quartet told of their social and intellectual companionship. Just how long this association continued cannot be determined, though it would seem that all four met intermittently during 1761 and 1762.<sup>3</sup> But there can be no doubt as to its benefits for the student Jefferson. Few facilities at any spot upon the globe could have equalled the opportunity for the acquisition of culture, for a liberal education, and for abstract lessons in the
  
 
----
 
----
1. "Autobiography", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 4.
+
1. "[[Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson|Autobiography]]", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 4.
  
 
2. [[Thomas Jefferson to Louis H. Girardin, 15 January 1815|Thomas Jefferson to L. H. Girardin, January 15, 1815]], Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.
 
2. [[Thomas Jefferson to Louis H. Girardin, 15 January 1815|Thomas Jefferson to L. H. Girardin, January 15, 1815]], Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.
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===Page 113===
 
===Page 113===
  
rights of man which Jefferson found in intimate acquaintance with this trio of inspiring elders. From Small, the experimental scientist, he might absorb that unquenchable thirst for practical knowledge in largely uncharted fields of natural science which was to find so many expressions in his public career and private life. Fauquier, the courtly and experienced man of the world, might instill in him the charms of cultured society, a taste for intellectual conversation, and the attributes of governmental authority properly administered. From Wythe, the self-educated but scholarly lawyer, he might derive a love of learning for its own sake, the logical method of approaching every problem with assurance that reason should prevail as the sole criterion for weighing its alternatives, and that familiarity with the great principles of jurisprudence and democracy which was to enable him to become a foremost reformer of American political and social institutions. His biographers without exception have rightfully extolled the influence of these three men upon their impressionable protégé; some of them are inclined to interpret him as but a disciple of the distinctive merits of cach, declaring that scarcely any phase of his exceptionally versatile interests cannot be traced to an origin in one or another of those with whom he chatted at Fauquier's table.<sup>1</sup>
+
rights of man which [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] found in intimate acquaintance with this trio of inspiring elders. From Small, the experimental scientist, he might absorb that unquenchable thirst for practical knowledge in largely uncharted fields of natural science which was to find so many expressions in his public career and private life. [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]], the courtly and experienced man of the world, might instill in him the charms of cultured society, a taste for intellectual conversation, and the attributes of governmental authority properly administered. From Wythe, the self-educated but scholarly lawyer, he might derive a love of learning for its own sake, the logical method of approaching every problem with assurance that reason should prevail as the sole criterion for weighing its alternatives, and that familiarity with the great principles of jurisprudence and democracy which was to enable him to become a foremost reformer of American political and social institutions. His biographers without exception have rightfully extolled the influence of these three men upon their impressionable protege; some of them are inclined to interpret him as but a disciple of the distinctive merits of cach, declaring that scarcely any phase of his exceptionally versatile interests cannot be traced to an origin in one or another of those with whom he chatted at Fauquier's table.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
All too soon Jefferson's close fellowship with Small and Fauquier was interrupted, if not disrupted, by his graduation
 
All too soon Jefferson's close fellowship with Small and Fauquier was interrupted, if not disrupted, by his graduation
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===Page 114===
 
===Page 114===
  
from William and Mary late in the year 1762. But liberal tuition under Dr. Small's inquiring guidance was supplanted by the great advantage of professional training under the capable eye of Wythe, who remained Jefferson's closest associate throughout all his formative years. In the thankful words of the young graduate himself, Small "filled up the measure of his goodness to me, by procuring or me, from his most intimate friend, George Wythe, a reception as a student of law, under his direction."<sup>1</sup> It has been remarked as curious that this opening should have been accepted by a kinsman of Peyton and John Randolph, either of whom might well have become his legal instructor.<sup>2</sup> Whatever the explanation of Jefferson's preference for Wythe, he never found cause to regret his choice &mdash; though those who think speculation on the "ifs" of history profitable might enjoy a perfect revelry of guess-work by applying their deliberations to the profound possible changes in the course of American development had Jefferson fallen directly under the influence of a conservative Randolph brain instead of Wythe's more progressive mind. For the next four or five years Wythe was to Jefferson what Stephen Dewey had been to Wythe some twenty or twenty-five years earlier; but the shoes of a legal mentor fitted Wythe
+
from [[wikipedia:College of William & Mary|William and Mary]] late in the year 1762. But liberal tuition under Dr. Small's inquiring guidance was supplanted by the greater advantage of professional training under the capable eye of [[George Wythe|Wythe]], who remained [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson's]] closest associate throughout all his formative years. In the thankful words of the young graduate himself, Small "filled up the measure of his goodness to me, by procuring for me, from his most intimate friend, George Wythe, a reception as a student of law, under his direction."<sup>1</sup> It has been remarked as curious that this opening should have been accepted by a kinsman of Peyton and John Randolph, either of whom might well have become his legal instructor.<sup>2</sup> Whatever the explanation of Jefferson's preference for Wythe, he never found cause to regret his choice &mdash; though those who think speculation on the "ifs" of history profitable might enjoy a perfect revelry of guess-work by applying their deliberations to the profound possible changes in the course of American development had Jefferson fallen directly under the influence of a conservative Randolph brain instead of Wythe's more progressive mind. For the next four or five years Wythe was to Jefferson what Stephen Dewey had been to Wythe some twenty or twenty-five years earlier; but the shoes of a legal mentor fitted Wythe
  
 
----
 
----
1. "Autobiography", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 3.
+
1. "[[Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson|Autobiography]]", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 3.
  
 
2. Jefferson's choice has been attributed partially to Wythe's reputation for learning and chiefly to a "talent for teaching, which was early displayed by him....": Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 67. But no available records substantiate the supposition that his ability as a teacher had become evident before 1763.
 
2. Jefferson's choice has been attributed partially to Wythe's reputation for learning and chiefly to a "talent for teaching, which was early displayed by him....": Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 67. But no available records substantiate the supposition that his ability as a teacher had become evident before 1763.
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===Page 115===
 
===Page 115===
  
better than they had Dewey, and his more inspiring instruction met a more grateful response in Jefferson.
+
better than they had Dewey, and his more inspiring instruction met a more grateful response in [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]].
  
For a year, however, the mind of the legal aspirant was sorely distracted from serious study by thoughts of a young lady, Rebecca Burwell by name, with whom he had fallen completely in love. Wythe saw to it that he had a copy of that admirable standard treatise upon which the bar of the day was nurtured, <u>Coke upon Littleton</u>. After preliminary perusal of its pages, the young graduate set out for a winter to be spent at his home in digesting more thoroughly the observations of Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634). Christmas found him a day's journey from "Shadwell" and in a very despondent frame of mind. He awoke that morning to find himself the victim of several overnight misfortunes, including the theft by rats of recently purchased sheet music of half a dozen minuets for his violin. Worse still, rain had seeped through a leak in the roof of his room and drowned his watch, whereby, as he expressed it, his timekeeper "had lost her speech". His ill-luck reached absolutely catastrophic proportions when, in an attempt to rescue from its place in the wet case of his watch his picture of the fair Rebecca, he tore irreparably the thoroughly soaked paper upon which hat priceless portrait had been reproduced. At a loss for any other adequate explanation, Jefferson attributed this almost unbearable series of calamities to a satanic curse upon him and eased his pain by writing to a chum, John Page, a comically pathetic description of these exaggerated mishaps and of his sad recollections of the gay friends from
+
For a year, however, the mind of the legal aspirant was sorely distracted from serious study by thoughts of a young lady, Rebecca Burwell by name, with whom he had fallen completely in love. Wythe saw to it that he had a copy of that admirable standard treatise upon which the bar of the day was nurtured, [[First Part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England|<u>Coke upon Littleton</u>]]. After preliminary perusal of its pages, the young graduate set out for a winter to be spent at his home in digesting more thoroughly the observations of [[wikipedia:Edward Coke|Sir Edward Coke]] (1552-1634). Christmas found him a day's journey from [https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/shadwell "Shadwell"] and in a very despondent frame of mind. He awoke that morning to find himself the victim of several overnight misfortunes, including the theft by rats of recently purchased sheet music of half a dozen minuets for his violin. Worse still, rain had seeped through a leak in the roof of his room and drowned his watch, whereby, as he expressed it, his timekeeper "had lost her speech". His ill-luck reached absolutely catastrophic proportions when, in an attempt to rescue from its place in the wet case of his watch his picture of the fair Rebecca, he tore irreparably the thoroughly soaked paper upon which that priceless portrait had been reproduced. At a loss for any other adequate explanation, Jefferson attributed this almost unbearable series of calamities to a satanic curse upon him and eased his pain by writing to a chum, [[wikipedia:John Page (Virginia politician)|John Page]], a comically pathetic description of these exaggerated mishaps and of his sad recollections of the gay friends from
  
 
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===Page 116===
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<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
And now, although the picture be defaced, there is so lively an image of her [Rebecca Burwell] imprinted in my mind, that I shall think of her too often, I fear, for my peace of mind; and too often, I am sure, to get through old Coke this winter; for God knows I have not seen him since I packed him up in my trunk in Williams burg. Well, Page, I do wish the Devil had old Coke, for I am sure I never was so tired of an old dull scoundrel in my life. What: are there so few inquie tudes tacked to this momentary life of ours, that we must need be loading ourselves with a thousand more? Or, as brother Job says, (who, by-the-bye, I think be gan to whine a little under his afflictions,) "Are not my days few? Cease, then, that I may take comfort a little before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness, and the shadow of death." But the old fellows say we must read to gain knowledge, and gain knowledge to make us happy and admired. Mere jargon! Is there any such thing as happiness in this world? No. And as for admiration, I am sure the man who powders most, and talks most nonsense, is most ad mired. Though to be candid, there are some who have too much good sense to esteem such monkey-like animals as these, in whose formation, as the saying is, the tailors and barbers go halves with God Almighty; and since these are the only persons whose esteem is worth a wish, I do not know but that, upon the whole, the advice of these old fellows may be worth following.<sup>1</sup>
+
And now, although the picture be defaced, there is so lively an image of her [Rebecca Burwell] imprinted in my mind, that I shall think of her too often, I fear, for my peace of mind; and too often, I am sure, to get through [[First Part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England|old Coke]] this winter; for God knows I have not seen him since I packed him up in my trunk in [[wikipedia:Williamsburg, Virginia|Williamsburg]]. Well, Page, I do wish the Devil had old Coke, for I am sure I never was so tired of an old dull scoundrel in my life. What: are there so few inquietudes tacked to this momentary life of ours, that we must need be loading ourselves with a thousand more? Or, as brother Job says, (who, by-the-bye, I think began to whine a little under his afflictions,) "Are not my days few? Cease, then, that I may take comfort a little before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness, and the shadow of death." But the old fellows say we must read to gain knowledge, and gain knowledge to make us happy and admired. <u>Mere jargon</u>! Is there any such thing as happiness in this world? No. And as for admiration, I am sure the man who powders most, and talks most nonsense, is most admired. Though to be candid, there are some who have too much good sense to esteem such monkey-like animals as these, in whose formation, as the saying is, the tailors and barbers go halves with God Almighty; and since these are the only persons whose esteem is worth a wish, I do not know but that, upon the whole, the advice of these old fellows may be worth following.<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
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===Page 117===
 
===Page 117===
  
promise of entertainment or instruction as the outside of a gold mine does of the wealth within."<sup>1</sup> Jefferson formulated a tentative plan for returning to Williamsburg late in the spring of 1763;<sup>2</sup> it failed to materialize. But by mid-summer he was certain that he would be in the capital again when the General Court met for its October session.<sup>3</sup> He had a report to make to Wythe on his progress in perusing Lord Coke, and of the privilege of hearing the instructive arguments of his mentor and other advocates before the colony's supreme tribunal he wished to take full advantage.<sup>4</sup> But his objects in making the trip did not exclude social interests, for he had long anticipated the visit as an opportunity to press his suit for Rebecca Burwell's hand.<sup>5</sup> En route eastward, he reflected in a letter from Richmond, "I do not like the ups and downs of a country life: today you are frolicking with a fine girl and tomorrow you are moping by yourself. Thank God! I shall shortly be where my happiness will be less interrupted." He was willing to confess high
+
promise of entertainment or instruction as the outside of a gold mine does of the wealth within."<sup>1</sup> [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] formulated a tentative plan for returning to [[wikipedia:Williamsburg, Virginia|Williamsburg]] late in the spring of 1763;<sup>2</sup> it failed to materialize. But by mid-summer he was certain that he would be in the capital again when the General Court met for its October session.<sup>3</sup> He had a report to make to Wythe on his progress in perusing [[wikipedia:Edward Coke|Lord Coke]], and of the privilege of hearing the instructive arguments of his mentor and other advocates before the colony's supreme tribunal he wished to take full advantage.<sup>4</sup> But his objects in making the trip did not exclude social interests, for he had long anticipated the visit as an opportunity to press his suit for Rebecca Burwell's hand.<sup>5</sup> En route eastward, he reflected in a letter from Richmond, "I do not like the ups and downs of a country life: today you are frolicking with a fine girl and tomorrow you are moping by yourself. Thank God! I shall shortly be where my happiness will be less interrupted." He was willing to confess high
  
 
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===Page 118===
 
===Page 118===
  
hopes to his classmate, William Fleming:
+
hopes to his classmate, [[wikipedia:William Fleming (governor)|William Fleming]]:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
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</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
But Jefferson had romantic, youth-like dreams, too, of fitting out a sailing craft as a means to cross the Atlantic for extensive European travels, and settling down in stable domesticity was an enviable goal which could wait the satiation of his wanderlust.<sup>2</sup> Thus, when he made upon two occasions the intended preliminary overtures to his Rebecca, they constituted at best only a conditional proposal.<sup>3</sup> He had some months of anxious suspense,<sup>4</sup> and when his answer was finally received late that winter, it came in the form of gossipy assurances that the lady who had won his heart would soon be married to another suitor. With more resignation than his previous ardent letters on the subject would have led one to expect in him he wrote to Fleming the following account of his
+
But [[[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] had romantic, youth-like dreams, too, of fitting out a sailing craft as a means to cross the Atlantic for extensive European travels, and settling down in stable domesticity was an enviable goal which could wait the satiation of his wanderlust.<sup>2</sup> Thus, when he made upon two occasions the intended preliminary overtures to his Rebecca, they constituted at best only a conditional proposal.<sup>3</sup> He had some months of anxious suspense,<sup>4</sup> and when his answer was finally received late that winter, it came in the form of gossipy assurances that the lady who had won his heart would soon be married to another suitor. With more resignation than his previous ardent letters on the subject would have led one to expect in him he wrote to Fleming the following account of his
  
 
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<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
with regard to the scheme which I proposed to you some time since, I am sorry to tell you it is totally frustrated by Miss R. B's marriage with Jacqueline Ambler which the people here tell me they daily expect: I say, the people here tell me so, for (can you beleive [<u>sic</u>] it?) I have been so abominably indolent as not to have seen her since last October; whereupon I cannot affirm that I know it from herself; though [I] am as well satisfied that it is true as if she had told me. well the lord bless her I say! but S&mdash;&mdash;y P&mdash;&mdash;r is still left for you. I have given her a description of the gentle man who, as I told her, intended to make her an offer of his hand, and asked her whether or not he might expect it would be accepted. She would not determine till she she saw him or his picture.... (mind that I mentioned no name to her.) you say you are determined to be married as soon as possible: and advise me to do the same. no, thank ye; I will consider of it first. many and great are the comforts of a single state, and neither of the reasons you urge can have any influence....<sup>1</sup>
+
with regard to the scheme which I proposed to you some time since, I am sorry to tell you it is totally frustrated by Miss R. B's marriage with Jacqueline Ambler which the people here tell me they daily expect: I say, the people here tell me so, for (can you beleive [<u>sic</u>] it?) I have been so abominably indolent as not to have seen her since last October; whereupon I cannot affirm that I know it from herself, though [I] am as well satisfied that it is true as if she had told me. well the lord bless her I say! but S&mdash;&mdash;y P&mdash;&mdash;r is still left for you. I have given her a description of the gentleman who, as I told her, intended to make her an offer of his hand, and asked her whether or not he might expect it would be accepted. She would not determine till she she saw him or his picture.... (mind that I mentioned no name to her.) you say you are determined to be married as soon as possible: and advise me to do the same. no, thank ye; I will consider of it first. many and great are the comforts of a single state, and neither of the reasons you urge can have any influence....<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 
By the strangest of coincidences, a daughter of Jacquelin and Rebecca Burwell Ambler so completely won some sixteen years later the affections of another of Wythe's students, [[John Marshall]], that the distraught young man abandoned utterly the learned teachings of Prof. Wythe in the very midst of his academic course at [http://www.wm.edu/ William and Mary.]<sup>2</sup> Jefferson was less lucky in love but more successful in his early study of the law.
 
By the strangest of coincidences, a daughter of Jacquelin and Rebecca Burwell Ambler so completely won some sixteen years later the affections of another of Wythe's students, [[John Marshall]], that the distraught young man abandoned utterly the learned teachings of Prof. Wythe in the very midst of his academic course at [http://www.wm.edu/ William and Mary.]<sup>2</sup> Jefferson was less lucky in love but more successful in his early study of the law.
  
To absorption in Coke's worthy treatise the jilted Jefferson turned as to a welcome analgesic. In a sense in which the term could not previously have been used, law became his mistress in 1764; he applied himself to the task of
+
To absorption in [[First Part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England|Coke's worthy treatise]] the jilted [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] turned as to a welcome analgesic. In a sense in which the term could not previously have been used, law became his mistress in 1764; he applied himself to the task of
  
 
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preparation for the bar with renewed interest and industry.<sup>1</sup> Probably his ambition to emulate the public career of his mentor was quickened by the almost contemporaneous collapses of his love affair and of those reveries in which he had fondly pictured himself as a wayfarer in the Old World. If so, the intention of imitating his master's outstanding example in the realm of politics became an additional incentive to untiring study, for he must have realized that then, as he expressed it later, law "is the most certain stepping-stone to preferment in the political line."<sup>2</sup>
 
preparation for the bar with renewed interest and industry.<sup>1</sup> Probably his ambition to emulate the public career of his mentor was quickened by the almost contemporaneous collapses of his love affair and of those reveries in which he had fondly pictured himself as a wayfarer in the Old World. If so, the intention of imitating his master's outstanding example in the realm of politics became an additional incentive to untiring study, for he must have realized that then, as he expressed it later, law "is the most certain stepping-stone to preferment in the political line."<sup>2</sup>
  
Beginning in 1764 Jefferson usually spent his winters in Williamsburg, retiring each summer from the routine of "devilling" for Wythe and the tedium of stowing away in his memory or notes requisite gems of legal precedent to the less exacting, contemplative life of "Shadwell", his Albermarle County home. His closest friend in that section of the colony was his neighbor, Dabney Carr, who had attended William and Mary as one of his contemporaries. They were constant companions during the two or three hot months, and thereby hangs a heartwarming tale of the fidelity of man to man. Like Jefferson, Carr was studying law; both were mentally alert and clever, both devoted to reading. They were accustomed to go and each
+
Beginning in 1764 [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] usually spent his winters in Williamsburg, retiring each summer from the routine of "devilling" for Wythe and the tedium of stowing away in his memory or notes requisite gems of legal precedent to the less exacting, contemplative life of [https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/shadwell "Shadwell",] his Albermarle County home. His closest friend in that section of the colony was his neighbor, [[Dabney Carr]], who had attended [http://www.wm.edu/ William and Mary] as one of his contemporaries. They were constant companions during the two or three hot months, and thereby hangs a heartwarming tale of the fidelity of man to man. Like Jefferson, Carr was studying law; both were mentally alert and clever, both devoted to reading. They were accustomed to go and each
  
 
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===Page 121===
 
===Page 121===
  
morning to a rustic seat which they had constructed under a huge oak in a favorite and cool nook of the ancient forest, atop a small mountain some two or three miles from "Shadwell", and there to spend blissful days in meditative reading or earnest conversation. To commemorate the fellowship of those priceless hours, they entered solemnly into a compact that he who survived the other should bury the first to due under that oak which marked their haven. A few years later Carr married Jefferson's sister and was a colleague of his brother-in-law in the House of Burgesses, but he died in less than a decade, before he had been able to do much to perpetuate his name.<sup>1</sup> Jefferson, who had begun in the meantime to build upon that mountain, three or four hundred yards away, his matchless home, "Monticello", was true to the terms of their agreement; and the spot became in time also the place of his burial. To it thousands from every corner of the earth have made their pilgrimages, unaware of the faithfulness of him they honor to youthful vows with a chum that their wooded retreat should be forever hallowed with their dust as a symbol of the best in friendship.<sup>2</sup> Quite aside from the fact that the study and intelligent discussion in which Jefferson and Carr thus
+
morning to a rustic seat which they had constructed under a huge oak in a favorite and cool nook of the ancient forest, atop a small mountain some two or three miles from [https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/shadwell "Shadwell",] and there to spend blissful days in meditative reading or earnest conversation. To commemorate the fellowship of those priceless hours, they entered solemnly into a compact that he who survived the other should bury the first to die under that oak which marked their haven. A few years later [[Dabney Carr|Carr]] married [https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/martha-jefferson-carr Jefferson's sister] and was a colleague of his brother-in-law in the House of Burgesses, but he died in less than a decade, before he had been able to do much to perpetuate his name.<sup>1</sup> Jefferson, who had begun in the meantime to build upon that mountain, three or four hundred yards away, his matchless home, "Monticello", was true to the terms of their agreement; and the spot became in time also the place of his burial. To it thousands from every corner of the earth have made their pilgrimages, unaware of the faithfulness of him they honor to youthful vows with a chum that their wooded retreat should be forever hallowed with their dust as a symbol of the best in friendship.<sup>2</sup> Quite aside from the fact that the study and intelligent discussion in which Jefferson and Carr thus
  
 
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===Page 122===
 
===Page 122===
  
indulged must have often included great legal principles, a sequel to the story of their summers together is of immense interest in Wythe's life, for when Jefferson was directing from abroad twenty years later the education of [[Peter Carr|Dabney Carr's son]], he counted it the highest possible earthly blessing that his nephew should be under the instruction of George Wythe.
+
indulged must have often included great legal principles, a sequel to the story of their summers together is of immense interest in Wythe's life, for when [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] was directing from abroad twenty years later the education of [[Peter Carr|Dabney Carr's son]], he counted it the highest possible earthly blessing that his nephew should be under the instruction of [[George Wythe]].
  
Wythe's continued guidance and his own good sense led Jefferson after 1763 to revise drastically his jesting characterization of Lord Coke, that giant of British jursiprudence,<sup>1</sup> as a "dull old scoundrel". Coke's interpretation of the English constitution may have played a part in moulding his political thought. So far as the analogy was applicable to American institutions after 1789, he built his democratic party upon principles which correspond in a general way to Coke's; and when those principles began to lose their sway in the government of the United States, he ascribed their decline partially to the fact that Coke's textbook had been cast into virtual discard and that later legal generations had been reared upon the renowned [[Commentaries on the Laws of England|<u>Commentaries</u>]] of [[wikipedia:William Blackstone|Sir William Blackstone]],<sup>2</sup> whose really dull lectures at Oxford on the same materials were largely unsuccessful.
+
Wythe's continued guidance and his own good sense led Jefferson after 1763 to revise drastically his jesting characterization of Lord Coke, that giant of British jursiprudence,<sup>1</sup> as a "dull old scoundrel". Coke's interpretation of the English constitution may have played a part in moulding his political thought. So far as the analogy was applicable to American institutions after 1789, he built his democratic party upon principles which correspond in a general way to Coke's; and when those principles began to lose their sway in the government of the United States, he ascribed their decline partially to the fact that Coke's textbook had been cast into virtual discard and that later legal generations had been reared upon the renowned [[Commentaries on the Laws of England|<u>Commentaries</u>]] of [[wikipedia:William Blackstone|Sir William Blackstone]],<sup>2</sup> whose really dull lectures at [[wikipedia:University of Oxford|Oxford]] on the same materials were largely unsuccessful.
  
 
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===Page 123===
 
===Page 123===
  
But it was not upon Coke alone that Wythe fed his pupil; Jefferson progressed early to less elementary studies. Doubtless he had access to Wythe's large library, and he certainly could command enough ready cash to purchase the books which he needed most. Thus he asked of a friend the loan of a compilation of English statutory law until he could procure a copy of his own.<sup>1</sup> There could be little superficiality about training in his mentor's law office; he learned there to look down with utter contempt upon a mere smattering of knowledge. The whole range of civil and common law passed under his review, and neither he nor his teacher was content till he had traced painstakingly every principle to its remotest origin in the Roman system or in the period when good King Alfred had ruled the Saxons. Among others, he explored the formidable treatise on ancient English laws written in Latin by [[De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae|Bracton]], a contemporaneous interpreter of Magna Charta. The whole enormous volume of early and recent British jurisprudence, as recorded in texts and commentaries, in rude ancient tongues and in the modern vernacular, became Jefferson's possession.<sup>2</sup> When circumstances later in his life afforded him
+
But it was not upon [[wikipedia:Edward Coke|Coke]] alone that [[George Wythe|Wythe]] fed his pupil; [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] progressed early to less elementary studies. Doubtless he had access to Wythe's large library, and he certainly could command enough ready cash to purchase the books which he needed most. Thus he asked of a friend the loan of a compilation of English statutory law until he could procure a copy of his own.<sup>1</sup> There could be little superficiality about training in his mentor's law office; he learned there to look down with utter contempt upon a mere smattering of knowledge. The whole range of civil and common law passed under his review, and neither he nor his teacher was content till he had traced painstakingly every principle to its remotest origin in the Roman system or in the period when good [[wikipedia:Alfred the Great|King Alfred]] had ruled the Saxons. Among others, he explored the formidable treatise on ancient English laws written in Latin by [[De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae|Bracton]], a contemporaneous interpreter of [[wikipedia:Magna Carta|Magna Charta]]. The whole enormous volume of early and recent British jurisprudence, as recorded in texts and commentaries, in rude ancient tongues and in the modern vernacular, became Jefferson's possession.<sup>2</sup> When circumstances later in his life afforded him
  
 
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1. See, <u>e.g</u>., Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., May 30, 1790, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, VIII, 3132; <u>id</u>. to Dabney Terrell, February 28, 1821, <u>ibid</u>., XV, 318-322; <u>id</u>. to an unknown addressee, August 30, 1814, reprinted in Henry S. Randall, <u>The Life of Thomas Jefferson</u>, I, 52-57.
 
1. See, <u>e.g</u>., Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., May 30, 1790, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, VIII, 3132; <u>id</u>. to Dabney Terrell, February 28, 1821, <u>ibid</u>., XV, 318-322; <u>id</u>. to an unknown addressee, August 30, 1814, reprinted in Henry S. Randall, <u>The Life of Thomas Jefferson</u>, I, 52-57.
  
2. "Autobiography", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 4. <u>Cf</u>. the similar statement made in correspondence, "I became acquainted with Mr. Wythe when he was about thirty-five years of age. He directed my studies in the law, led me into business, and continued, until [his] death my most affectionate friend": Thomas Jefferson to John Sanderson, August 31, 1820, Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.
+
2. "[[Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson|Autobiography]]", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 4. <u>Cf</u>. the similar statement made in correspondence, "I became acquainted with Mr. Wythe when he was about thirty-five years of age. He directed my studies in the law, led me into business, and continued, until [his] death my most affectionate friend": Thomas Jefferson to John Sanderson, August 31, 1820, Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.
  
 
===Page 125===
 
===Page 125===
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accomplishments of an efficient office lawyer he had very few superiors. It was not long before Wythe, who had already more than his share of hard-won fame, could bask in the reflected glory of his student's firmly established and lucrative clientele.<sup>1</sup>
 
accomplishments of an efficient office lawyer he had very few superiors. It was not long before Wythe, who had already more than his share of hard-won fame, could bask in the reflected glory of his student's firmly established and lucrative clientele.<sup>1</sup>
  
That Jefferson did not relinquish under the exigencies of practise habits of thorough study is quite adequately indicated by his commonplace book, a manuscript volume of more than 300 pages which he filled with the results of his labors. Though it had long been known to exist among his preserved papers, partial appreciation of its value did not come until a dozen years ago.<sup>2</sup> Perhaps somewhat unfortunately, the date of its beginning cannot be exactly and indubitably determined. If Jefferson's memory be accepted as literally accurate after fifty years, he started to jot down its notes in 1764, upon completing his perusal of Coke's primer.<sup>3</sup> Exhaustive research
+
That [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] did not relinquish under the exigencies of practise habits of thorough study is quite adequately indicated by his commonplace book, a manuscript volume of more than 300 pages which he filled with the results of his labors. Though it had long been known to exist among his preserved papers, partial appreciation of its value did not come until a dozen years ago.<sup>2</sup> Perhaps somewhat unfortunately, the date of its beginning cannot be exactly and indubitably determined. If Jefferson's memory be accepted as literally accurate after fifty years, he started to jot down its notes in 1764, upon completing his perusal of [[wikipedia:Edward Coke|Coke's]] primer.<sup>3</sup> Exhaustive research
  
 
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===Page 126===
 
===Page 126===
  
on the question has failed to reveal any confirmation of that recollection; it can be established that only two-thirds of the volume was penned while Jefferson was a student or practitioner of law, and that nearly all of the remaining third was written in one or both of the years 1775 and 1776.<sup>1</sup> There is, however, no particular reason to doubt that Jefferson remembered well the time of the initiation of a book in the writing of which he spent countless hours. Yet, to be on the safe side, let it be assumed only that its first section was recorded some time before 1775 &mdash; it matters relatively little in the final analysis whether it was begun before or after 1767, for in either case the volume undoubtedly represents strongly Wythe's influence.
+
on the question has failed to reveal any confirmation of that recollection; it can be established that only two-thirds of the volume was penned while [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] was a student or practitioner of law, and that nearly all of the remaining third was written in one or both of the years 1775 and 1776.<sup>1</sup> There is, however, no particular reason to doubt that Jefferson remembered well the time of the initiation of a book in the writing of which he spent countless hours. Yet, to be on the safe side, let it be assumed only that its first section was recorded some time before 1775 &mdash; it matters relatively little in the final analysis whether it was begun before or after 1767, for in either case the volume undoubtedly represents strongly Wythe's influence.
  
Whatever the dates of its synopses, the commonplace book shows that Jefferson, as a student or as an attorney, made a long series of abstracts from parts of three and four of Lord Coke's <u>Institutes of the Laws of England</u> and from the reports by William Salked, George Andrews, and Robert Raymond of decisions handed down within the last hundred years by judges of the King's Bench. In his reading of these materials
+
Whatever the dates of its synopses, the commonplace book shows that Jefferson, as a student or as an attorney, made a long series of abstracts from parts of three and four of [[wikipedia:Edward Coke|Lord Coke's]] <u>Institutes of the Laws of England</u> and from the reports by William Salked, George Andrews, and Robert Raymond of decisions handed down within the last hundred years by judges of the King's Bench. In his reading of these materials
  
 
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===Page 127===
 
===Page 127===
  
Jefferson ran the gamut of weighty opinions in complicated suits of inheritance and trespass, for masters' remuneration of their servants' misdeeds, and for debts contracted by wives without their husbands' knowledge. Extracting from these works all information which might prove serviceable to him in routine business, he wrote notes for reference on more than five hundred separate articles.<sup>1</sup> The succeeding section of the book, written between 1774 and 1777, was based, in keeping with Jefferson's growing interest in politics, upon more philosophical legal materials, including [[Historical Law-Tracts|Lord Kames' fourteen <u>Historical Law Tracts</u>]] (first published in 1758), [[Essay Towards a General History of Feudal Property in Great Britain|Sir John Dalrymple's <u>Essay towards a General History of Feudal Property in Great Britain</u>]] (London, 1757), and [[History of the Common Law of England|<u>Hale's History of the Common Law</u>]] (London, 1716). Studies in these works gave him confirmation for his theories regarding the natural rights of man and legal precedents for his program of a complete revision of Virginia's entire constitution and code just after the proclamation of her independence &mdash; a campaign in which Wythe was to be his closest associate and firmest ally.<sup>2</sup>
+
[[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] ran the gamut of weighty opinions in complicated suits of inheritance and trespass, for masters' remuneration of their servants' misdeeds, and for debts contracted by wives without their husbands' knowledge. Extracting from these works all information which might prove serviceable to him in routine business, he wrote notes for reference on more than five hundred separate articles.<sup>1</sup> The succeeding section of the book, written between 1774 and 1777, was based, in keeping with Jefferson's growing interest in politics, upon more philosophical legal materials, including [[Historical Law-Tracts|Lord Kames' fourteen <u>Historical Law Tracts</u>]] (first published in 1758), [[Essay Towards a General History of Feudal Property in Great Britain|Sir John Dalrymple's <u>Essay towards a General History of Feudal Property in Great Britain</u>]] (London, 1757), and [[History of the Common Law of England|<u>Hale's History of the Common Law</u>]] (London, 1716). Studies in these works gave him confirmation for his theories regarding the natural rights of man and legal precedents for his program of a complete revision of Virginia's entire constitution and code just after the proclamation of her independence &mdash; a campaign in which Wythe was to be his closest associate and firmest ally.<sup>2</sup>
  
 
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===Page 128===
 
===Page 128===
  
Early in the year 1770 a catastrophe struck the young lawyer with the typical suddenness and destruction of fire; "Shadwell" burned, and the ruinous flames enveloped nearly all his possessions. To his friend, John Page, he wrote this pathetic account of the accident:
+
Early in the year 1770 a catastrophe struck the young lawyer with the typical suddenness and destruction of fire; "Shadwell" burned, and the ruinous flames enveloped nearly all his possessions. To his friend, [[wikipedia:John Page (Virginia politician)|John Page]], he wrote this pathetic account of the accident:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
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<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
I send you some nectarine and apricot grafts and grapevines, the best I had; and have directed your messenger to call upon major [Richard] Taliaferro for some of his. You will also receive two of Toulis's catalogues. Mrs Wythe will send you some garden peas.<br />
+
I send you some nectarine and apricot grafts and grapevines, the best I had; and have directed your messenger to call upon major [[wikipedia:Richard Taliaferro|[Richard] Taliaferro]] for some of his. You will also receive two of Toulis's catalogues. Mrs Wythe will send you some garden peas.<br />
 
You bear your misfortune so becomingly, that, as I am conviced you will surmount the difficulties it has plunged you into, so I foresee you will hereafter reap advantages from it [in] several ways. Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis [Be strong and save yourselves for prosperity].<sup>1</sup>
 
You bear your misfortune so becomingly, that, as I am conviced you will surmount the difficulties it has plunged you into, so I foresee you will hereafter reap advantages from it [in] several ways. Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis [Be strong and save yourselves for prosperity].<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
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</center>
 
</center>
  
The character of the bar of the General Court during the final decade of its colonial existence underwent comparatively few significant changes. Robert Carter Nicholas dropped out of its rank and resigned his practise, for, as will be noted in another connection, he rescued in a self-sacrificial manner the office of Virginia's treasurer from less respected and less competent hands when a vacancy occurred in 1765. The reputations of Wythe and Pendleton, in relation to those of the two Randolphs, were constantly on the ascendancy, if there was any change at all in the ranking of its leaders; the two self-educated lawyers were more likely after 1765 to be named before their English-trained colleagues in contemporary enumerations of its personnel. But competition of members in the lower bracket was rather futile, despite occasional infusion of new blood in such talented persons as Jefferson and Patrick Henry.<sup>1</sup> Perhaps the most striking advance achieved by any of the older minor advocates was that of Thomas Mason (1733-1785), younger brother of the famous George Mason and a
+
The character of the bar of the General Court during the final decade of its colonial existence underwent comparatively few significant changes. [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas, Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]] dropped out of its rank and resigned his practise, for, as will be noted in another connection, he rescued in a self-sacrificial manner the office of Virginia's treasurer from less respected and less competent hands when a vacancy occurred in 1765. The reputations of [[George Wythe|Wythe]] and [[Edmund Pendleton|Pendleton]], in relation to those of the two [[Edmund Randolph|Randolphs]], were constantly on the ascendancy, if there was any change at all in the ranking of its leaders; the two self-educated lawyers were more likely after 1765 to be named before their English-trained colleagues in contemporary enumerations of its personnel. But competition of members in the lower bracket was rather futile, despite occasional infusion of new blood in such talented persons as [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] and [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Patrick Henry]].<sup>1</sup> Perhaps the most striking advance achieved by any of the older minor advocates was that of [[wikipedia:Thomson Mason|Thomson Mason]] (1733-1785), younger brother of the famous [[wikipedia:George Mason|George Mason]] and a
  
 
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===Page 131===
 
===Page 131===
  
former practitioner in the Middle Temple.<sup>1</sup> Though not unchallenged, the position of Wythe, Pendleton, and the Randolph brothers remained impregnable.
+
former practitioner in the [[wikipedia:Middle Temple|Middle Temple.<sup>1</sup>]] Though not unchallenged, the position of Wythe, [[Edmund Pendleton|Pendleton]], and the Randolph brothers remained impregnable.
  
It may well be lamented that so little is known about the activities of these men in a court which was admittedly resplendent with the colony's ablest minds. Shafts of imposing logic and darts of illogical oratory must have rent the air of that old courtroom in the capitol building as &mdash; in the utmost efforts to win advantages over each other in the eyes on the gallery, jury, and members of the Council sitting in their judicial capacity &mdash; those giants of the bar mustered every legal precedent and stratagem they knew. Dockets and other papers of the court, with a few scattered exceptions, have met destruction of one kind of another in subsequent years, and it never had in the modern sense of the term an official reporter to record its proceedings. After his admission to its bar, however, Jefferson took notes on some of its principal cases which illustrated litigation arising exclusively under the colony's own enactments. Found among his papers by his executor, this manuscript was posthumously published.<sup>2</sup> Eleven suits, adjudged between the sessions of October, 1768, and October, 1772, inclusive, were included in his informal, uneven notations. For two of these he did not
+
It may well be lamented that so little is known about the activities of these men in a court which was admittedly resplendent with the colony's ablest minds. Shafts of imposing logic and darts of illogical oratory must have rent the air of that old courtroom in the capitol building as &mdash; in utmost efforts to win advantages over each other in the eyes of gallery, jury, and members of the Council sitting in their judicial capacity &mdash; those giants of the bar mustered every legal precedent and stratagem they knew. Dockets and other papers of the court, with a few scattered exceptions, have met destruction of one kind of another in subsequent years, and it never had in the modern sense of the term an official reporter to record its proceedings. After his admission to its bar, however, [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] took notes on some of its principal cases which illustrated litigation arising exclusively under the colony's own enactments. Found among his papers by his executor, this manuscript was posthumously published.<sup>2</sup> Eleven suits, adjudged between the sessions of October, 1768, and October, 1772, inclusive, were included in his informal, uneven notations. For two of these he did not
  
 
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----
1. Freeman H. Hart, "Thomson Mason," <u>Dictionary of American Biography</u>, XII.
+
1. Freeman H. Hart, [[wikipedia:Thomson Mason|"Thomson Mason,"]] <u>Dictionary of American Biography</u>, XII.
  
 
2. Thomas Jefferson, <u>Reports of Cases Determined in the General Court of Virginia from 1730 to 1740 and from 1768 to 1772</u>, v-vi.
 
2. Thomas Jefferson, <u>Reports of Cases Determined in the General Court of Virginia from 1730 to 1740 and from 1768 to 1772</u>, v-vi.
Line 2,231: Line 2,238:
 
===Page 132===
 
===Page 132===
  
name the lawyers for either party, but Wythe appeared as counsel for plaintiff or defendant in seven of the remaining nine cases which Jefferson thought worthy of brief memoranda; Pendleton argued in six, John Randolph in four, Thomson Mason in three. Judgment seems to have been given in favor of four of Wythe's clients and against two, with a verdict in the seventh case which awarded him the decision on one point involved in the suit and his opponents the decree on the other side of its issues. In one of these trials Wythe teamed with Pendleton to defeat a cause upheld by John Randolph and Thomson Mason, but in four of them Pendleton pleaded on the side opposite to Wythe, twice with John Randolph's assistance. These four ended in two victories for Pendleton and one for Wythe, with their laurels equally divided in that on which the court handed down two verdicts.<sup>1</sup> Though it must not be forgotten that they are tabulated from reports on only a small minority of the suits in that tribunal during that period, these figures are interesting as a sample which might or might not be representative if statistics were available for all. For the sake of enriching a later comparison between the two men on other observation must be mentioned: Pendleton was sole or associate counsel in each of the two cases which Wythe lost.
+
name the lawyers for either party, but Wythe appeared as counsel for plaintiff or defendant in seven of the remaining nine cases which [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] thought worthy of brief memoranda; [[Edmund Pendleton|Pendleton]] argued in six, [[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John Randolph]] in four, [[wikipedia:Thomson Mason|Thomson Mason]] in three. Judgment seems to have been given in favor of four of Wythe's clients and against two, with a verdict in the seventh case which awarded him the decision on one point involved in the suit and his opponents the decree on the other side of its issues. In one of these trials Wythe teamed with Pendleton to defeat a cause upheld by John Randolph and Thomson Mason, but in four of them Pendleton pleaded on the side opposite to Wythe, twice with John Randolph's assistance. These four ended in two victories for Pendleton and one for Wythe, with their laurels equally divided in that on which the court handed down two verdicts.<sup>1</sup> Though it must not be forgotten that they are tabulated from reports on only a small minority of the suits in that tribunal during that period, these figures are interesting as a sample which might or might not be representative if statistics were available for all. For the sake of enriching a later comparison between the two men one other observation must be mentioned: Pendleton was sole or associate counsel in each of the two cases which Wythe lost.
  
 
His pupil's notes taken in the General Court are also of intense interest because they contain the only surviving abstracts of Wythe's legal arguments. It is unfair in some degree, as well as an insufficient comment upon the power of
 
His pupil's notes taken in the General Court are also of intense interest because they contain the only surviving abstracts of Wythe's legal arguments. It is unfair in some degree, as well as an insufficient comment upon the power of
Line 2,240: Line 2,247:
 
===Page 133===
 
===Page 133===
  
his appeals, to wrest from its context a single plea directed by Wythe to the court, for he was not addicted to useless declamation on points lacking pertinence to that at issue and the able train of his thoughts has probably suffered through Jefferson's condensation. Even in that compressed form, however, his debates retain uncommon lucidity and strength. For example, in one of his suits he undertook to prove that slaves were not subject to inclusion in the law of entails (by which inheritance was restricted under the primogeniture principle) unless they had been definitely, legally, and inseparably annexed to an entailed tract of land. His opponents who could not show such a connection for the slaves whose custody they sought to gain from his clients, attempted to plead that the slaves had been made to labor on that land and that their labor was therefore exercisable in it. Wythe retorted, "… this exposition of the word exerciseable is superficial indeed!" Then he reminded the court vigorously that the slaves were not exclusively limited to duties in that ground, citing a definition of "exerciseable" which Coke had given:
+
his appeals, to wrest from its context a single plea directed by Wythe to the court, for he was not addicted to useless declamation on points lacking pertinence to that at issue and the able train of his thoughts has probably suffered through [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson's]] condensation. Even in that compressed form, however, his debates retain uncommon lucidity and strength. For example, in one of his suits he undertook to prove that slaves were not subject to inclusion in the law of entails (by which inheritance was restricted under the primogeniture principle) unless they had been definitely, legally, and inseparably annexed to an entailed tract of land. His opponents who could not show such a connection for the slaves whose custody they sought to gain from his clients, attempted to plead that the slaves had been made to labor on that land and that their labor was therefore exercisable in it. Wythe retorted, "… this exposition of the word exerciseable is superficial indeed!" Then he reminded the court vigorously that the slaves were not exclusively limited to duties in that ground, citing a definition of "exerciseable" which [[wikipedia:Edward Coke|Coke]] had given:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Line 2,253: Line 2,260:
 
Having thrust home his point that the slaves in dispute had not been entailed, he demonstrated forcefully by a strong <u>argumentum ab inconvenienti</u> that they could not be so without confusing irreparably and upsetting the entire structure of an inheritance system which provided already for ownership of enough kinds of property by entails. The judges, who had been equally divided on a previous hearing of the suit, decreed for him by a vote of seven to three.<sup>1</sup>
 
Having thrust home his point that the slaves in dispute had not been entailed, he demonstrated forcefully by a strong <u>argumentum ab inconvenienti</u> that they could not be so without confusing irreparably and upsetting the entire structure of an inheritance system which provided already for ownership of enough kinds of property by entails. The judges, who had been equally divided on a previous hearing of the suit, decreed for him by a vote of seven to three.<sup>1</sup>
  
In another of his arguments he was forced to admit that, were judgment given in favor of his client, the result would be injurious to the opposing party, but he based his unsuccessful appeal upon the maxim that the considerations of public utility should be superior to resultant harm in individual instances, citing a Roman institution named Terminalia to this effect.<sup>2</sup> In another of his suits, his client had so much the best of the issue that the court awarded him the verdict before he had had an opportunity to answer the weak arguments of opposing council.<sup>3</sup> In another, he was employed with Jefferson by the churchwardens and vestrymen of Upper Parish, Nansemond County, to prosecute their rector on charges of conduct unbefitting a wearer of priestly cloth and to secure the offending clergyman's dismissal. He proved by an interpretation of an act of the General Assembly that the
+
In another of his arguments he was forced to admit that, were judgment given in favor of his client, the result would be injurious to the opposing party, but he based his unsuccessful appeal upon the maxim that the considerations of public utility should be superior to resultant harm in individual instances, citing a Roman institution named [[wikipedia:Terminalia|Terminalia]] to this effect.<sup>2</sup> In another of his suits, his client had so much the best of the issue that the court awarded him the verdict before he had had an opportunity to answer the weak arguments of opposing counsel.<sup>3</sup> In another, he was employed with [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] by the churchwardens and vestrymen of Upper Parish, [[wikipedia:Nansemond County, Virginia|Nansemond County]], to prosecute their rector on charges of conduct unbefitting a wearer of priestly cloth and to secure the offending clergyman's dismissal. He proved by an interpretation of an act of the General Assembly that the
  
 
----
 
----
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 83-85
+
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 83-85.
  
 
2. Bradford <u>v</u>. Bradford, <u>ibid</u>., 86.
 
2. Bradford <u>v</u>. Bradford, <u>ibid</u>., 86.
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===Page 135===
 
===Page 135===
  
court had ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which he supposed was sufficient to show that the court possessed the power of depriving a cleric of his position. Jefferson feared that the right of deprivation might be a <u>non sequitur</u> and bolstered Wythe's argument by establishing that right on other grounds. Thus they won their cause together.<sup>1</sup> Illustration may be found in still another of Wythe's cases of his tendency to marshal an almost bewildering host of authorities in support of his views. In the course of an argument which Jefferson summarized in less than five printed pages Wythe's copious references included citations or quotations from four of Virginia's legislative acts, two British statutes, two English legal commentaries, two sections of Justinian's Roman code, a decision of an English court, and Cicero's orations.<sup>2</sup>
+
court had ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which he supposed was sufficient to show that the court possessed the power of depriving a cleric of his position. [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] feared that the right of deprivation might be a <u>non sequitur</u> and bolstered Wythe's argument by establishing that right on other grounds. Thus they won their cause together.<sup>1</sup> Illustration may be found in still another of Wythe's cases of his tendency to marshal an almost bewildering host of authorities in support of his views. In the course of an argument which Jefferson summarized in less than five printed pages Wythe's copious references included citations or quotations from four of Virginia's legislative acts, two British statutes, two English legal commentaries, two sections of [[Four Books of Justinian's Institutions|Justinian's Roman code]], a decision of an English court, and [[M.T. Ciceronis Orationes Quaedam Selectae|Cicero's orations]].<sup>2</sup>
  
 
In scattered places one can find several remnants of the multitude of letters which Wythe wrote on professional business and of legal papers which passed through his hands.
 
In scattered places one can find several remnants of the multitude of letters which Wythe wrote on professional business and of legal papers which passed through his hands.
  
The court's usual progress in the settlement of the colonists' differences was interrupted with their own consent in 1766, for (as the next chapter will relate) nearly all Virginia's tribunals determined no cases in that year as a protest against a tax which England had levied upon legal documents. Evidence of the effect of their closure may be seen in his letter in February of that year to Richard Henry Lee, who had been trained for the bar but had preferred the life
+
The court's usual progress in the settlement of the colonists' differences was interrupted with their own consent in 1766, for (as the next chapter will relate) nearly all Virginia's tribunals determined no cases in that year as a protest against a tax which England had levied upon legal documents. Evidence of the effect of their closure may be seen in his letter in February of that year to [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]], who had been trained for the bar but had preferred the life
  
 
----
 
----
Line 2,277: Line 2,284:
 
===Page 136===
 
===Page 136===
  
of a planter in the northern Tidewater to that of a practitioner:
+
of a planter in the northern [[wikipedia:Tidewater (geographic term)|Tidewater]] to that of a practitioner:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
At the time I received your letter by col[onel] P[hilip]. L[udwell]. Lee I could not give it a satis factory answer, because the officers seldom make re turns of process so early in [the terms of] the court: and indeed the confusion which succeeded, with the total interruption of law proceedings, put that as well as most other matters of that sort out of my head. I am now at the secretary's office and find the second writ against J Rootes was not returned: and they will not let me have a pluries capias [a writ issued after two of the same purport have been successively issued without effect] til [<u>sic</u>] some thing is determined as to the stamps. The writs against Galloway were execu ted. One J Blackwell [posted] the bail for [his] appearance. The writ against Thornton was not executed; but a copy [of it was] left, so that we may have an attachment or a pluries capias awarded whenever we may be so happy as to see the course of judiciary business again open and free.<sup>1</sup>
+
At the time I received your letter by [[wikipedia:Philip Ludwell III|col[onel] P[hilip]. L[udwell].]] Lee I could not give it a satisfactory answer, because the officers seldom make returns of process so early in [the terms of] the court: and indeed the confusion which succeeded, with the total interruption of law proceedings, put that as well as most other matters of that sort out of my head. I am now at the secretary's office and find the second writ against J Rootes was not returned: and they will not let me have a pluries capias [a writ issued after two of the same purport have been successively issued without effect] til [<u>sic</u>] some thing is determined as to the stamps. The writs against Galloway were executed. One J Blackwell [posted] the bail for [his] appearance. The writ against Thornton was not executed; but a copy [of it was] left, so that we may have an attachment or a pluries capias awarded whenever we may be so happy as to see the course of judiciary business again open and free.<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Line 2,286: Line 2,293:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
The protested bill of exchange you mention, drawn by mr Wm Thornton for 27-5-0 sterling, and endorsed by mr Galloway, is in my possession. The same day that I received it suit was commenced for mr Smith, who accepted the bill for the honour of the drawer. But partly by means of the stamp act, and partly by want of a sheriff in Brunswick [County] for some time, and the negligence of one who acted afterwards, it was so long before the process was returned executed that I cannot give you the satisfaction even of a conjecture when a judgment is to be expected. Mr Robb did speak to me on this subject, and desire me to prosecute the matter with expedition, and to acquaint him with the determination of it.
+
The protested bill of exchange you mention, drawn by mr Wm Thornton for 27-5-0 sterling, and endorsed by mr Galloway, is in my possession. The same day that I received it suit was commenced for mr Smith, who accepted the bill for the honour of the drawer. But partly by means of the stamp act, and partly by want of a sheriff in [[wikipedia:Brunswick County, North Carolina|Brunswick [County]]] for some time, and the negligence of one who acted afterwards, it was so long before the process was returned executed that I cannot give you the satisfaction even of a conjecture when a judgment is to be expected. Mr Robb did speak to me on this subject, and desire me to prosecute the matter with expedition, and to acquaint him with the determination of it.
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Line 2,296: Line 2,303:
  
 
----
 
----
1. George Wythe to Richard Henry Lee, February 14, 1766, Lee Papers, University of Virginia Library.
+
1. George Wythe to [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]], February 14, 1766, Lee Papers, University of Virginia Library.
  
 
===Page 137===
 
===Page 137===
Line 2,305: Line 2,312:
 
Perhaps it was the above-mentioned "mr Lee of Maryland" who thought highly enough of Wythe's legal opinions to refer to him six questions, written in an unidentified hand, concerning debatable points in Marylander's will. In the blank space left under each query Wythe put down his answers, but in reply to one of them he was forced to state the law as he knew it for his own colony with an admission that "it may be otherwise in Maryland."<sup>2</sup>
 
Perhaps it was the above-mentioned "mr Lee of Maryland" who thought highly enough of Wythe's legal opinions to refer to him six questions, written in an unidentified hand, concerning debatable points in Marylander's will. In the blank space left under each query Wythe put down his answers, but in reply to one of them he was forced to state the law as he knew it for his own colony with an admission that "it may be otherwise in Maryland."<sup>2</sup>
  
George Washington continued to give Wythe the management of some of his legal affairs. In 1773 he wanted to buy from a certain William Black some lands in King William and King and Queen counties; the tract in the latter, variously called "Romonkocke" and "Woromoroke", he intended to present to a member of his wife's family, John Parke Custis. The difficulties which arose from that desire caused him much worry. Black stated his price, which Washington rejected, offering counter-proposals.<sup>3</sup> When Black accepted these terms, Washington demanded of Black that all papers which proved the legality of Black's ownership of the two properties should
+
[[wikipedia:George Washington|George Washington]] continued to give Wythe the management of some of his legal affairs. In 1773 he wanted to buy from a certain William Black some lands in [[wikipedia:King William County, Virginia|King William]] and [[wikipedia:King and Queen County, Virginia|King and Queen counties]]; the tract in the latter, variously called "Romonkocke" and "Woromoroke", he intended to present to a member of his wife's family, [[wikipedia:John Parke Custis|John Parke Custis]]. The difficulties which arose from that desire caused him much worry. Black stated his price, which Washington rejected, offering counter-proposals.<sup>3</sup> When Black accepted these terms, Washington demanded of Black that all papers which proved the legality of Black's ownership of the two properties should
  
 
----
 
----
1. George Wythe to Richard Henry Lee, March 31, 1768, <u>ibid</u>.
+
1. George Wythe to [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]], March 31, 1768, <u>ibid</u>.
  
 
2. Document of George Wythe, dated August 25, 1768, Autograph Collection of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Yale University Library.
 
2. Document of George Wythe, dated August 25, 1768, Autograph Collection of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Yale University Library.
Line 2,319: Line 2,326:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
I expect all the Papers respecting your Title to the Lands I purchased [agreed to purchase] of you will shortly be in Mr. Wythe's possession when he will be satisfied whether your Title is good or not and if he thinks you have a good title he will draw [up] a proper conveyance [which you may sign to make the transaction final].<sup>1</sup>
+
I expect all the Papers respecting your Title to the Lands I purchased [agreed to purchase] of you will shortly be in Mr. Wythe's possession when he will be satisfied whether your Title is good or not and if he thinks you have a good title he will draw [up] a proper conveyance ... [which you may sign to make the transaction final].<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Wythe's report on the legality of the title was sent to Washington, but in the formal manner of an impersonal legal document it avoided the use of the pronoun "you" by referring to him as "Col. Washington". It is almost wholly unintelligible, no matter how carefully it is read and reread. Under even the best of conditions abstracts tracing the validity of real estate titles are involved enough to demand real study. In the case of this summary of Black's claims information essential to an understanding of its details is lacking. But the paper illustrates forcefully the thorough research required of Wythe in one phase of his practise. For that reason &mdash; and because every available item from his pen for the period under consideration is quoted in these pages &mdash; the document is reproduced herewith:
+
Wythe's report on the legality of the title was sent to [[wikipedia:George Washington|Washington]], but in the formal manner of an impersonal legal document it avoided the use of the pronoun "you" by referring to him as "Col. Washington". It is almost wholly unintelligible, no matter how carefully it is read and reread. Under even the best of conditions abstracts tracing the validity of real estate titles are involved enough to demand real study. In the case of this summary of Black's claims information essential to an understanding of its details is lacking. But the paper illustrates forcefully the thorough research required of Wythe in one phase of his practise. For that reason &mdash; and because every available item from his pen for the period under consideration is quoted in these pages &mdash; the document is reproduced herewith:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Col. Washington seemed to be satisfied as to the King &amp; Queen lands, which belonged to M<sup><u>r</u></sup>. Story, without inquiring into the title before the date of his Will in 1717, if the title be regularly deduced from him. I think by the Will the estate devised to the daughter was a contingent fee, determinable by her death, without leaving issue or without having alien ated, so that the estate in fee, limited upon that event by executory devise, as she survived her child, and had made no alienation, took effect, and was well
+
Col. Washington seemed to be satisfied as to the [[wikipedia:King and Queen County, Virginia|King &amp; Queen]] lands, which belonged to M<sup>r</sup>. Story, without inquiring into the title before the date of his Will in 1717, if the title be regularly deduced from him. I think by the Will the estate devised to the daughter was a contingent fee, determinable by her death, without leaving issue or without having alienated, so that the estate in fee, limited upon that event by executory devise, as she survived her child, and had made no alienation, took effect, and was well
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Line 2,335: Line 2,342:
 
conveyed by the deed of the 12<sup>th</sup> of April, 1750, from Charles Story to John Robinson esq<sup>r</sup>. supposing the recitals and suggestions in the deed to be true. If my opinion be wrong, and the daughter took either a pure fee simple, or a qualified fee, determinable, not upon her death without leaving, but upon her death without ever having had, issue, in that case M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson had a good title by that conveyance, if Charles Story was the daughter's heir at Law, otherwise not.
 
conveyed by the deed of the 12<sup>th</sup> of April, 1750, from Charles Story to John Robinson esq<sup>r</sup>. supposing the recitals and suggestions in the deed to be true. If my opinion be wrong, and the daughter took either a pure fee simple, or a qualified fee, determinable, not upon her death without leaving, but upon her death without ever having had, issue, in that case M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson had a good title by that conveyance, if Charles Story was the daughter's heir at Law, otherwise not.
  
M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson, by a deed to him from Thomas Hickman and Barbara his Wife, 14<sup>th</sup> Jan<sup>y</sup>. 1734 purchased 600 Acres of Land adjoining Wyatts, sold to Story; Whether this be part of the Land agreed to be sold by Mr. Black to Col. Washington I know not, neither have I seen any other paper concerning it. the deed from Hickman, if he had a title, I think a good conveyance &mdash;
+
M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson, by a deed to him from Thomas Hickman and Barbara his Wife, 14<sup>th</sup> Jan<sup>y</sup>. 1734 purchased 600 Acres of Land adjoining Wyatts, sold to Story; Whether this be part of the Land agreed to be sold by Mr. Black to [[wikipedia:George Washington|Col. Washington]] I know not, neither have I seen any other paper concerning it. the deed from Hickman, if he had a title, I think a good conveyance &mdash;
  
By act of general Assembly, [in the] 10[th year of the reign of King] Geo. the 3'd, some land in King and Queen County, purchased of Richard Johnson by M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson, who with others claiming under him were in possession, was vested in William Lyne and some other Gentle men, in trust, to convey to such persons as claimed under M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson, with a saving of the Titles of all persons other than those claiming under the will of a Testator who had devised to Richard Johnson the seller: whether the part reserved by Mr. Robinson be included in the Land agreed to be sold by M<sup>r</sup>. Black; Whether the testator had a good title; or whether the Trustees have conveyed to M<sup>r</sup>. Robinsons [<u>sic</u>] adm[inistrat]ors the part so reserved, which I think they the Adm[inistrat]ors were intitled [<u>sic</u>] to as a resulting trust, I can give no opinion, having seen no papers relating to these Matters.
+
By act of general Assembly, [in the] 10[th year of the reign of [[wikipedia:George III of the United Kingdom|King] Geo. the 3'd]], some land in [[wikipedia:King and Queen County, Virginia|King and Queen County]], purchased of Richard Johnson by M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson, who with others claiming under him were in possession, was vested in William Lyne and some other Gentle men, in trust, to convey to such persons as claimed under M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson, with a saving of the Titles of all persons other than those claiming under the will of a Testator who had devised to Richard Johnson the seller: whether the part reserved by Mr. Robinson be included in the Land agreed to be sold by M<sup>r</sup>. Black; Whether the testator had a good title; or whether the Trustees have conveyed to M<sup>r</sup>. Robinsons [<u>sic</u>] adm[inistrat]ors the part so reserved, which I think they the Adm[inistrat]ors were intitled [<u>sic</u>] to as a resulting trust, I can give no opinion, having seen no papers relating to these Matters.
  
If Romonkocke be part of the 1683 acres purchased by col: Bernard Moore from M<sup>r</sup>. William Claiborne, &amp; from M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson, who it seems derived his title from the Claibornes, as I suppose it is; and if Claibornes [<u>sic</u>] title be good, which I understand Col. Washington was satisfied with, and be properly deduced to Col. Moore, as, from what M<sup>r</sup>. [Bartholomew] Dandridge says of the Wills of N Claiborne the Father and Son, and from his abstracts of the conveyances from the heir and Executors of the Claibornes, to Robinson, and from Robinson to Moore, I am persuaded it is; yet I am apprehensive there is still a chasm, having in vain searched in the Secretary's office for a Conveyance from M<sup>r</sup>. Robinsons [<u>sic</u>] administrators, who had B. Moore's title, to M<sup>r</sup>. Black: but this unquestionably may be supplied. I have the conveyance from Carter Braxton, T. Walker, T. Jefferson and Power to W. Black which is recorded in the Secretary's Office, but, without conveyances leading to it, [it] is insignificant.
+
If Romonkocke be part of the 1683 acres purchased by col: Bernard Moore from M<sup>r</sup>. William Claiborne, &amp; from M<sup>r</sup>. Robinson, who it seems derived his title from the Claibornes, as I suppose it is; and if Claibornes [<u>sic</u>] title be good, which I understand Col. Washington was satisfied with, and be properly deduced to Col. Moore, as, from what M<sup>r</sup>. [[wikipedia:Bartholomew Dandridge|[Bartholomew] Dandridge]] says of the Wills of N Claiborne the Father and Son, and from his abstracts of the conveyances from the heir and Executors of the Claibornes, to Robinson, and from Robinson to Moore, I am persuaded it is; yet I am apprehensive there is still a chasm, having in vain searched in the Secretary's office for a Conveyance from M<sup>r</sup>. Robinsons [<u>sic</u>] administrators, who had B. Moore's title, to M<sup>r</sup>. Black: but this unquestionably may be supplied. I have the conveyance from [[wikipedia:Carter Braxton|Carter Braxton]], T. Walker, [[Thomas Jefferson|T. Jefferson]] and Power to W. Black which is recorded in the Secretary's Office, but, without conveyances leading to it, [it] is insignificant.
  
 
I find no deed from Col. Thomas Moore to Bernard
 
I find no deed from Col. Thomas Moore to Bernard
Line 2,351: Line 2,358:
 
The deed from Thomas Moore and his trustees, to William Seton, conveys, not an hundred acres, but one acre only with the Hill. Col. Moore's title I know nothing of &mdash; I find no material fault in the conveyance.
 
The deed from Thomas Moore and his trustees, to William Seton, conveys, not an hundred acres, but one acre only with the Hill. Col. Moore's title I know nothing of &mdash; I find no material fault in the conveyance.
  
Col. B. Moore's title being allowed, M<sup>r</sup>. Blacks title to the 550 acres called Gooch's seems unexceptionable.<sup>1</sup>
+
Col. B. Moore's title being allowed, M<sup>r</sup>. Blacks title to the 550 acres called [[wikipedia:Sir William Gooch, 1st Baronet|Gooch's]] seems unexceptionable.<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Having thus assured himself that Washington would be purchasing lands whose titles were irrefutable, Wythe drafted a deed by which the intended transfer of ownership might be made. But Black refused to sign that conveyance until Washington complied with stipulations which he added unexpectedly to their verbal contract.<sup>2</sup> In the dilemma thus created by the recalcitrant Black, Washington turned to Wythe for advice as to his method of procedure,<sup>3</sup> and the whole tangled maze was straightened out in the space of a few months with Wythe's
+
Having thus assured himself that [[wikipedia:George Washington|Washington]] would be purchasing lands whose titles were irrefutable, Wythe drafted a deed by which the intended transfer of ownership might be made. But Black refused to sign that conveyance until Washington complied with stipulations which he added unexpectedly to their verbal contract.<sup>2</sup> In the dilemma thus created by the recalcitrant Black, Washington turned to Wythe for advice as to his method of procedure,<sup>3</sup> and the whole tangled maze was straightened out in the space of a few months with Wythe's
  
 
----
 
----
 
1. George Wythe to George Washington, December 15, 1773, Hamilton, ed., <u>Letters to Washington</u>, IV, 282-284.
 
1. George Wythe to George Washington, December 15, 1773, Hamilton, ed., <u>Letters to Washington</u>, IV, 282-284.
  
2. Bartholomew Dandridge to George Washington, December 30, 1773, <u>ibid</u>., 297-300.
+
2. [[wikipedia:Bartholomew Dandridge|Bartholomew Dandridge]] to George Washington, December 30, 1773, <u>ibid</u>., 297-300.
  
 
3. [[George Washington to Wythe, 17 January 1774|George Washington to George Wythe, January 17, 1774]], Fitzpatrick, ed., <u>Writings of Washington</u>, III, 174-176.
 
3. [[George Washington to Wythe, 17 January 1774|George Washington to George Wythe, January 17, 1774]], Fitzpatrick, ed., <u>Writings of Washington</u>, III, 174-176.
Line 2,365: Line 2,372:
 
===Page 141===
 
===Page 141===
  
aid.<sup>1</sup> When Custis was planning several years later a sale of that portion of the property which Washington had acquired from Black and given to him, he asked for a general warranty of the validity of his title; Washington declined to make so sweeping a commitment, but he gave assurance that he had bought the land only "after having the title full investigated by Mr. Wythe"<sup>2</sup> &mdash; a reply which showed his perfect confidence in his lawyer. Wythe's word on that question had apparently allayed his doubts once and for all.
+
aid.<sup>1</sup> When [[wikipedia:Daniel Parke Custis|Custis]] was planning several years later a sale of that portion of the property which [[wikipedia:George Washington|Washington]] had acquired from Black and given to him, he asked for a general warranty of the validity of his title; Washington declined to make so sweeping a commitment, but he gave assurance that he had bought the land only "after having the title full investigated by Mr. Wythe"<sup>2</sup> &mdash; a reply which showed his perfect confidence in his lawyer. Wythe's word on that question had apparently allayed his doubts once and for all.
  
Another of the prominent Virginians in the northern part of the colony who is known to have been among Wythe's clients was Robert Carter of "Nomony Hall", a member of a thoroughly aristocratic family and a Councillor. As such, he was <u>ex officio</u> a judge in the General Court and thus in a position to know well the abilities of the lawyers at its bar. In 1772 Carter asked Wythe to secure a review by the Court of a permit granted by a county court to an applicant who desired to build a mill in a place which would injure some of Carter's property in Frederick County.<sup>3</sup> Two years later he seems to
+
Another of the prominent Virginians in the northern part of the colony who is known to have been among Wythe's clients was [[wikipedia:Robert Carter III|Robert Carter]] of "Nomony Hall", a member of a thoroughly aristocratic family and a Councillor. As such, he was <u>ex officio</u> a judge in the General Court and thus in a position to know well the abilities of the lawyers at its bar. In 1772 Carter asked Wythe to secure a review by the Court of a permit granted by a county court to an applicant who desired to build a mill in a place which would injure some of Carter's property in [[wikipedia:Frederick County, Virginia|Frederick County.<sup>3</sup>]] Two years later he seems to
  
 
----
 
----
1. George Washington to William Black, January 17, 1774, <u>ibid</u>., 176-179; Bartholomew Dandrige to George Washington, February 16, 1774, Hamilton, ed., <u>Letters to Washington</u>, IV, 327-329; <u>id</u>. to <u>id</u>., April 2, 1774, <u>ibid</u>., 365-366; William Black to <u>id</u>., April 25, 1774, <u>ibid</u>., 375.
+
1. George Washington to William Black, January 17, 1774, <u>ibid</u>., 176-179; [[wikipedia:Bartholomew Dandridge|Bartholomew Dandridge]] to George Washington, February 16, 1774, Hamilton, ed., <u>Letters to Washington</u>, IV, 327-329; <u>id</u>. to <u>id</u>., April 2, 1774, <u>ibid</u>., 365-366; William Black to <u>id</u>., April 25, 1774, <u>ibid</u>., 375.
  
2. George Washington to John Parke Custis, May 26, 1778, FitzPatrick, ed., <u>Writings of Washington</u>, XI, 456.
+
2. George Washington to [[wikipedia:John Parke Custis|John Parke Custis]], May 26, 1778, FitzPatrick, ed., <u>Writings of Washington</u>, XI, 456.
  
3. "Dear Wythe, A few days ago I receiv'd a Letter dated 14<sup>th</sup>. of last month, (September) subscribed John Hough, who is my Steward &mdash; part thereof is in these words 'Parson Charles Mynes Thruston in Frederick is erecting a Mill on the Line near thy Conveniency of Shenadon Tract, has
+
3. "Dear Wythe, A few days ago I receiv'd a Letter dated 14<sup>th</sup>. of last month, (September) subscribed John Hough, who is my Steward &mdash; part thereof is in these words '[[wikipedia:Charles Mynn Thruston (colonel)|Parson Charles Mynn Thruston]] in Frederick is erecting a Mill on the Line near thy Conveniency of Shenadon Tract, has
  
 
===Page 142===
 
===Page 142===
Line 2,391: Line 2,398:
  
 
----
 
----
obtain'd an Order of Court to condemn & by a Jury has condemned an Acre to cut his Tail-Race through &mdash; This I apprehend is not accord[in]g to Law as the Line crosses the Stream &mdash; this Breach will greatly interfere with y<sup><u>r</u></sup> Conveniency &mdash; This Hint I thought [it] was proper to communicate &mdash; J: Hough.' The Conveniency spoken of in the above Quotation, belonging to me, is a rich tract of Land lying in Frederick County contain<sup>g</sup> about 5 thousand Acres, and a very ordinary Mill thereon &mdash; there are several Families now living on that Tract who pay Rent to me, that Part whereon the mill is erected, is not rented, [I] having often refused to rent the same, intend<sup>g</sup> to erect mills for different Purposes there. I think that a writ shou'd be issued immed:<sup><u>ly</u></sup> toward obtain:<sup>g</sup> an Enquiry, in the Gen<sup>l</sup>. Court touch<sup>g</sup> the Propriety or Impropriety of the Order of Frederick Court, granting Leave for M<sup>r</sup> T&mdash;[hruston] to build a mill &mdash; I will go myself up to Frederick County next spring and if the [people of the] Neighbourhood there really want a Grist-Mill, I will order one to be built, provided the Order of Court mention'd above shall be set aside &mdash;  The Indisposition of several of the Children, &amp; three upper Serv<sup>ts</sup>. I apprehend will confine me here sometime, pray present my Compliments to L<sup><u>d</u></sup> Dunmore and all the Gentlemen Attendants, who shall attend the approach<sup><u>g</u></sup> Term [of the General Court, from which I must absent myself], I am, Dear Wythe, Your....": Robert Carter to George Wythe, October 4, 1772, Robert Carter papers, Duke University Library
+
obtain'd an Order of Court to condemn & by a Jury has condemned an Acre to cut his Tail-Race through &mdash; This I apprehend is not accord[in]g to Law as the Line crosses the Stream &mdash; this Breach will greatly interfere with y<sup><u>r</u></sup> Conveniency &mdash; This Hint I thought [it] was proper to communicate &mdash; J: Hough.' The Conveniency spoken of in the above Quotation, belonging to me, is a rich tract of Land lying in [[wikipedia:Frederick County, Virginia|Frederick County]] contain<sup>g</sup> about 5 thousand Acres, and a very ordinary Mill thereon &mdash; there are several Families now living on that Tract who pay Rent to me, that Part whereon the mill is erected, is not rented, [I] having often refused to rent the same, intend<sup>g</sup> to erect mills for different Purposes there. I think that a writ shou'd be issued immed:<sup><u>ly</u></sup> toward obtain:<sup>g</sup> an Enquiry, in the Gen<sup>l</sup>. Court touch<sup>g</sup> the Propriety or Impropriety of the Order of Frederick Court, granting Leave for M<sup>r</sup> T&mdash;[hruston] to build a mill &mdash; I will go myself up to Frederick County next spring and if the [people of the] Neighbourhood there really want a Grist-Mill, I will order one to be built, provided the Order of Court mention'd above shall be set aside &mdash;  The Indisposition of several of the Children, &amp; three upper Serv<sup>ts</sup>. I apprehend will confine me here sometime, pray present my Compliments to L<sup><u>d</u></sup> Dunmore and all the Gentlemen Attendants, who shall attend the approach<sup><u>g</u></sup> Term [of the General Court, from which I must absent myself], I am, Dear Wythe, Your....": [[wikipedia:Robert Carter III|Robert Carter]] to George Wythe, October 4, 1772, Robert Carter papers, Duke University Library
  
 
===Page 143===
 
===Page 143===
Line 2,404: Line 2,411:
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
The other, addressed to an emigrant from Virginia into Orange County, North Carolina, gives counsel as to a legal problem in Wythe's native county, acknowledges receipt of a paper for use in a case before the General Court, and approves his client's course of action in the more southern colony:
+
[[File:WytheToThomasBurkeAugust91775P1.jpg|thumb|right|400px|Letter from [[George Wythe|Wythe]] to Thomas Burke, dated August 9, 1775. Original in the [http://library.haverford.edu/file-id-1037 Charles Roberts Autograph Letters Collection,] [http://library.haverford.edu/places/special-collections/ Quaker & Special Collections, Haverford College,] Haverford, Pennsylvania.]]
 +
The other, addressed to an emigrant from Virginia into [[wikipedia:Orange County, North Carolina|Orange County]], gives counsel as to a legal problem in Wythe's native county, acknowledges receipt of a paper for use in a case before the General Court, and approves his client's course of action in the more southern colony:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
I have not been to Hampton since I wrote you. I purpose to go thither in a few days, and will then endeavour to get further information concerning mr Bloomfield's negros [<u>sic</u>]. The next of kin have now a right to the administration. but it seems to me that, unless they appear here, it cannot be committed to them; neither can it I be [<u>sic</u>] beleive [<u>sic</u>] be regularly committed to another in trust for them; neither will the court, in my opinion, without a suit, compel the persons in possession to deliver the negros [<u>sic</u>] to their agent. so that I would advise you, for the rea son you mentioned before, to procure what is necessary to support the claim of the heir. The bill you sent me
+
I have not been to [[wikipedia:Hampton, Virginia|Hampton]] since I wrote you. I purpose to go thither in a few days, and will then endeavour to get further information concerning mr Bloomfield's negros [<u>sic</u>]. The next of kin have now a right to the administration. but it seems to me that, unless they appear here, it cannot be committed to them; neither can it I be [<u>sic</u>] beleive [<u>sic</u>] be regularly committed to another in trust for them; neither will the court, in my opinion, without a suit, compel the persons in possession to deliver the negros [<u>sic</u>] to their agent. so that I would advise you, for the reason you mentioned before, to procure what is necessary to support the claim of the heir. The bill you sent me
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 
----
 
----
1. George Wythe to Robert Carter, July 2, 1774, Autograph Collection of the Signers of the Declaratino of Independence, J. Pierpoint Morgan Library.
+
1. George Wythe to [[wikipedia:Robert Carter III|Robert Carter]], July 2, 1774, Autograph Collection of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, J. Pierpoint Morgan Library.
  
2. George Wythe to Thomas Adams, September 6, 1774, Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, Virginia Historical Society Library.
+
2. George Wythe to [[wikipedia:Thomas Adams (politician)|Thomas Adams]], September 6, 1774, Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, Virginia Historical Society Library.
  
 
===Page 144===
 
===Page 144===
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
will enable me to form one in the suit of mr. Hamilton against Armstrong in the general court. The mode of procedure [sic] you are pursuing in Carolina seems very proper.<sup>1</sup>
+
will enable me to form one in the suit of mr. Hamilton against Armstrong in the general court. The mode of proceedure [<u>sic</u>] you are pursuing in Carolina seems very proper.<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Three extant petitions to the General Court throw a little additional light upon the activities of Wythe at its bar. Frederick County had a sheriff in 1765 named Jacob Hite, who was assisted voluntarily in the collection of taxes by Achilles Foster. Hite sued Foster for the whole value of the levies in one precinct of the county and secured a judgment in the local court against Foster. The latter petitioned the General Court in or about 1769 for a retrial before its bench. The body of the petition was written by Pendleton; below it contains Wythe's signature in testimony of the fact that Foster had sworn the accuracy of its allegations against Hite and against the previous trial. It pointed out enough irregularities to secure the issuance of a writ of certiorari to remove Foster's case from the inferior court to the supreme one. On the petition Wythe penned very briefly an order to that effect, which was signed by three of the judges.<sup>2</sup> One Solomon Redmon protested that a permit secured by Edward Sanford from the Westmoreland County court to build a mill endangered unlawfully his mill and begged that the order of the inferior
+
Three extant petitions to the General Court throw a little additional light upon the activities of Wythe at its bar. [[wikipedia:Frederick County, Virginia|Frederick County]] had a sheriff in 1765 named [[wikipedia:Jacob Hite|Jacob Hite]], who was assisted voluntarily in the collection of taxes by Achilles Foster. Hite sued Foster for the whole value of the levies in one precinct of the county and secured a judgment in the local court against Foster. The latter petitioned the General Court in or about 1769 for a retrial before its bench. The body of the petition was written by [[Edmund Pendleton|Pendleton]]; below it contains Wythe's signature in testimony of the fact that Foster had sworn the accuracy of its allegations against Hite and against the previous trial. It pointed out enough irregularities to secure the issuance of a writ of certiorari to remove Foster's case from the inferior court to the supreme one. On the petition Wythe penned very briefly an order to that effect, which was signed by three of the judges.<sup>2</sup> One Solomon Redmon protested that a permit secured by Edward Sanford from the [[wikipedia:Westmoreland County, Virginia|Westmoreland County]] court to build a mill endangered unlawfully his mill and begged that the order of the inferior
  
 
----
 
----
1. George Wythe to Thomas Burke, August 9, 1775, Roberts Autograph Collection, Haverford College Library. A facsimile of this letter is in the New York Historical Society Library.
+
1. [[Wythe to Thomas Burke, 9 August 1775|George Wythe to Thomas Burke, August 9, 1775]], [http://library.haverford.edu/file-id-1037 Roberts Autograph Collection,] [http://library.haverford.edu/places/special-collections/ Haverford College Library.] A facsimile of this letter is in the New York Historical Society Library.
  
 
2. Petition of Achilles Foster, undated, Autograph Collection of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery.
 
2. Petition of Achilles Foster, undated, Autograph Collection of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery.
Line 2,429: Line 2,437:
 
===Page 145===
 
===Page 145===
  
court in Sanford's favor should be reversed by the General Court. At the bottom of this petition Wythe wrote and signed an opinion that the county court had been in error, and in his hand also appears above signatures of three General Court judges an order suspending by a supersedeas the execution of Sanford's permit, pending a formal rehearing in the upper tribunal.<sup>1</sup> Similar to the former of these two petitions was that made by John Randolph in 1773, by which he sought to secure a removal from Charlotte County's court to the General Court of a case in which he was sued. The writ of certiorari to effect that shift in the location of the trial was granted, but on the back of the paper is a notation in Wythe's handwriting which indicates that he had served as Randolph's attorney in the presentation of the petition:
+
court in Sanford's favor should be reversed by the General Court. At the bottom of this petition Wythe wrote and signed an opinion that the county court had been in error, and in his hand also appears above signatures of three General Court judges an order suspending by a supersedeas the execution of Sanford's permit, pending a formal rehearing in the upper tribunal.<sup>1</sup> Similar to the former of these two petitions was that made by [[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John Randolph]] in 1773, by which he sought to secure a removal from [[wikipedia:Charlotte County, Virginia|Charlotte County's]] court to the General Court of a case in which he was sued. The writ of certiorari to effect that shift in the location of the trial was granted, but on the back of the paper is a notation in Wythe's handwriting which indicates that he had served as Randolph's attorney in the presentation of the petition:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
It is agreed that the certiorari shall not be made use of if the plt will enter into a rule to refer the mater in dispute to mr Treasurer [Robert Carter Nicholas] & col Nelson with [a grant of] power to [them to] choose an umpire [a third party, in the event they could reach no decision between themselves] & make their award before the end of March  
+
It is agreed that the certiorari shall not be made use of if the plt will enter into a rule to refer the mater in dispute to mr Treasurer [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|[Robert Carter Nicholas]]] & col Nelson with [a grant of] power to [them to] choose an umpire [a third party, in the event they could reach no decision between themselves] & make their award before the end of March  
  
 
[signed] John Randolph   
 
[signed] John Randolph   
Line 2,459: Line 2,467:
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
It is probable that several young men studied like [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] in George Wythe's law office. Extant records, however, tell of only a few others. But because he was to become, as Jefferson did, an intimate friend and associate of Wythe, interest attaches to the experience of one of these in legal study. He was [[St. George Tucker]], a Briton who left his home in the colony of Bermuda to attend [http://www.wm.edu/ William and Mary College] in 1771.<sup>3</sup> In mid-summer of the next year his father discussed in a letter to him the possibilities of preparation in Virginia and in England for a career at the bad. Tucker had
+
It is probable that several young men studied like [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] in George Wythe's law office. Extant records, however, tell of only a few others. But because he was to become, as Jefferson did, an intimate friend and associate of Wythe, interest attaches to the experience of one of these in legal study. He was [[St. George Tucker]], a Briton who left his home in the colony of Bermuda to attend [http://www.wm.edu/ William and Mary College] in 1771.<sup>3</sup> In mid-summer of the next year his father discussed in a letter to him the possibilities of preparation in Virginia and in England for a career at the bar. Tucker had
  
 
----
 
----
1. But <u>cf</u>. indenture of John and Peyton Randolph, February 12, 1773, Emmet Collection, New York Public Library.
+
1. But <u>cf</u>. indenture of [[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John]] and [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], February 12, 1773, Emmet Collection, New York Public Library.
  
 
2. <u>Virginia Gazette</u> (pub. by Rind), February 7, 1771.
 
2. <u>Virginia Gazette</u> (pub. by Rind), February 7, 1771.
  
3. "M<sup><u>r</u></sup>. Starke gave Papa [Henry Tucker] such a favorable account of the College in Virginia ... that I believe he has determined, shoul'd you like it, to send you there. .... he [Starke] represents it as the best Institution of the sort in America and [as being] under the particular Inspection of Lord Boudetourt [Botetourt] (the Governor) who takes great Delight with it": Elizabeth Tucker to St. George Tucker, August 19, 1770, Tucker Papers, Mrs. George P. Coleman.
+
3. "M<sup><u>r</u></sup>. Starke gave Papa [Henry Tucker] such a favorable account of the College in Virginia ... that I believe he has determined, shoul'd you like it, to send you there. .... he [Starke] represents it as the best Institution of the sort in America and [as being] under the particular Inspection of [[wikipedia:Baron Botetourt|Lord Boudetourt [Botetourt]]] (the Governor) who takes great Delight with it": Elizabeth Tucker to [[wikipedia:St. George Tucker|St. George Tucker]], August 19, 1770, Tucker Papers, Mrs. George P. Coleman.
  
 
===Page 147===
 
===Page 147===
  
evidently proposed that he should remain in Williamsburg and work under Wythe before following his father's plan of study at London in the Inns of Court. His father replied, in part:
+
evidently proposed that he should remain in Williamsburg and work under Wythe before following his father's plan of study at London in the [[wikipedia:Inns of Court|Inns of Court]]. His father replied, in part:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
As to the plan you propose you must be Advised by those that are more capable of doing it than myself at this Distance. a knowledge of the Civil Law as well as the Laws of Nations in some sort I believe will be Necessary and as you intend to leave the College at Christ mas in order to enter upon the Study of the Common Law under Mr. Wythe, I wish you had said in what Manner that is to be done. Do you intend to enter upon a Clerkship with him or how? I think if you are permitted the use of his books & [if] he will give him self [<u>sic</u>] the trouble of regulating your studies, you ought to be as servicable [<u>sic</u>] to him as possible by giving him every Assistance to his business ... so that you may be help ful to him in writing while you make your self Acquainted with the Method of practice .... .... I shall write to England to inform myself the time it will be Necessary for you to be at the [Middle] Temple to be called to the Bar to plead in America but I think from what you represent of the Matter you will be better [off] to remain for some time in Virginia as you are like[ly] to be under so good a Tutor, for, if I am rightly informed, no care is taken of you at the Inns of Court in London. every student is to do as he pleases, besides [study for] the Comon [<u>sic</u>] practice in America as an Atty is quite out of the Question there.     ....  
+
As to the plan you propose you must be Advised by those that are more capable of doing it than myself at this Distance. a knowledge of the Civil Law as well as the Laws of Nations in some sort I believe will be Necessary and as you intend to leave the College at Christmas in order to enter upon the Study of the Common Law under M<sup><u>r</u></sup>. Wythe, I wish you had said in what Manner that is to be done. Do you intend to enter upon a Clerkship with him or how? I think if you are permitted the use of his books &amp; [if] he will give him self [<u>sic</u>] the trouble of regulating your studies, you ought to be as servicable [<u>sic</u>] to him as possible by giving him every Assistance in his business ... so that you may be helpful to him in writing while you make your self Acquainted with the Method of practice ....&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;....&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I shall write to England to inform myself the time it will be Necessary for you to be at the [[wikipedia:Middle Temple|[Middle] Temple]] to be called to the Bar to plead in America but I think from what you represent of the Matter you will be better [off] to remain for some time in Virginia as you are like[ly] to be under so good a Tutor, for, if I am rightly informed, no care is taken of you at the Inns of Court in London. every student is to do as he pleases, besides [study for] the Comon [<u>sic</u>] practice in America as an Att<sup><u>y</u></sup> is quite out of the Question there.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;....  
  
I am greatly obliged to you for the Account you gave me of the proceedings in the Virga Courts as well as for the Characters of the several Gentm of the Law, such able proficient cannot but give you great pleasure in hearing them. as well as to instruct you in the Rules & practice of their Courts. in short I think you have a very good Opportunity of Instructing your self [<u>sic</u>], and I am persuaded you will not lose the Opportunity of doing it. .... As you propose leaving  the College at Christmas, I hope you will take care to get into a Reputable family & board at as cheap a Rate as possible I hope the sum wont [<u>sic</u>] Exceed 25 or 30 <s>L</s> per ann. but you must do the best you can. If you are to write for Mr. Wythe, perhaps you will dine with him but this will depend on the terms [under which] you are to be with him.<sup>1</sup>
+
I am greatly obliged to you for the Account you gave me of the proceedings in the Virg<sup><u>a</u></sup> Courts as well as for the Characters of the several Gent<sup><u>m</u></sup> of the Law, such able proficients cannot but give you great pleasure in hearing them. as well as to instruct you in the Rules &amp; practice of their Courts. in short I think you have a very good Opportunity of Instructing your self [<u>sic</u>], and I am persuaded you will not lose the Opportunity of doing it. .... As you propose leaving  the College at Christmas, I hope you will take care to get into a Reputable family &amp; board at as cheap a Rate as possible I hope the sum wont [<u>sic</u>] Exceed 25 or 30 <s>L</s> per ann. but you must do the best you can. If you are to write for M<sup><u>r</u></sup>. Wythe, perhaps you will dine with him but this will depend on the terms [under which] you are to be with him.<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Line 2,485: Line 2,493:
 
===Page 148===
 
===Page 148===
  
that there was a new boarder at the Wythe family table when Tucker began his new law studies early in 1773 – to the immense pleasure of a father who thought that too much time had been consumed with the inutile collegiate courses<sup>1</sup> and who deemed it well to caution him again to make Wythe instruct him in every practical phase of his profession.<sup>2</sup> Within about a year the pupil had been admitted to the bar of an inferior court; Wythe gave him in the spring of 1774, evidently in reply to an inquiry regarding some problem originating in actual experience, an opinion on some point of professional ethics:
+
that there was a new boarder at the Wythe family table when [[St. George Tucker|Tucker]] began his new law studies early in 1773 – to the immense pleasure of a father who thought that too much time had been consumed with the inutile collegiate courses<sup>1</sup> and who deemed it well to caution him again to make Wythe instruct him in every practical phase of his profession.<sup>2</sup> Within about a year the pupil had been admitted to the bar of an inferior court; Wythe gave him in the spring of 1774, evidently in reply to an inquiry regarding some problem originating in actual experience, an opinion on some point of professional ethics:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Line 2,502: Line 2,510:
 
3. George Wythe to <u>id</u>., April 22, 1774, <u>ibid</u>.
 
3. George Wythe to <u>id</u>., April 22, 1774, <u>ibid</u>.
  
4. St. George Tucker to Richard Rush, October 27, 1813, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XLII, 213. Wythe seems to have continued constantly, or at least to have been often reappointed, to be one of the examiners to whom all lawyers in the colony had to apply for a license, for the famous John Taylor of Caroline was admitted to practise in his native county in 1773 under a commission signed by Wythe and John Randolph: entry of September 9, 1773, <u>Order Book</u>, Caroline County Records.
+
4. St. George Tucker to [[wikipedia:Richard Rush|Richard Rush]], October 27, 1813, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XLII, 213. Wythe seems to have continued constantly, or at least to have been often reappointed, to be one of the examiners to whom all lawyers in the colony had to apply for a license, for the famous [[wikipedia:John Taylor (South Carolina governor)|John Taylor of Caroline]] was admitted to practise in his native county in 1773 under a commission signed by Wythe and [[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John Randolph]]: entry of September 9, 1773, <u>Order Book</u>, Caroline County Records.
  
 
===Page 149===
 
===Page 149===
  
Virginians were not to know of Lexington and Concord until the news had been relayed over the long and tortuous journey from Boston, the beginning of actual hostilities in the War for American Independence. Espousing the cause of a more directly oppressed northern colony, in whose fate the others felt with some justice that their own was involved, Virginia had manifested her sympathy and support by closing all her inferior courts in 1774 as a protest against the Boston Port Bill. Before the autumn of 1775 noise from the staccato rifles and booming cannon reverberated in Virginia, too; the colony found itself driven to war against its governor and subsisting under the merest makeshift of a government. In the midst of such disorder adjudicated law could not reign. Thus it was that its spring term in 1775 was the last sitting on the General Court.<sup>1</sup> With that term, as later events were to prove, the career of George Wythe the lawyer ended once and for all. For the next three years he could do nothing but devote himself to the avocation of politics. Yet, when Virginia courts were reopened in 1778, he became identified again until his death with the legal profession in a new capacity, than of an honored judge in equity.
+
Virginians were not to know of Lexington and Concord until the news had been relayed over the long and tortuous journey from Boston, the beginning of actual hostilities in the War for American Independence. Espousing the cause of a more directly oppressed northern colony, in whose fate the others felt with some justice that their own was involved, Virginia had manifested her sympathy and support by closing all her inferior courts in 1774 as a protest against the [[wikipedia:Boston Port Act|Boston Port Bill]]. Before the autumn of 1775 noise from the staccato rifles and booming cannon reverberated in Virginia, too; the colony found itself driven to war against its governor and subsisting under the merest makeshift of a government. In the midst of such disorder adjudicated law could not reign. Thus it was that its spring term in 1775 was the last sitting on the General Court.<sup>1</sup> With that term, as later events were to prove, the career of George Wythe the lawyer ended once and for all. For the next three years he could do nothing but devote himself to the avocation of politics. Yet, when Virginia courts were reopened in 1778, he became identified again until his death with the legal profession in a new capacity, than of an honored judge in equity.
  
 
----
 
----
1. St. George Tucker to Richard Rush, October 27, 1813, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XLII, 213. But Lord Dunmore complained in a long letter that the court had been closed in 1774 because no lawyers would plead before it: Governor Dunmore to the Secretary of State, December 24, 1774, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), II, New York Public Library.
+
1. [[St. George Tucker|St. George Tucker]] to [[wikipedia:Richard Rush|Richard Rush]], October 27, 1813, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XLII, 213. But [[wikipedia:John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore|Lord Dunmore]] complained in a long letter that the court had been closed in 1774 because no lawyers would plead before it: Governor Dunmore to the Secretary of State, December 24, 1774, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), II, New York Public Library.
  
 
===Page 150===
 
===Page 150===
Line 2,518: Line 2,526:
 
</center>
 
</center>
  
Two characteristics predominated as distinctive elements in the large success which attended Wythe's thirty years as a practising attorney, especially his two decades at the bar of the General Court. First, he was perhaps more learned in the law than any of his colleagues, though it was no mean attainments to equal or exceed the familiarity with its literature achieved by men like Thomson Mason and John Randolph, who were never as active as he in political affairs and had more time for scholarship.<sup>1</sup> "Under a pressure of business at the bar before the revolution, which would have monopolized the attention of others", as a friend spoke later of the work of one whose "knowledge of law…was indeed profound!",<sup>2</sup> he must have had innumerable occasions to refer to the books which were in those days the sources of British legal principles and precedents. But, just as he managed to steal time from his practise for communing with great minds of the past through the pages of his adored classics, standard repositories of the law meant more to him than places to look for information on specific points as occasion demanded. To
+
Two characteristics predominated as distinctive elements in the large success which attended Wythe's thirty years as a practising attorney, especially his two decades at the bar of the General Court. First, he was perhaps more learned in the law than any of his colleagues, though it was no mean attainments to equal or exceed the familiarity with its literature achieved by men like [[wikipedia:Thomson Mason|Thomson Mason]] and [[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John Randolph]], who were never as active as he in political affairs and had more time for scholarship.<sup>1</sup> "Under a pressure of business at the bar before the revolution, which would have monopolized the attention of others", as a friend spoke later of the work of one whose "knowledge of law ... was indeed profound!",<sup>2</sup> he must have had innumerable occasions to refer to the books which were in those days the sources of British legal principles and precedents. But, just as he managed to steal time from his practise for communing with great minds of the past through the pages of his adored classics, standard repositories of the law meant more to him than places to look for information on specific points as occasion demanded. To
  
 
----
 
----
1. Hugh Blair Grigsby, <u>Discourse on the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell</u>, 18, ranked Wythe "above all early statesmen" in this respect. But the same authority stated elsewhere, "In the solid learning of the law he [Wythe] stood, with the exception of Thomson Mason, almost alone": Grigsby, [[Virginia Convention of 1776|<u>Virginia Convention of 1776</u>]], 121; again, "That he more thoroughly mastered the learning of his profession than any of his contemporaries, excepting Thomson Mason, seems to be conceded": <u>ibid</u>., 127-128.
+
1. [[wikipedia:Hugh Blair Grigsby|Hugh Blair Grigsby]], <u>[[Discourse on the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell]]</u>, 18, ranked Wythe "above all early statesmen" in this respect. But the same authority stated elsewhere, "In the solid learning of the law he [Wythe] stood, with the exception of Thomson Mason, almost alone": Grigsby, [[Virginia Convention of 1776|<u>Virginia Convention of 1776</u>]], 121; again, "That he more thoroughly mastered the learning of his profession than any of his contemporaries, excepting Thomson Mason, seems to be conceded": <u>ibid</u>., 127-128.
  
 
2. Anonymous "Communication", <u>The Enquirer</u>, June 10, 1806.
 
2. Anonymous "Communication", <u>The Enquirer</u>, June 10, 1806.
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===Page 151===
 
===Page 151===
  
Wythe the earliest authorities on English law were not merely dull reference works &mdash; they were exciting tools with whose aid he might satisfy his flair for research by tracing every legal doctrine to its remotest enunciation in Roman codes or in pre-Norman Britain. Thus he delighted in Glanville's <u>Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom of England</u>, published in Latin late in the twelfth century, the first commentary on the common law; in Bracton's treatise in Latin about the middle of the thirteenth century embodying much of the ancient Roman civil law; in Britton's six books, published in legal French under the sponsorship of King Edward I toward the close of the thirteenth century; and in the work known as Fleta, also published about 1290 but issued in Latin. Into these first epochal compendiums in English legal literature Wythe delved, partially for the sheer joy of mining their undervalued historical nuggets, at a time when most of his fellows were content to pursue few thought farther back than fifteenth-century Thomas Littleton's <u>Tenures</u>, a statement of England's real property laws which had furnished a hundred years or so later a point of departure for Coke's famous textbook. Moreover, he gloried in the unofficial reports in French of discussions in England's courts between members of bench and bar, three and a half centuries after Glanville, which are known as Year Books, most of which he had also in his library; and he collected, too, voluminous copies of
+
Wythe the earliest authorities on English law were not merely dull reference works &mdash; they were exciting tools with whose aid he might satisfy his flair for research by tracing every legal doctrine to its remotest enunciation in Roman codes or in pre-Norman Britain. Thus he delighted in [[wikipedia:Ranulf de Glanvill|Glanville's]] <u>Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom of England</u>, published in Latin late in the twelfth century, the first commentary on the common law; in [[wikipedia:Henry de Bracton|Bracton's]] treatise in Latin about the middle of the thirteenth century embodying much of the ancient Roman civil law; in [[wikipedia:Britton (law)|Britton's]] six books, published in legal French under the sponsorship of [[wikipedia:Edward I of England|King Edward I]] toward the close of the thirteenth century; and in the work known as [[wikipedia:Fleta|Fleta]], also published about 1290 but issued in Latin. Into these first epochal compendiums in English legal literature Wythe delved, partially for the sheer joy of mining their undervalued historical nuggets, at a time when most of his fellows were content to pursue few thought farther back than fifteenth-century [[wikipedia:Thomas de Littleton|Thomas Littleton's]] <u>Tenures</u>, a statement of England's real property laws which had furnished a hundred years or so later a point of departure for [[wikipedia:Edward Coke|Coke's]] famous textbook. Moreover, he gloried in the unofficial reports in French of discussions in England's courts between members of bench and bar, three and a half centuries after Glanville, which are known as Year Books, most of which he had also in his library; and he collected, too, voluminous copies of
  
 
===Page 152===
 
===Page 152===
  
statutes passed by Parliament.<sup>1</sup> With such profound erudition at the command of a logical brain, it was but natural that able arguments should have emanated from his conscientious care in preparing his appeal in each case.<sup>2</sup> Yet it should not be thought that Wythe's superior storehouses of legal learning were drawn upon in a merely pedantic manner, "for in pleading", Jefferson testified, "he never indulged himself with an useless or declamatory thought or word...."<sup>3</sup> He spoke rarely with real eloquence but was nearly always impressive, by reason of his easy elocution, the methodical arrangement of his materials, and his usually unruffled urbanity in debate;<sup>4</sup> frequently, too, he showed that he was a master of pathos in appeal and of sarcasm in repartee.<sup>5</sup>
+
statutes passed by Parliament.<sup>1</sup> With such profound erudition at the command of a logical brain, it was but natural that able arguments should have emanated from his conscientious care in preparing his appeal in each case.<sup>2</sup> Yet it should not be thought that Wythe's superior storehouses of legal learning were drawn upon in a merely pedantic manner, "for in pleading", [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] testified, "he never indulged himself with an useless or declamatory thought or word...."<sup>3</sup> He spoke rarely with real eloquence but was nearly always impressive, by reason of his easy elocution, the methodical arrangement of his materials, and his usually unruffled urbanity in debate;<sup>4</sup> frequently, too, he showed that he was a master of pathos in appeal and of sarcasm in repartee.<sup>5</sup>
  
 
The second outstanding characteristic of Wythe the lawyer was his perfect integrity. It has been generally recognized ever since the birth of the profession that law inevitably offers its devotees as many temptations as they would find in any other occupation; no age is known to have lacked
 
The second outstanding characteristic of Wythe the lawyer was his perfect integrity. It has been generally recognized ever since the birth of the profession that law inevitably offers its devotees as many temptations as they would find in any other occupation; no age is known to have lacked
  
 
----
 
----
1. Grigsby, <u>Littleton Waller Tazewell</u>, 18, is authority for the names given in these sentences. His information was almost undoubtedly secured in conversations with Tazewell, who lived for a time in Wythe's home: <u>cf</u>., <u>e.g</u>., <u>ibid</u>., 10, 80, 84-85. A readily available and non-technical summary of the above legal authorities may be found in Lyon and Block, <u>Edward Coke</u>, 335-345.
+
1. [[wikipedia:Hugh Blair Grigsby|Grigsby]], [[wikipedia:Littleton Waller Tazewell|<u>Littleton Waller Tazewell</u>]], 18, is authority for the names given in these sentences. His information was almost undoubtedly secured in conversations with Tazewell, who lived for a time in Wythe's home: <u>cf</u>., <u>e.g</u>., <u>ibid</u>., 10, 80, 84-85. A readily available and non-technical summary of the above legal authorities may be found in Lyon and Block, [[wikipedia:Edward Coke|<u>Edward Coke</u>]], 335-345.
  
 
2. <u>Cf</u>. Grigsby, [[Virginia Convention of 1776|<u>Virginia Convention of 1776</u>]], 121.
 
2. <u>Cf</u>. Grigsby, [[Virginia Convention of 1776|<u>Virginia Convention of 1776</u>]], 121.
Line 2,544: Line 2,552:
 
4. [[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe|<u>Ibid</u>]].
 
4. [[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe|<u>Ibid</u>]].
  
5. Wirt, [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 66.
+
5. [[wikipedia:William Wirt (Attorney General)|Wirt]], [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 66.
  
 
===Page 153===
 
===Page 153===
  
confident scoffers to proclaim that there could be no such thing as an honest lawyer. The dexterous evasions of so called Philadelphia lawyers have become in later times proverbial, but colonial Virginians were not without unwelcome examples in their courts of gross perversions of justice. Therefore, when no evil conduct was evident or imputable in the actions of an attorney, he was likely to be dubbed "the honest lawyer", and several of Wythe's contemporaries, including Robert Carter Nicholas and his brother-in-law, John Lewis of Spotsylvania, were recipients of that enviable title.<sup>1</sup>
+
confident scoffers to proclaim that there could be no such thing as an honest lawyer. The dexterous evasions of so called Philadelphia lawyers have become in later times proverbial, but colonial Virginians were not without unwelcome examples in their courts of gross perversions of justice. Therefore, when no evil conduct was evident or imputable in the actions of an attorney, he was likely to be dubbed "the honest lawyer", and several of Wythe's contemporaries, including [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]] and his brother-in-law, John Lewis of Spotsylvania, were recipients of that enviable title.<sup>1</sup>
  
One is thus forced to conclude, when he reads the declaration often made by Rev. Lee Massey, rector of Truro Parish in Fairfax County, proclaiming that Wythe "was the only honest lawyer he ever knew",<sup>2</sup> that the excellent clergyman did not have too broad an acquaintance among the colony's counselors. Though it could not be expected that
+
One is thus forced to conclude, when he reads the declaration often made by Rev. Lee Massey, rector of [[wikipedia:Truro Church (Fairfax, Virginia)|Truro Parish]] in Fairfax County, proclaiming that Wythe "was the only honest lawyer he ever knew",<sup>2</sup> that the excellent clergyman did not have too broad an acquaintance among the colony's counselors. Though it could not be expected that
  
 
----
 
----
1. On Nicholas' professional virtue see Randolph, [[Randolph's History of Virginia|Manuscript History of Virginia]], <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XLIII, 125. Norfolk was another spot which had its representatives of uprightness. "Like [James] Nimo, he [John Nivison] was called the honest lawyer; and it was one of the sly jests of our fathers that there should be two lawyers at the same bar and in the same generation, whose claims to the title should be generally conceded by the people": Grigsby, <u>Littleton Waller Tazewell</u>, 32.
+
1. On Nicholas' professional virtue see Randolph, [[Randolph's History of Virginia|Manuscript History of Virginia]], <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XLIII, 125. Norfolk was another spot which had its representatives of uprightness. "Like [James] Nimo, he [John Nivison] was called the honest lawyer; and it was one of the sly jests of our fathers that there should be two lawyers at the same bar and in the same generation, whose claims to the title should be generally conceded by the people": [[wikipedia:Hugh Blair Grigsby|Grigsby]], [[wikipedia:Littleton Waller Tazewell|<u>Littleton Waller Tazewell</u>]], 32.
  
2. J. T. Stoddert, a grandson of Massey, made this report in a letter of unknown date to Bishop Meade: reprinted in Meade, <u>op</u>. <u>cit</u>., II, 238. Massey had retired early from the practise of law "because his 'conscience would not suffer him to make the worse appear the better reason', and to uphold wrong against right. He tried to follow in the lead of ... Wythe, to examine cases placed in his care and to accept the good and reject the bad. It proved a failure....": <u>ibid</u>.
+
2. J. T. Stoddert, a grandson of Massey, made this report in a letter of unknown date to [[wikipedia:William Meade|Bishop Meade]]: reprinted in Meade, <u>op</u>. <u>cit</u>., II, 238. Massey had retired early from the practise of law "because his 'conscience would not suffer him to make the worse appear the better reason', and to uphold wrong against right. He tried to follow in the lead of ... Wythe, to examine cases placed in his care and to accept the good and reject the bad. It proved a failure....": <u>ibid</u>.
  
 
===Page 154===
 
===Page 154===
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----
 
----
1. Jefferson, "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. "The temptations of the law never raised a doubt on his purity....": Randolph, [[Randolph's History of Virginia|Manuscript History of Virginia]], <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XLIII, 131.
+
1. [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]], "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. "The temptations of the law never raised a doubt on his purity....": [[Edmund Randolph|Randolph]], [[Randolph's History of Virginia|Manuscript History of Virginia]], <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XLIII, 131.
  
 
===Page 155===
 
===Page 155===
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abandoned it immediately.<sup>1</sup>
 
abandoned it immediately.<sup>1</sup>
  
When Parson Mason L. Weems, author of a biography of George Washington which is famous only because he created in his imagination the well known episode of the hachet and the cherry tree, heard of Wythe's death, he seized the opportunity to [[Honest Lawyer|rush into print with a characteristically effusive anecdote]] illustrative of the last of these rules by which Wythe safeguarded his splendidly delicate sense of professional integrity:
+
When [[wikipedia:Mason Locke Weems|Parson Mason L. Weems]], author of a biography of [[wikipedia:George Washington|George Washington]] which is famous only because he created in his imagination the well known episode of the hachet and the cherry tree, heard of Wythe's death, he seized the opportunity to [[Honest Lawyer|rush into print with a characteristically effusive anecdote]] illustrative of the last of these rules by which Wythe safeguarded his splendidly delicate sense of professional integrity:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
 
In support of this little moral eulogy of ... Wythe &mdash; in proof, I mean, that he possessed that <u>fervent love</u>, which gave him so tender an interest in the comfort of another, that no money could ever tempt him to invade it; take the following anecdote of him, and most exactly (in substance at least) as I received it from the Rev. Mr. Lee Massey, a first-rate Virginia clergyman, and from early life, the intimate [friend] of Mr. Wythe.
 
In support of this little moral eulogy of ... Wythe &mdash; in proof, I mean, that he possessed that <u>fervent love</u>, which gave him so tender an interest in the comfort of another, that no money could ever tempt him to invade it; take the following anecdote of him, and most exactly (in substance at least) as I received it from the Rev. Mr. Lee Massey, a first-rate Virginia clergyman, and from early life, the intimate [friend] of Mr. Wythe.
  
"In the month of June, many years ago, I went," said Mr. Massey, "to dine with my friend, Bob Alexander." (Now, it may not much confuse the reader, to tell him that this same <u>Bob</u> Alexander, as Mr. Massey, in his familiar way, always called him, was a wealthy and worthy gentleman, living on the Potomac, and near Alexandria.) Well, "while Mrs. Alexander, like Milton's Eve, 'on hospitable thoughts intent,' was preparing an elegant dinner, Bob and I took our chairs into the piazza, which commanded a very fine prospect indeed &mdash; full in our view lay the great Potomac, the mile-wide boundary between the sister states [colonies] of Mary land and Virginia &mdash; on the Virginia side the rich bottoms lengthened out, as far as the eye could see, were covered with crops of full ripe wheat, whose yellow tops rolling in ridges before the playful breeze, reflected the beams of the sun in sudden gleams of gold,
+
"In the month of June, many years ago, I went," said Mr. Massey, "to dine with my friend, [[wikipedia:Robert Alexander (Maryland)|Bob Alexander]]." (Now, it may not much confuse the reader, to tell him that this same <u>Bob</u> Alexander, as Mr. Massey, in his familiar way, always called him, was a wealthy and worthy gentleman, living on the Potomac, and near Alexandria.) Well, "while Mrs. Alexander, like Milton's Eve, 'on hospitable thoughts intent,' was preparing an elegant dinner, Bob and I took our chairs into the piazza, which commanded a very fine prospect indeed &mdash; full in our view lay the great Potomac, the mile-wide boundary between the sister states [colonies] of Maryland and Virginia &mdash; on the Virginia side the rich bottoms lengthened out, as far as the eye could see, were covered with crops of full ripe wheat, whose yellow tops rolling in ridges before the playful breeze, reflected the beams of the sun in sudden gleams of gold,
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
 
----
 
----
1. See esp. "[[Memoirs of the Late George Wythe, Esquire|Memoirs of the Late George Wythe, Esquire]]", <u>The American Gleaner, and Virginia Gazette</u>, I, 2-3. "I know that his probity was such, that when he acted as counsel, his opinions were the dictates of a well informed conscience, [and that] no promise of emolument could engage him to undertake a bad cause ... when he understood its real merits....": "[[Virginia Gazette, and General Advertiser, 18 June 1806|Communication]]" signed "A.B.", <u>Virginia Gazette, and General Advertiser</u>, June 18, 1806.
+
1. See esp. "[[Memoirs of the Late George Wythe, Esquire|Memoirs of the Late George Wythe, Esquire]]", <u>[[American Gleaner|The American Gleaner, and Virginia Gazette]]</u>, I, 2-3. "I know that his probity was such, that when he acted as counsel, his opinions were the dictates of a well informed conscience, [and that] no promise of emolument could engage him to undertake a bad cause ... when he understood its real merits....": "[[Virginia Gazette, and General Advertiser, 18 June 1806|Communication]]" signed "A.B.", [[Virginia Gazette, and General Advertiser, 18 June 1806|<u>Virginia Gazette, and General Advertiser</u>]], June 18, 1806.
  
 
===Page 156===
 
===Page 156===
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
brightening the day &mdash; on the Maryland side, a stately ridge of hills, high crowned with trees, formed as it were, a frowning guard to the great river, and threw its subliming shades, a striking contrast to the milder beauties of the opposite shore. Out spread [<u>sic</u>] between the two, lay the Potomac, whose little waves, just waked up by the young winds of summer, ran chasing each other along their sky-blue fields, often speaking their joy in bursts of snowy laughter. While thus we sat feasting on these richly varied and magnificent scenes, which the great Maker had so kindly spread before us, Bob's servant arrived from town with the newspapers, and a letter, which he handed to his master. Having hastily run it over, he exclaimed with great earnestness, 'Well, really Parson, this is strange, very strange! Why that George Wythe must certainly be either an angel or a fool."['] &mdash; 'Not a fool, Bob,' said I; 'George Wythe is no fool.' &mdash; 'Well, that was never my opinion, neither, Parson; but what the plague are we supposed to make of this confounded letter here[?] &mdash; Suppose, Parson, you read it, and give me your opinion on it.' I took it, and with great pleasure read nearly word for word, as follows:&mdash;<center>Robert Alexander, Esq.</center>Sir.&mdash; The suit wherein you were pleased to do me the honor to engage my services, was last week brought to trial, and has fully satisfied me that you were entirely in the wrong. Knowing you to be a perfectly honest man, I concluded that you have some how [sic] or other been misled. At any rate I find that I have been altogether misled in the affair, and therefore insist on washing my hands of it immediately. In so doing I trust I shall not be charged with any failure of duty to you. As your lawyer 'tis true I owe you everything &mdash; everything <u>consistent with justice</u> &mdash; against her, [I owe] <u>nothing</u>: nor can ever owe. For justice is appointed of God, the golden rule of all order throughout the universe, and therefore, as involving the greatest of all <u>possible good</u> to his [His] creatures, it must be of all things the dearest to Himself. He therefore, who knowingly acts against justice, is a rebel against God and a premeditated murderer of mankind. Of this crime (which worlds could not tempt me to commit) I should certainly be guilty, were I, under my present convictions, to go on with your suit. I hasten therefore to enclose you the fifty dollar note you gave me as a fee, and with it my advice, that you compromise the matter on the best terms you can.
+
brightening the day &mdash; on the Maryland side, a stately ridge of hills, high crowned with trees, formed as it were, a frowning guard to the great river, and threw its subliming shades, a striking contrast to the milder beauties of the opposite shore. Out spread [<u>sic</u>] between the two, lay the Potomac, whose little waves, just waked up by the young winds of summer, ran chasing each other along their sky-blue fields, often speaking their joy in bursts of snowy laughter. While thus we sat feasting on these richly varied and magnificent scenes, which the great Maker had so kindly spread before us, [[wikipedia:Robert Alexander (Maryland)|Bob's]] servant arrived from town with the newspapers, and a letter, which he handed to his master. Having hastily run it over, he exclaimed with great earnestness, 'Well, really [[wikipedia:Mason Locke Weems|Parson]], this is strange, very strange! Why that George Wythe must certainly be either an angel or a fool."['] &mdash; 'Not a fool, Bob,' said I; 'George Wythe is no fool.' &mdash; 'Well, that was never my opinion, neither, Parson; but what the plague are we supposed to make of this confounded letter here[?] &mdash; Suppose, Parson, you read it, and give me your opinion on it.' I took it, and with great pleasure read nearly word for word, as follows:&mdash;<center>Robert Alexander, Esq.</center>Sir.&mdash; The suit wherein you were pleased to do me the honor to engage my services, was last week brought to trial, and has fully satisfied me that you were entirely in the wrong. Knowing you to be a perfectly honest man, I concluded that you have some how [sic] or other been misled. At any rate I find that I have been altogether misled in the affair, and therefore insist on washing my hands of it immediately. In so doing I trust I shall not be charged with any failure of duty to you. As your lawyer 'tis true I owe you everything &mdash; everything <u>consistent with justice</u> &mdash; against her, [I owe] <u>nothing</u>: nor can ever owe. For justice is appointed of God, the golden rule of all order throughout the universe, and therefore, as involving the greatest of all <u>possible good</u> to his [His] creatures, it must be of all things the dearest to Himself. He therefore, who knowingly acts against justice, is a rebel against God and a premeditated murderer of mankind. Of this crime (which worlds could not tempt me to commit) I should certainly be guilty, were I, under my present convictions, to go on with your suit. I hasten therefore to enclose you the fifty dollar note you gave me as a fee, and with it my advice, that you compromise the matter on the best terms you can.
  
 
I have just to add, that as conscience will not allow me to say anything <u>for you</u>, honor forbids that I should say anything <u>against you</u>. But, by all means, compromise, and save the costs. Adieu &mdash; wishing you
 
I have just to add, that as conscience will not allow me to say anything <u>for you</u>, honor forbids that I should say anything <u>against you</u>. But, by all means, compromise, and save the costs. Adieu &mdash; wishing you
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<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
that inward sunshine, which nothing outward can darken.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I remain, dear sir, your's [<u>sic</u>]<div align="right">Geo. Wythe["]</div>For the sake of those who may wish to know whether the advice, in this extraordinary letter, was followed or not, I beg leave to add, that it was not followed. Mr. Massey told me, that his friend Bob was resolved, <u>nolus volus</u> [a humorous Latin corruption of <u>nolens volens</u>, meaning "against advice"], to go on with the suit, and therefore gave the fifty dollar note to some other gentleman of the law, who pushed the matter for him, and exactly with the success predicted by the good Mr. Wythe &mdash; <u>the loss of his land, with all costs</u>! "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."<sup>1</sup>
+
that inward sunshine, which nothing outward can darken.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I remain, dear sir, your's [<u>sic</u>]<div align="right">Geo. Wythe["]</div>For the sake of those who may wish to know whether the advice, in this extraordinary letter, was followed or not, I beg leave to add, that it was not followed. Mr. Massey told me, that his friend [[wikipedia:Robert Alexander (Maryland)|Bob]] was resolved, <u>nolus volus</u> [a humorous Latin corruption of <u>nolens volens</u>, meaning "against advice"], to go on with the suit, and therefore gave the fifty dollar note to some other gentleman of the law, who pushed the matter for him, and exactly with the success predicted by the good Mr. Wythe &mdash; <u>the loss of his land, with all costs</u>! "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Possibly Weems actually heard from Massey a story such as that he relates; if so, he erred in referring to "sister states" and to a "fifty dollar note", for Wythe was an attorney only during the colonial period and was never paid a fee in dollars. Or perhaps this account is almost entirely pure fiction, with little more basis in fact than the renowned legend which he created outright to glorify Washington's inability to tell a lie. Certain it is, however, that the general tenor of Weems' tribute to an honest lawyer, though florid, is in keeping with the known characters of Massey and Wythe.
+
Possibly [[wikipedia:Mason Locke Weems|Weems]] actually heard from Massey a story such as that he relates; if so, he erred in referring to "sister states" and to a "fifty dollar note", for Wythe was an attorney only during the colonial period and was never paid a fee in dollars. Or perhaps this account is almost entirely pure fiction, with little more basis in fact than the renowned legend which he created outright to glorify [[wikipedia:George Washington|Washington's]] inability to tell a lie. Certain it is, however, that the general tenor of Weems' tribute to an honest lawyer, though florid, is in keeping with the known characters of Massey and Wythe.
  
 
Finally, there was a trait in Wythe's character which was deemed unusual by some of those friends who have commented upon the absolute probity of his business affairs. In admirable contrast to his exalted conceptions of principle in his profession was the disinterested monetary worth which he placed upon his services. No persuasion or subterfuge, it
 
Finally, there was a trait in Wythe's character which was deemed unusual by some of those friends who have commented upon the absolute probity of his business affairs. In admirable contrast to his exalted conceptions of principle in his profession was the disinterested monetary worth which he placed upon his services. No persuasion or subterfuge, it
Line 2,604: Line 2,612:
 
was said, "could induce him to accept a fee beyond the lowest possible value of his labour";<sup>1</sup> when grateful clients attempted voluntarily to press upon him well-earned compensations in excess of his demands, he reminded them that the laborer was indeed worthy of his hire and assured them that he desired and would accept presents from no man.<sup>2</sup> Thus he showed in his law office, as elsewhere, a distinctive and total want of avarice which amounted almost to a contempt for the coin of the realm.
 
was said, "could induce him to accept a fee beyond the lowest possible value of his labour";<sup>1</sup> when grateful clients attempted voluntarily to press upon him well-earned compensations in excess of his demands, he reminded them that the laborer was indeed worthy of his hire and assured them that he desired and would accept presents from no man.<sup>2</sup> Thus he showed in his law office, as elsewhere, a distinctive and total want of avarice which amounted almost to a contempt for the coin of the realm.
  
 +
[[File:WytheToJohnTabb22September1782P1.jpg|thumb|right|500px|Letter from [[George Wythe|Wythe]] to John Tabb, dated September 22, 1782. Original in the [http://library.haverford.edu/file-id-1037 Charles Roberts Autograph Letters Collection,] [http://library.haverford.edu/places/special-collections/ Quaker & Special Collections, Haverford College,] Haverford, Pennsylvania.]]
 
That characteristic &mdash; together with a convincing denial of the assumption, which it might suggest, that relative disdain for the fruits of business might have betrayed him into unbusinesslike methods of bookkeeping &mdash; pervaded a letter which he wrote fully seven years after his career as a lawyer had ended, at a time when his comfortable financial circumstances of the colonial period had ebbed away in Revolutionary losses and smaller incomes:
 
That characteristic &mdash; together with a convincing denial of the assumption, which it might suggest, that relative disdain for the fruits of business might have betrayed him into unbusinesslike methods of bookkeeping &mdash; pervaded a letter which he wrote fully seven years after his career as a lawyer had ended, at a time when his comfortable financial circumstances of the colonial period had ebbed away in Revolutionary losses and smaller incomes:
  
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1. George Wythe to John Tabb, September 22, 1782, Roberts Autograph Collection, Haverford College Library.
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1. [[Wythe to John Tabb, 22 September 1782|George Wythe to John Tabb, September 22, 1782]], [http://library.haverford.edu/file-id-1037 Roberts Autograph Collection,] [http://library.haverford.edu/places/special-collections/ Haverford College Library.]
  
 
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1. Wirt, [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 66. "... Pendleton ... had studied law rather as it was to be found in the cases than as a system, and may be said rather to have known a great deal of law than to have been a master of the science, approached nearer the character of a great advocate than of a great lawyer....": Grigsby, [[Virginia Convention of 1776|<u>Virginia Convention of 1776</u>]], 127.
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1. [[wikipedia:William Wirt (Attorney General)|Wirt]], [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 66. "... Pendleton ... had studied law rather as it was to be found in the cases than as a system, and may be said rather to have known a great deal of law than to have been a master of the science, approached nearer the character of a great advocate than of a great lawyer....": [[wikipedia:Hugh Blair Grigsby|Grigsby]], [[Virginia Convention of 1776|<u>Virginia Convention of 1776</u>]], 127.
  
2. Quoted from an unknown source in Wingfield, <u>op. cit</u>., 201. <u>Cf</u>. the striking similarity of that description of Pendleton with Jefferson's: "Autobiography", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 54-55. The latter uses as a phrase exactly the same noun and adjectives that Wythe employed in the first of the two sentences above; each speaks of him as "cool, smooth and persuasive; his language flowing, chaste and embellished". Jefferson's characterization continued: "[he was] never vanquished: for if he lost the main battle, he returned upon you, and regained so much of it as to make it a drawn one, by dexterous manoeuvres [<u>sic</u>], skirmishes in detail, and the recovery of small advantages which, little singly, were important all together. You never knew when you were clear of him, but were harassed by his perseverance, until the patience was worn down of all who had less of it than himself. Add to this, that he was one of the most virtuous and benevolent of men, the kindest friend, the most amiable and pleasant of companions, which ensured [<u>sic</u>] a favorable reception to whatever came from him." As a preface to this description Jefferson had stated that Pendleton was, "taken in all, ... the ablest man in debate I have ever met with."
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2. Quoted from an unknown source in Wingfield, <u>op. cit</u>., 201. <u>Cf</u>. the striking similarity of that description of Pendleton with [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson's]]: "[[Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson|Autobiography]]", Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 54-55. The latter uses as a phrase exactly the same noun and adjectives that Wythe employed in the first of the two sentences above; each speaks of him as "cool, smooth and persuasive; his language flowing, chaste and embellished". Jefferson's characterization continued: "[he was] never vanquished: for if he lost the main battle, he returned upon you, and regained so much of it as to make it a drawn one, by dexterous manoeuvres [<u>sic</u>], skirmishes in detail, and the recovery of small advantages which, little singly, were important all together. You never knew when you were clear of him, but were harassed by his perseverance, until the patience was worn down of all who had less of it than himself. Add to this, that he was one of the most virtuous and benevolent of men, the kindest friend, the most amiable and pleasant of companions, which ensured [<u>sic</u>] a favorable reception to whatever came from him." As a preface to this description Jefferson had stated that Pendleton was, "taken in all, ... the ablest man in debate I have ever met with."
  
 
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1. Wirt, [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 66.
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1. [[wikipedia:William Wirt (Attorney General)|Wirt]], [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 66.
  
 
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On the whole, it is admitted, Wythe bore with somewhat remarkable equanimity his too frequent frustrations at the hands of his wily rival.
 
On the whole, it is admitted, Wythe bore with somewhat remarkable equanimity his too frequent frustrations at the hands of his wily rival.
  
It should not be inferred, however, that Wythe permitted himself to submit meekly to genuine indignities. A probably authentic story is told of an incident in the General Court which afforded him ample opportunity to prove that he had, when aroused or stung, an intrepid spirit and a venomous tongue. On the day in question the court was sitting with Lord Dunmore as presiding judge. Rather parenthetically (since it is an observation which will not be substantiated until the seventh chapter is reached) it must be remarked that Governor Dunmore, whose role is that of the foremost and most notorious villain in Virginia history, was the one man known to have ever incurred Wythe's thorough and irreparable dislike. It is probable that the intemperate governor reciprocated fully, if he did not aggravate, Wythe's repugnance for him; equally probable is it that a sufficient number of the witnesses to their skirmish were aware of the feeling between them to make electric that second of suspense before its outcome was apparent. The handsome figure of Pendleton, with whom Wythe's relations were a hundred times more cordial, is
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It should not be inferred, however, that Wythe permitted himself to submit meekly to genuine indignities. A probably authentic story is told of an incident in the General Court which afforded him ample opportunity to prove that he had, when aroused or stung, an intrepid spirit and a venomous tongue. On the day in question the court was sitting with [[wikipedia:John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore|Lord Dunmore]] as presiding judge. Rather parenthetically (since it is an observation which will not be substantiated until the seventh chapter is reached) it must be remarked that Governor Dunmore, whose role is that of the foremost and most notorious villain in Virginia history, was the one man known to have ever incurred Wythe's thorough and irreparable dislike. It is probable that the intemperate governor reciprocated fully, if he did not aggravate, Wythe's repugnance for him; equally probable is it that a sufficient number of the witnesses to their skirmish were aware of the feeling between them to make electric that second of suspense before its outcome was apparent. The handsome figure of [[Edmund Pendleton|Pendleton]], with whom Wythe's relations were a hundred times more cordial, is
  
 
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also an essential unit in the <u>dramatis personae</u>. Wythe and a colleague were on the docket that day to oppose [[Edmund Pendleton|Pendleton]] and a colleague in the trial of an unnamed case. But when the suit was called, Pendleton's associate counsel had not arrived. Pendleton therefore asked that the court's examination of the cause might be postponed, on the ground that there were two attorneys on the other side. Forgetting for the moment the judicial impartiality which decorum and tact demanded of him, Dunmore committed a crass impropriety by replying, "Go on, Mr. Pendleton, for you'll be a match for both of them." Before the echoes of that affront had died in the courtroom, Wythe retorted meaningly and pointedly, "With your Lordship's assistance." It was a terribly severe rebuke, whose biting sarcasm was emphasized by the exaggerated deference and mock politeness of the courtly bow which accompanied it. So completely had he deserved this virtual slap in the face that Dunmore could not afford to feel or act insulted. Spectators of that dramatic moment were delighted at the boldness and brilliance of Wythe's rejoinder.<sup>1</sup>
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also an essential unit in the <u>dramatis personae</u>. Wythe and a colleague were on the docket that day to oppose [[Edmund Pendleton|Pendleton]] and a colleague in the trial of an unnamed case. But when the suit was called, Pendleton's associate counsel had not arrived. Pendleton therefore asked that the court's examination of the cause might be postponed, on the ground that there were two attorneys on the other side. Forgetting for the moment the judicial impartiality which decorum and tact demanded of him, [[wikipedia:John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore|Dunmore]] committed a crass impropriety by replying, "Go on, Mr. Pendleton, for you'll be a match for both of them." Before the echoes of that affront had died in the courtroom, Wythe retorted meaningly and pointedly, "With your Lordship's assistance." It was a terribly severe rebuke, whose biting sarcasm was emphasized by the exaggerated deference and mock politeness of the courtly bow which accompanied it. So completely had he deserved this virtual slap in the face that Dunmore could not afford to feel or act insulted. Spectators of that dramatic moment were delighted at the boldness and brilliance of Wythe's rejoinder.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
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The stormy administration of petulant Robert Dinwiddie was brought to a close in 1758 by his resignation on a plea of illness.<sup>1</sup> In the person of Francis Fauquier, who reached Virginia about the first of June, 1758,<sup>2</sup> there were qualities which were to make him a much more congenial lieutenant-governor, perhaps one of the most popular among all the men who ever held his office. Through a succession of crises at least as vexing as those faced by Dinwiddie he retained without notable lapse the public confidence and approval. So conciliatory was his governmental policy that mild censure
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The stormy administration of petulant [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Robert Dinwiddie]] was brought to a close in 1758 by his resignation on a plea of illness.<sup>1</sup> In the person of [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Francis Fauquier]], who reached Virginia about the first of June, 1758,<sup>2</sup> there were qualities which were to make him a much more congenial lieutenant-governor, perhaps one of the most popular among all the men who ever held his office. Through a succession of crises at least as vexing as those faced by Dinwiddie he retained without notable lapse the public confidence and approval. So conciliatory was his governmental policy that mild censure
  
 
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1. He communicated to the Council in September, 1757, knowledge of is acceptance: Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), September 22, 1757, University of Virginia Library, To secure passage for him without delay the Council paid &pound;300 sterling to the captain of a ship as compensation for his loss of freight revenues on 50 hogsheads of tobacco which had to be unloaded to make room for Dinwiddie: <u>ibid</u>., December 14, 1757. His last meeting with the Council was that of January 2, 1758: <u>ibid</u>. Pending the arrival of his successor, President John Blair of the Council took charge of the government: <u>ibid</u>., January 12, 1758.
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1. He communicated to the Council in September, 1757, knowledge of is acceptance: Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), September 22, 1757, University of Virginia Library, To secure passage for him without delay the Council paid <s>L</s>300 sterling to the captain of a ship as compensation for his loss of freight revenues on 50 hogsheads of tobacco which had to be unloaded to make room for Dinwiddie: <u>ibid</u>., December 14, 1757. His last meeting with the Council was that of January 2, 1758: <u>ibid</u>. Pending the arrival of his successor, President [[wikipedia:John Blair Jr.|John Blair]] of the Council took charge of the government: <u>ibid</u>., January 12, 1758.
  
2. He took his oaths of office before the Council soon after his arrival: <u>ibid</u>., June 5, 1758. For a time Lord Loudoun was Governor. Later Jeffery Amherst held that position, his appointment being renewed with Fauquier's in 1761: entries of February 17 and March 4, 1761, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXIX, 135, 166, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library.
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2. He took his oaths of office before the Council soon after his arrival: <u>ibid</u>., June 5, 1758. For a time [[wikipedia:John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun|Lord Loudoun]] was Governor. Later [[wikipedia:Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst|Jeffery Amherst]] held that position, his appointment being renewed with Fauquier's in 1761: entries of February 17 and March 4, 1761, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXIX, 135, 166, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library.
  
 
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came to him from England rather than from the colony.<sup>1</sup> Coincident with his advent was the true beginning of George Wythe's
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came to him from England rather than from the colony.<sup>1</sup> Coincident with his advent was the true beginning of [[George Wythe|George Wythe's]]
  
 
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1. He showed every inclination, upon several occasions of conflict between English and colonial interests, to uphold the side of the Virginians, whose sentiments were best reflected in the house of Burgesses. Reprimanded for supporting the cause of the colonists in a specific instance, he explained in his apology that his policy had been dictated by his firm belief in the wisdom of preventing discord within the General Assembly. "I must frankly acknowledge that it has been my constant endeavors [<u>sic</u>] ever since I arrived in this Colony to preserve an entire harmony among all the branches of the Legislature, and this care has been extended to the Council and Burgesses to keep them in [a] good humor with each other. From the unhappy examples I heard of in some of the neighboring Colonies from the dissensions subsisting between the branches of their Legislature, where all business was at a stand[still] and his Majesty's service and the public good obstructed: I took another measure [<u>i.e</u>., course] and (your Lordships will excuse me I hope for saying it) have at some times flattered myself that I have promoted his Majesty's service by pursuing this path. But I find I have gone too far, and ran into an extreme which has subjected my conduct to your Lordships' censure. Having thus truly stated the case, I rely on your Lordships' candor that you will impute it to the true cause which is a mistaken judgment [in] imagining I could best promote his Majesty's service by conniving at some improper or indecent expressions [by the House], sallies of a young people in a progress towards politeness": Francis Fauquier to the Board of Trade, November 19, 1764, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 257, New York Public Library. Two years later he confessed that, in a dilemma which had put him temporarily at odds with the Burgesses, he had been forced to resort to a bit of virtual deception. "... and at last [I] have acted out of character[,] having made use of more art, than I ever practised with them before": <u>id</u>. to the Earl of Shelburne, November 15, 1766, <u>ibid</u>., 461. As examples of his espousal of the popular cause, it may be stated that he made no secret of his staunch opposition to the claims of the clergy in the "[[wikipedia:Parson's Cause|Parsons' Causes]]" and that his support of the inept [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] was so lukewarm as to leave little doubt but that he would have been one of its firm opponents had he been in England or had he been perfectly free to express his opinions on it.
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1. He showed every inclination, upon several occasions of conflict between English and colonial interests, to uphold the side of the Virginians, whose sentiments were best reflected in the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|house of Burgesses]]. Reprimanded for supporting the cause of the colonists in a specific instance, he explained in his apology that his policy had been dictated by his firm belief in the wisdom of preventing discord within the General Assembly. "... I must frankly acknowledge that it has been my constant endeavors [<u>sic</u>] ever since I arrived in this Colony to preserve an entire harmony among all the branches of the Legislature, and this care has been extended to the Council and Burgesses to keep them in [a] good humor with each other. From the unhappy examples I heard of in some of the neighboring Colonies from the dissensions subsisting between the branches of their Legislatures, where all business was at a stand[still] and his Majesty's service and the public good obstructed: I took another measure [<u>i.e</u>., course] and (your Lordships will excuse me I hope for saying it) have at some times flattered myself that I have promoted his Majesty's service by pursuing this path. But I find I have gone too far, and ran into an extreme which has subjected my conduct to your Lordships' censure. Having thus truly stated the case, I rely on your Lordships' candor that you will impute it to the true cause which is a mistaken judgment [in] imagining I could best promote his Majesty's service by conniving at some improper or indecent expressions [by the House], sallies of a young people in a progress towards politeness": [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Francis Fauquier]] to the Board of Trade, November 19, 1764, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 257, New York Public Library. Two years later he confessed that, in a dilemma which had put him temporarily at odds with the Burgesses, he had been forced to resort to a bit of virtual deception. "... and at last [I] have acted out of character[,] having made use of more art, than I ever practised with them before": <u>id</u>. to the [[wikipedia:William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne|Earl of Shelburne]], November 15, 1766, <u>ibid</u>., 461. As examples of his espousal of the popular cause, it may be stated that he made no secret of his staunch opposition to the claims of the clergy in the "[[wikipedia:Parson's Cause|Parsons' Causes]]" and that his support of the inept [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] was so lukewarm as to leave little doubt but that he would have been one of its firm opponents had he been in England or had he been perfectly free to express his opinions on it.
  
 
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brilliant political career.<sup>1</sup>
 
brilliant political career.<sup>1</sup>
  
In the election of new burgesses which followed Fauquier's arrival Wythe received only one vote in Elizabeth City County. The field there was unusually crowded, with eight other men as candidates, and it is to be doubted that he formally offered his name at the polls; his lone supporter, one Benjamin Lester, who did not vote for a second representative as custom required, possibly did not like the announced candidates and wasted his suffrage in a harmless gesture of personal esteem.<sup>2</sup> But Wythe's days of absence from the sessions of the House of Burgesses had ended once and for all. Peyton Randolph, formerly the representative of William and Mary College, was elected in the summer of 1758 burgess for Williamsburg, and George Wythe was chosen by the College to take Randolph's old seat.<sup>3</sup>
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In the election of new burgesses which followed [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier's]] arrival Wythe received only one vote in [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]]. The field there was unusually crowded, with eight other men as candidates, and it is to be doubted that he formally offered his name at the polls; his lone supporter, one [[wikipedia:Benjamin Lester|Benjamin Lester]], who did not vote for a second representative as custom required, possibly did not like the announced candidates and wasted his suffrage in a harmless gesture of personal esteem.<sup>2</sup> But Wythe's days of absence from the sessions of the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] had ended once and for all. [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], formerly the representative of William and Mary College, was elected in the summer of 1758 burgess for Williamsburg, and George Wythe was chosen by the College to take Randolph's old seat.<sup>3</sup>
  
 
When the new House convened, Wythe was restored immediately to the place which he had held on the Committee of Privileges and Elections in 1754 and 1755, without loss of
 
When the new House convened, Wythe was restored immediately to the place which he had held on the Committee of Privileges and Elections in 1754 and 1755, without loss of
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2. William Wager and John Tabb were the successful candidates by substantial majorities; Wythe did not vote: poll of election of July 11, 1758, <u>Deeds E, 1758-1764</u>, 8-10, Elizabeth City County Records. An inaccurate report has it that Wythe received 8 votes: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), VI, 11; but the same source later corrects this error: <u>ibid</u>., XXVI, 107-108.
 
2. William Wager and John Tabb were the successful candidates by substantial majorities; Wythe did not vote: poll of election of July 11, 1758, <u>Deeds E, 1758-1764</u>, 8-10, Elizabeth City County Records. An inaccurate report has it that Wythe received 8 votes: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), VI, 11; but the same source later corrects this error: <u>ibid</u>., XXVI, 107-108.
  
3. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, viii. His predecessors in this capacity had included, besides Peyton Randolph, Edward Barradall and Beverly Randolph &mdash; all prominent lawyers: Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 57.
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3. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, viii. His predecessors in this capacity had included, besides Peyton Randolph, [[wikipedia:Edward Barradall|Edward Barradall]] and [[wikipedia:Beverly Randolph|Beverly Randolph]] &mdash; all prominent lawyers: Tyler, "[[Great American Lawyers|George Wythe]]", <u>loc. cit</u>., 57.
  
 
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his claim upon the rights of seniority over members more recently appointed.<sup>1</sup> In the reorganizations of later sessions his committee appointments of 1754 to Privileges and Elections, Propositions and Grievances, and Courts of Justice were all renewed; he became thereby the only member of this House to serve on as many as three of the five standing committees.<sup>2</sup>
 
his claim upon the rights of seniority over members more recently appointed.<sup>1</sup> In the reorganizations of later sessions his committee appointments of 1754 to Privileges and Elections, Propositions and Grievances, and Courts of Justice were all renewed; he became thereby the only member of this House to serve on as many as three of the five standing committees.<sup>2</sup>
  
England was still battling France in the French and Indian War for control of the vast territory between the Alleghany Mountains and the Mississippi River. In the early years of the struggle Colonel George Washington's forced capitulation at Fort Necessity had been followed by the shocking massacre of Braddock's army, which "had terrified all but the brave"; "every coward", observed a youngster of that day, "believed and said that we were on the point of destruction."<sup>3</sup> By valiant efforts in governmental halls and offices and in the field Virginia was bearing with comparative willingness her full share of the burden of financial and military cooperation levied on her from London headquarters.<sup>4</sup> A number of the responsibilities which Wythe shared with other burgesses were related to this conflict for an inland empire.
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England was still battling France in the [[wikipedia:French and Indian War|French and Indian War]] for control of the vast territory between the Alleghany Mountains and the Mississippi River. In the early years of the struggle Colonel [[wikipedia:George Washington|George Washington's]] forced capitulation at [[wikipedia:Fort Necessity National Battlefield|Fort Necessity]] had been followed by the shocking massacre of [[wikipedia:Edward Braddock|Braddock's]] army, which "had terrified all but the brave"; "every coward", observed a youngster of that day, "believed and said that we were on the point of destruction."<sup>3</sup> By valiant efforts in governmental halls and offices and in the field Virginia was bearing with comparative willingness her full share of the burden of financial and military cooperation levied on her from London headquarters.<sup>4</sup> A number of the responsibilities which Wythe shared with other burgesses were related to this conflict for an inland empire.
  
In three sessions of the House of Burgesses, acting through
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In three sessions of the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]], acting through
  
 
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3. Autobiographical Sketch of John Page, <u>Virginia Historical Register</u>, III, 146.
 
3. Autobiographical Sketch of John Page, <u>Virginia Historical Register</u>, III, 146.
  
4. <u>Cf</u>. Secretary William Pitt to Francis Fauquier, December 9, 1758, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XI, 5-8; id. to id., December 29, 1758, <u>ibid</u>., 8-9.
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4. <u>Cf</u>. Secretary [[wikipedia:William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham|William Pitt]] to [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Francis Fauquier]], December 9, 1758, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XI, 5-8; id. to id., December 29, 1758, <u>ibid</u>., 8-9.
  
 
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1. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, 71, 160, 187-188.
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1. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]], 1758-1761</u>, 71, 160, 187-188.
  
 
2. <u>Ibid</u>., 28, 97, 102; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1248.
 
2. <u>Ibid</u>., 28, 97, 102; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1248.
  
3. On the Burwell bill see McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, 138, 142, 144-145, 146, 150; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1226. On the two Spotswood bills see McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, 109, 115, 112, 144, 149. On the Cary bill see <u>ibid</u>., 214, 220, 223, 230, 240, 243; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1249, 1250.
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3. On the Burwell bill see McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, 138, 142, 144-145, 146, 150; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1226. On the two Spotswood bills see McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, 109, 115, 122, 144, 149. On the Cary bill see <u>ibid</u>., 214, 220, 223, 230, 240, 243; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1249, 1250.
  
 
4. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, 22, 141.
 
4. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, 22, 141.
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incorporated towns.<sup>1</sup> Twice the seat for Jamestown was vacated, and Wythe was chosen by the House to request Fauquier to issue writs for new elections.<sup>2</sup> He served on committees arranging for the emission of paper currency issued to finance the war and for the auditing of the accounts of William Hunter, the public printer,<sup>3</sup> and he took his turn in determining the amount of the annual appropriation for that official.<sup>4</sup> In the preparation of a difficult act for the incorporation of the trustees of the Eaton Charity School in his native county his was the major hand.<sup>5</sup> Thus Wythe gained a very creditable number of appointments, in the first House of Burgesses through all of whose sessions he sat, both to standing committees and to the temporary committees for the drafting of bills or for other purposes &mdash; and, since the official <u>Journals</u> do not record debates and other actions of the individual members, such appointments are recognized as a standard index
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incorporated towns.<sup>1</sup> Twice the seat for Jamestown was vacated, and Wythe was chosen by the House to request [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] to issue writs for new elections.<sup>2</sup> He served on committees arranging for the emission of paper currency issued to finance the war and for the auditing of the accounts of [[wikipedia:William Hunter (publisher)|William Hunter]], the public printer,<sup>3</sup> and he took his turn in determining the amount of the annual appropriation for that official.<sup>4</sup> In the preparation of a difficult act for the incorporation of the trustees of the [[wikipedia:Syms-Eaton Academy|Eaton Charity School]] in his native county his was the major hand.<sup>5</sup> Thus Wythe gained a very creditable number of appointments, in the first [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] through all of whose sessions he sat, both to standing committees and to the temporary committees for the drafting of bills or for other purposes &mdash; and, since the official <u>Journals</u> do not record debates and other actions of the individual members, such appointments are recognized as a standard index
  
 
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3. <u>Ibid</u>., 9, 44.
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>., 9, 44.
  
4. <u>Ibid</u>., 144; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1225. Hunter (<u>d</u>. 1761) set aside by his will &pound;100 to purchase mourning rings, which should be given to ten people as tokens of his friendship; among them were (in the order in which he named them) Benjamin Franklin, Wythe, Robert Carter Nicholas, William Small, Benjamin Waller, and Thomas Everard: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st Series), VII, 12-13.
+
4. <u>Ibid</u>., 144; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1225. Hunter (<u>d</u>. 1761) set aside by his will <s>L</s>100 to purchase mourning rings, which should be given to ten people as tokens of his friendship; among them were (in the order in which he named them) [[wikipedia:Benjamin Franklin|Benjamin Franklin]], Wythe, [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]], [[wikipedia:William Small|William Small]], [[wikipedia:Benjamin Waller|Benjamin Waller]], and [[wikipedia:Thomas Everard|Thomas Everard]]: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st Series), VII, 12-13.
  
 
5. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, 73-74, 106, 120, 121; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1214. The trustees of the Syms Free School had been incorporated by similar legislation in 1753.
 
5. McIlwaine, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1758-1761</u>, 73-74, 106, 120, 121; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council</u>, III, 1214. The trustees of the Syms Free School had been incorporated by similar legislation in 1753.
Line 2,779: Line 2,788:
 
</center>
 
</center>
  
Similar routine responsibilities were heaped upon Wythe's shoulders by the House of Burgesses of 1761-1765, throughout its eight sessions.
+
Similar routine responsibilities were heaped upon Wythe's shoulders by the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] of 1761-1765, throughout its eight sessions.
  
Wythe, formerly a representative of Williamsburg and of William and Mary College, sought elsewhere for reelection in 1761 as a legislator. Peyton Randolph retained he seat for the capital city, and Hann Page supplanted Wythe in that for the College, probably being chosen after the success of his predecessor had been assured by another constituency.<sup>1</sup> He turned again to the polls of Elizabeth City County, in which he gained on May 3, 1761, by receiving more votes than any other candidates, a complete vindication of his defeat in 1756.<sup>2</sup> Thus he represented during the next four years<sup>3</sup> a county which he visited only when things were quiet and without pressure in his Williamsburg home.
+
Wythe, formerly a representative of Williamsburg and of William and Mary College, sought elsewhere for reelection in 1761 as a legislator. [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]] retained he seat for the capital city, and Hann Page supplanted Wythe in that for the College, probably being chosen after the success of his predecessor had been assured by another constituency.<sup>1</sup> He turned again to the polls of [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]], in which he gained on May 3, 1761, by receiving more votes than any other candidates, a complete vindication of his defeat in 1756.<sup>2</sup> Thus he represented during the next four years<sup>3</sup> a county which he visited only when things were quiet and without pressure in his Williamsburg home.
  
 
His regular appointments to the Burgesses' standing committees were renewed. At first that on Privileges and
 
His regular appointments to the Burgesses' standing committees were renewed. At first that on Privileges and
Line 2,788: Line 2,797:
 
1. John F. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1761-1765</u>, 3-4.
 
1. John F. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1761-1765</u>, 3-4.
  
2. <u>Ibid</u>., 3. William Wager was seated as his colleague, and James Wallace contested vainly Wager's claim. Among the findings of the Privileges and Elections committee in this dispute was the desire of three men (Rev. Thomass Warrington, Johnson Mallory, and John Lowry) to vote for Wythe and Wallace; Warrington alone, it was ruled, was entitled to suffrage: <u>ibid</u>., 9-10, 86-90, 94-96.
+
2. <u>Ibid</u>., 3. William Wager was seated as his colleague, and [[wikipedia:James M. Wallace|James Wallace]] contested vainly Wager's claim. Among the findings of the Privileges and Elections committee in this dispute was the desire of three men (Rev. Thomass Warrington, Johnson Mallory, and John Lowry) to vote for Wythe and Wallace; Warrington alone, it was ruled, was entitled to suffrage: <u>ibid</u>., 9-10, 86-90, 94-96.
  
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>., 3, 31, 45, 63, 169, 201, 225, 313.
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>., 3, 31, 45, 63, 169, 201, 225, 313.
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===Page 173===
 
===Page 173===
  
regiment in the French and Indian War.<sup>1</sup> When Fauquier communicated to the House His Majesty's desire that this regiment should be maintained by additional provisions for a period longer than that anticipated by the Burgesses, it was resolved that Virginia's financial status would not permit a further continuance of this expense, and Wythe was one of those to whom the House delegated the duty of writing so tactful an address to the lieutenant-governor that its refusal would seem to be a pointed reaffirmation of its cooperative spirit.<sup>2</sup> To provide funds for the colony's earlier military expenditures it had been necessary to print paper currency and to declare it a legal tender, whose par value had been stabilized by a bill which Wythe had helped to draft.<sup>3</sup> But British merchants and creditors were afraid of an unstable currency and protested that these treasury notes came to them at a depreciated rate of exchange. With their objections the House could not agree. Its answer claimed that their alleged losses either were merely fancied, since remittances to England even of sterling specie, if it were available, would suffer subtractions for freight and insurance, or resulted from wholly uncontrollable factors; furthermore, all possible steps to render Virginia's public credit inviolate had been taken by the establishment of adequate
+
regiment in the [[wikipedia:French and Indian War|French and Indian War]].<sup>1</sup> When [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] communicated to the House His Majesty's desire that this regiment should be maintained by additional provisions for a period longer than that anticipated by the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses]], it was resolved that Virginia's financial status would not permit a further continuance of this expense, and Wythe was one of those to whom the House delegated the duty of writing so tactful an address to the lieutenant-governor that its refusal would seem to be a pointed reaffirmation of its cooperative spirit.<sup>2</sup> To provide funds for the colony's earlier military expenditures it had been necessary to print paper currency and to declare it a legal tender, whose par value had been stabilized by a bill which Wythe had helped to draft.<sup>3</sup> But British merchants and creditors were afraid of an unstable currency and protested that these treasury notes came to them at a depreciated rate of exchange. With their objections the House could not agree. Its answer claimed that their alleged losses either were merely fancied, since remittances to England even of sterling specie, if it were available, would suffer subtractions for freight and insurance, or resulted from wholly uncontrollable factors; furthermore, all possible steps to render Virginia's public credit inviolate had been taken by the establishment of adequate
  
 
----
 
----
 
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 39-41.
 
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 39-41.
  
2. The other members of this committee were Peyton Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, Richard Bland, and Edmund Pendleton: <u>ibid</u>., 114-115, 124, 133.
+
2. The other members of this committee were [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]], [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]], and [[wikipedia:Edmund Pendleton|Edmund Pendleton]]: <u>ibid</u>., 114-115, 124, 133.
  
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>., 18, 24.
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>., 18, 24.
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===Page 174===
 
===Page 174===
  
funds for a gradual redemption of the paper notes. In explanation of these just contentions Wythe collaborated with several colleagues in the composition of two addresses to Fauquier,<sup>1</sup> and he aided in the preparation of an act to meet a more valid British protest on the subject.<sup>2</sup>
+
funds for a gradual redemption of the paper notes. In explanation of these just contentions Wythe collaborated with several colleagues in the composition of two addresses to [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]],<sup>1</sup> and he aided in the preparation of an act to meet a more valid British protest on the subject.<sup>2</sup>
  
 
At the close of two of the eight sessions of this House Wythe was chairman of the committees appointed to review the accuracy of its enrolled or engrossed bills.<sup>3</sup> Finally, he was named at its close with four of his associates to publish and distribute an edition of 1,200 copies of all acts of the General Assembly currently in force<sup>4</sup> &mdash; a type of service which became a specialty of this legislator.
 
At the close of two of the eight sessions of this House Wythe was chairman of the committees appointed to review the accuracy of its enrolled or engrossed bills.<sup>3</sup> Finally, he was named at its close with four of his associates to publish and distribute an edition of 1,200 copies of all acts of the General Assembly currently in force<sup>4</sup> &mdash; a type of service which became a specialty of this legislator.
  
Thus it is seen, by the mere mechanics of the Burgesses' work, that Wythe held a creditable rank among them during the years from 1758 to 1765.
+
Thus it is seen, by the mere mechanics of the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses']] work, that Wythe held a creditable rank among them during the years from 1758 to 1765.
  
  
Line 2,859: Line 2,868:
 
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 171-173, 241.
 
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 171-173, 241.
  
2. <u>Ibid</u>., 180-181. On the history of this paper currency see also a valuable letter from Richard Bland to Thomas Adams, August 1, 1771, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, VI, 128-129; some additional references will be given in the next section of this chapter.
+
2. <u>Ibid</u>., 180-181. On the history of this paper currency see also a valuable letter from [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]] to [[wikipedia:Thomas Adams (politician)|Thomas Adams]], August 1, 1771, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, VI, 128-129; some additional references will be given in the next section of this chapter.
  
 
3. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1761-1765</u>, 194, 196, and 219, 221; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, III, 1311 and 1321.
 
3. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1761-1765</u>, 194, 196, and 219, 221; McIlwaine, ed., <u>Legislative Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia</u>, III, 1311 and 1321.
  
4. His colleagues on this committee, in which he had second rank, were Payton Randolph [''sic''], chairman, John Randolph, Benjamin Waller, and Robert Carter Nicholas: Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1761-1765</u>, 333, 364. The result of their work will be noted in the next chapter.
+
4. His colleagues on this committee, in which he had second rank, were [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Payton Randolph]] [''sic''], chairman, [[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John Randolph]], [[wikipedia:Benjamin Waller|Benjamin Waller]], and [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]]: Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1761-1765</u>, 333, 364. The result of their work will be noted in the next chapter.
  
 
===Page 175===
 
===Page 175===
  
early eminence in the House of Burgesses is the fact that he became a member of its Committee of Correspondence.
+
early eminence in the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] is the fact that he became a member of its Committee of Correspondence.
  
In all the British organization for colonial government there was for many years no provision for a direct communication in person between a transplanted people and the various London or Westminster agencies. Mails, on which even the governors had to depend, were quite irregular and unsafe &mdash; and even if their slow courses were successfully negotiated by letters on important issues, there was no one to make desirable explanations or to answer inevitable questions on the colonial point of view. Virginia had been settled only a few decades before a pointed need was felt for some one to visit governmental offices in England, and a series of temporary agents had been sent across the Atlantic as occasion demanded on various special missions, ending with that of Peyton Randolph against the pistole fee. In 1753 James Abercromby had been named a more permanent agent to facilitate Virginia's business and to foster her interests in London,<sup>1</sup> but Abercromby became in effect a personal representative of successsive governors by reason of the fact that he received his appointment and instructions from them. Had it been possible for any lieutenant-governor to see eye to eye on most problems with the colonists, this arrangement might have been fairly satisfactory. Yet it is notoriously axiomatic that even a Fauquier was disqualified by the very nature of his position
+
In all the British organization for colonial government there was for many years no provision for a direct communication in person between a transplanted people and the various London or Westminster agencies. Mails, on which even the governors had to depend, were quite irregular and unsafe &mdash; and even if their slow courses were successfully negotiated by letters on important issues, there was no one to make desirable explanations or to answer inevitable questions on the colonial point of view. Virginia had been settled only a few decades before a pointed need was felt for some one to visit governmental offices in England, and a series of temporary agents had been sent across the Atlantic as occasion demanded on various special missions, ending with that of [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]] against the pistole fee. In 1753 [[wikipedia:James Abercrombie (British Army officer, born 1706)|James Abercromby]] had been named a more permanent agent to facilitate Virginia's business and to foster her interests in London,<sup>1</sup> but Abercromby became in effect a personal representative of successsive governors by reason of the fact that he received his appointment and instructions from them. Had it been possible for any lieutenant-governor to see eye to eye on most problems with the colonists, this arrangement might have been fairly satisfactory. Yet it is notoriously axiomatic that even a [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] was disqualified by the very nature of his position
  
 
----
 
----
Line 2,878: Line 2,887:
 
from the role of a true interpreter to British officials of Virginia's desires. In present-day parlance, a permanent lobbyist in the halls of English ruling bodies was desirable to sponsor consideration by them of the will of distant colonists.
 
from the role of a true interpreter to British officials of Virginia's desires. In present-day parlance, a permanent lobbyist in the halls of English ruling bodies was desirable to sponsor consideration by them of the will of distant colonists.
  
Such a spokesman faithful to the colonial attitude on all imperial problems relating to Virginia was woefully lacking until 1759. In that year this defect in England's administrative machinery was remedied by legislation appointing another agent to solicit favorable actions in London and a committee to direct his efforts from Virginia. In other words, the agent should be an Aaron attempting to soften the hearts of British Pharoahs with words supplied through a remote and multiple Moses by the god of Virginia's public interests. Edward Montague, a lawyer in the Middle Temple, became the Aaron; four members of the Council and eight members of the House were named on the committee which was to be his collective Moses.<sup>1</sup> It is a very significant testimony of
+
Such a spokesman faithful to the colonial attitude on all imperial problems relating to Virginia was woefully lacking until 1759. In that year this defect in England's administrative machinery was remedied by legislation appointing another agent to solicit favorable actions in London and a committee to direct his efforts from Virginia. In other words, the agent should be an Aaron attempting to soften the hearts of British Pharoahs with words supplied through a remote and multiple Moses by the god of Virginia's public interests. Edward Montague, a lawyer in the [[wikipedia:Middle Temple|Middle Temple]], became the Aaron; four members of the Council and eight members of the House were named on the committee which was to be his collective Moses.<sup>1</sup> It is a very significant testimony of
  
 
----
 
----
1. The act provided that the committee should consist of Councillors William Nelson, Thomas Nelson, Philip Grymes, and Peter Randolph, and of Burgesses John Robinson, Peyton Randolph, Charles Carter, Richard Bland, Landon Carter, Benjamin Waller, Wythe, and Robert Carter Nicholas: Hening, <u>Statutes</u>, VII, 276-277. Since a question was raised in England as to the act's constitutionality, another was passed in October, 1760, to clarify it, but the membership of the committee remained unchanged: <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XI, 10-12; Hening, <u>Statutes</u>, VII, 375-377. Because one member had died and because others lived at points inconveniently distant from Williamsburg, two Councillors (John Blair and Robert Carter) and two Burgesses (Lewis Burwell and Dudley Digges) were added to the committee in 1763: <u>ibid</u>., 646-647.
+
1. The act provided that the committee should consist of Councillors [[wikipedia:William Nelson (governor)|William Nelson]], [[wikipedia:Thomas Nelson Jr.|Thomas Nelson]], Philip Grymes, and Peter Randolph, and of [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses]] [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|John Robinson]], [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], Charles Carter, [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]], [[wikipedia:Landon Carter|Landon Carter]], [[wikipedia:Benjamin Waller|Benjamin Waller]], Wythe, and [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]]: Hening, <u>Statutes</u>, VII, 276-277. Since a question was raised in England as to the act's constitutionality, another was passed in October, 1760, to clarify it, but the membership of the committee remained unchanged: <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XI, 10-12; Hening, <u>Statutes</u>, VII, 375-377. Because one member had died and because others lived at points inconveniently distant from Williamsburg, two Councillors ([[wikipedia:John Blair Jr.|John Blair]] and [[wikipedia:Robert Carter III|Robert Carter]]) and two Burgesses (Lewis Burwell and Dudley Digges) were added to the committee in 1763: <u>ibid</u>., 646-647.
  
 
===Page 177===
 
===Page 177===
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----
 
----
1. It may be surmised that his geographical proximity, however, would have made his appointment somewhat preferable to that of some remote leaders, such as [[Edmund Pendleton]] and Richard Henry Lee. An article on the Committee summarizes the attainments of its members, without proper regard for chronology: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), XXII, 3-4. Paragraphic biographies of each member are included in the notes accompanying its documents in <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IX, 355 <u>n</u>.
+
1. It may be surmised that his geographical proximity, however, would have made his appointment somewhat preferable to that of some remote leaders, such as [[Edmund Pendleton]] and [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]]. An article on the Committee summarizes the attainments of its members, without proper regard for chronology: <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), XXII, 3-4. Paragraphic biographies of each member are included in the notes accompanying its documents in <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IX, 355 <u>n</u>.
  
 
2. All its available materials are reprinted, with editorial notes, in <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IX, 353-360, X, 337-356, XI, 1-25, 131-143, 345-354, XII, 1-14, 157-169, 225-240, 353-364.
 
2. All its available materials are reprinted, with editorial notes, in <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IX, 353-360, X, 337-356, XI, 1-25, 131-143, 345-354, XII, 1-14, 157-169, 225-240, 353-364.
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===Page 179===
 
===Page 179===
  
Country and her colony passed under the Committee's review.<sup>1</sup> Montague reported many actions which would affect Virginia, and his correspondents dictated his steps in a number of projects, ranging from assignments to collect for the colony money due in England<sup>2</sup> to the duty of securing the royal assent to favorite bills passed by the colonial legislature. A large portion of his attention for some years was directed to the justification of the paper money issued by Virginia to finance her activities in the French and Indian War, which resulted in a protest by Interested British merchants, though such adequate security backed these notes that this currency suffered no undue depreciation.<sup>3</sup> Other aspects of the Committee's activity in advising Montague how to promote on his side of the Atlantic the colony's concerns will be reviewed in later connections. Despite the want of complete records, it seems to be certain that Montague was discharged April 10, 1771, on account of a growing apathy on his part toward his functions; but his services were evidently engaged again.<sup>4</sup>
+
Country and her colony passed under the Committee's review.<sup>1</sup> Montague reported many actions which would affect Virginia, and his correspondents dictated his steps in a number of projects, ranging from assignments to collect for the colony money due in England<sup>2</sup> to the duty of securing the royal assent to favorite bills passed by the colonial legislature. A large portion of his attention for some years was directed to the justification of the paper money issued by Virginia to finance her activities in the [[wikipedia:French and Indian War|French and Indian War]], which resulted in a protest by Interested British merchants, though such adequate security backed these notes that this currency suffered no undue depreciation.<sup>3</sup> Other aspects of the Committee's activity in advising Montague how to promote on his side of the Atlantic the colony's concerns will be reviewed in later connections. Despite the want of complete records, it seems to be certain that Montague was discharged April 10, 1771, on account of a growing apathy on his part toward his functions; but his services were evidently engaged again.<sup>4</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
Line 3,131: Line 3,140:
 
3. See, <u>e.g</u>., portions of the Committee's first letter to Montague, <u>ibid</u>., X, 342-353, XI, 1-5, and the following minutes and letters to Montague of 1763 and 1764: <u>ibid</u>., XI, 345-350, XII, 5-11. <u>Cf</u>. also Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), April 28, 1763, University of Virginia Library.
 
3. See, <u>e.g</u>., portions of the Committee's first letter to Montague, <u>ibid</u>., X, 342-353, XI, 1-5, and the following minutes and letters to Montague of 1763 and 1764: <u>ibid</u>., XI, 345-350, XII, 5-11. <u>Cf</u>. also Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia (Photostats), April 28, 1763, University of Virginia Library.
  
4. A member of the Committee, after stating the above date and complaining of Montague's neglect, advised a London friend to exert himself unofficially in the colony's behalf, in order to obligate to him the House, in which an inadequate attempt would probably be made to reappoint Montague: Richard Bland to Thomas Adams, August 1, 1771, <u>Virginia</u>
+
4. A member of the Committee, after stating the above date and complaining of Montague's neglect, advised a London friend to exert himself unofficially in the colony's behalf, in order to obligate to him the House, in which an inadequate attempt would probably be made to reappoint Montague: [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]] to [[wikipedia:Thomas Adams (politician)|Thomas Adams]], August 1, 1771, <u>Virginia</u>
  
 
===Page 180===
 
===Page 180===
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----
 
----
<u>Historical Magazine</u>, VI, 133-134. Montague's efforts in 1770 are recorded in <u>ibid</u>., XII, 157-169, 225-240, 353-364. Jefferson told of a paper which Montague copied in 1774 or 1775 and referred to him as agent of the House: Autobiography, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 13. Thus it would appear that Bland had underestimated the strength of the movement for his reinstatement.
+
<u>Historical Magazine</u>, VI, 133-134. Montague's efforts in 1770 are recorded in <u>ibid</u>., XII, 157-169, 225-240, 353-364. [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson]] told of a paper which Montague copied in 1774 or 1775 and referred to him as agent of the House: [[Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson|Autobiography]], Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, I, 13. Thus it would appear that [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Bland]] had underestimated the strength of the movement for his reinstatement.
  
 
1. Hening, <u>Statutes</u>, VII, 240-241.
 
1. Hening, <u>Statutes</u>, VII, 240-241.
Line 3,157: Line 3,166:
 
employees of the government were to be remunerated under its terms, public wages would be at standard level anticipated in 1748, but in the absence of such a revision their pay would have been magnified beyond all intended proportions by about two hundred per cent.
 
employees of the government were to be remunerated under its terms, public wages would be at standard level anticipated in 1748, but in the absence of such a revision their pay would have been magnified beyond all intended proportions by about two hundred per cent.
  
Some members of the establishment clergy, whose salaries were paid, of course, out of colonial income from taxation, were the only officials who did not acquiesce in this provision for specie payments. They argued that the bill of 1758 contained unconstitutional provisions and would probably not receive the assent of the Crown necessary to make it enforceable law. The need for an immediate remedy of the trick played upon the Assembly by the most recent fluctuation in the tobacco market, it is true, had indeed induced the legislators to dispense with the clause, required on bills repealing laws previously approved in England, suspending its operation until His Majesty's pleasure might be known. But the law was to be of such brief duration that it expired before royal disapproval could return from London, and the payments in specie were effected. In justification of the failure to comply with strictly legal legislative requirements, it was claimed by the Committee of Correspondence that emergency legislation could not be delayed by slow eighteenth-century communications and that the Assembly had a natural right to enact temporary laws.<sup>1</sup>
+
Some members of the established clergy, whose salaries were paid, of course, out of the colonial income from taxation, were the only officials who did not acquiese [''sic''] in this provision for specie payments. They argued that the bill of 1758 contained unconstitutional provisions and would probably not receive the assent of the Crown necessary to make it enforceable law. The need for an immediate remedy of the trick played upon the Assembly by the most recent fluctuation in the tobacco market, it is true, had indeed induced the legislators to dispense with the clause, required on bills repealing laws previously approved in England, suspending its operation until His Majesty's pleasure might be known. But the law was to be of such brief duration that it expired before royal disapproval could be returned from London, and the payments in specie were effected. In justification of the failure to comply with strictly legal legislative requirements, it was claimed by the Committee of Correspondence that emergency legislation could not be delayed by slow eighteenth-century communications and that the Assembly had a natural right to enact temporary laws.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
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===Page 183===
 
===Page 183===
  
rector of York-Hampton Parish and later president of William and Mary College, who had a rather strong penchant for being in the midst of tempestuous controversies, prosecuted in the General Court a similar suit which gave Virginia's leaders a great deal more worry.<sup>1</sup> The Committee of Correspondence felt it to be a matter of such public interest that the colony should assist the parish in the expenses of the defense,<sup>2</sup> and explicit instructions were given to its agent with constitutional arguments to assist the cause in London.<sup>3</sup> The Council was firm in supporting the Two Penny Act, too, and its agent succeeded in postponing the progress of an adverse report of the Board of Trade to the eventual official veto by the Crown.<sup>4</sup> When the General Court finally gave judgment on Camm's suit, in which Robert Carter Nicholas was chief
+
rector of York-Hampton Parish and later president of [http://www.wm.edu/ William and Mary College], who had a rather strong penchant for being in the midst of tempestuous controversies, prosecuted in the General Court a similar suit which gave Virginia's leaders a great deal more worry.<sup>1</sup> The Committee of Correspondence felt it to be a matter of such public interest that the colony should assist the parish in the expenses of the defense,<sup>2</sup> and explicit instructions were given to its agent with constitutional arguments to assist the cause in London.<sup>3</sup> The Council was firm in supporting the [[wikipedia:Two Penny Act|Two Penny Act]], too, and its agent succeeded in postponing the progress of an adverse report of the Board of Trade to the eventual official veto by the Crown.<sup>4</sup> When the General Court finally gave a judgment on [[wikipedia:John Camm|Camm's]] suit, in which [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas|Robert Carter Nicholas]] was chief
  
 
----
 
----
1. <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, X, 366, carries a biographical note on Camm. The story of his advocacy of a bishop in the later contentious movement for an American episcopacy is partially told in Richard Bland to Thomas Adams, August 1, 1771, <u>ibid</u>., VI, 130-134. For gossipy comments on his late marriage see Martha Goosley to John Horton, August 5, 1769, Horton Papers, Colonial Williamsburg, Inc. <s>Peter Lyons was Maury's attorney; Wythe's brother-in-law, John Lewis, preceded Henry as counsel for the parish.</s><ref>Hemphill struck out this sentence in pen.</ref>
+
1. <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, X, 356, carries a biographical note on Camm. The story of his advocacy of a bishop in the later contentious movement for an American episcopacy is partially told in [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]] to [[wikipedia:Thomas Adams (politician)|Thomas Adams]], August 1, 1771, <u>ibid</u>., VI, 130-134. For gossipy comments on his late marriage see Martha Goosley to John Horton, August 5, 1769, Horton Papers, Colonial Williamsburg, Inc. <s>Peter Lyons was Maury's attorney; Wythe's brother-in-law, John Lewis, preceded Henry as counsel for the parish.</s><ref>Hemphill struck out this sentence in pen.</ref>
  
 
2. Minutes of the Committee of Correspondence, November 14, 1759, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, X, 340.
 
2. Minutes of the Committee of Correspondence, November 14, 1759, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, X, 340.
Line 3,186: Line 3,195:
 
===Page 184===
 
===Page 184===
  
attorney for the defendants,<sup>1</sup> the members of the Council in their capacity as judges decreed against the parson.<sup>2</sup> Fauquier granted with misgivings Camm's insistence upon an appeal from the verdict to authorities in England,<sup>3</sup> and the Committee of Correspondence warned Montague to dig up old colonial charters and other precedents with which to combat a possible British reversal of the General Court's decision.<sup>4</sup> But Camm's appeal was allowed to die by the Privy Council in 1767; common belief among English contemporaries attributed its failure to a desire that the colony, already provoked, should not be further agitated.
+
attorney for the defendants,<sup>1</sup> the members of the Council in their capacity as judges decreed against the parson.<sup>2</sup> [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] granted with misgivings [[wikipedia:John Camm|Camm's]] insistence upon an appeal from the verdict to authorities in England,<sup>3</sup> and the Committee of Correspondence warned Montague to dig up old colonial charters and other precedents with which to combat a possible British reversal of the General Court's decision.<sup>4</sup> But Camm's appeal was allowed to die by the Privy Council in 1767; common belief among English contemporaries attributed its failure to a desire that the colony, already provoked, should not be further agitated.
  
 
Rev. Thomas Warrington (<u>d</u>. 1770), a predecessor of Camm in York-Hampton Parish and rector of Elizabeth City Parish from 1756 until his death,<sup>5</sup> likewise brought legal action in his county against one Jiggitts, who represented the vestrymen of his parish, for the full market value in 1758 of
 
Rev. Thomas Warrington (<u>d</u>. 1770), a predecessor of Camm in York-Hampton Parish and rector of Elizabeth City Parish from 1756 until his death,<sup>5</sup> likewise brought legal action in his county against one Jiggitts, who represented the vestrymen of his parish, for the full market value in 1758 of
  
 
----
 
----
1. Nicholas was asked to furnish Montague with a copy of his arguments: minutes of the Committee of Correspondence, June 15, 1764, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XII, 7.
+
1. [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Nicholas]] was asked to furnish Montague with a copy of his arguments: minutes of the Committee of Correspondence, June 15, 1764, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XII, 7.
  
 
2. <u>Ibid</u>., 6.
 
2. <u>Ibid</u>., 6.
Line 3,197: Line 3,206:
 
3. Francis Fauquier to the Board of Trade, May 9, 1764, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 249-251, gives his official explanation of his actions, which was somewhat against the technicalities of his instructions.
 
3. Francis Fauquier to the Board of Trade, May 9, 1764, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 249-251, gives his official explanation of his actions, which was somewhat against the technicalities of his instructions.
  
4. Minutes of the Committee of Correspondence, June 15, 1764, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XII, 6-7; Committee of Correspondence to Edward Montage, July 28, 1764, <u>ibid</u>., 11-13. Montague was successful in his effort to secure the copies: entry of February 19, 1765, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXXIII, 66, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library.
+
4. Minutes of the Committee of Correspondence, June 15, 1764, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, XII, 6-7; Committee of Correspondence to Edward Montague, July 28, 1764, <u>ibid</u>., 11-13. Montague was successful in his effort to secure the copies: entry of February 19, 1765, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXXIII, 66, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library.
  
 
5. Heffelfinger, <u>Kecoughtan Old and New</u>, 23-25.
 
5. Heffelfinger, <u>Kecoughtan Old and New</u>, 23-25.
Line 3,203: Line 3,212:
 
===Page 185===
 
===Page 185===
  
his tobacco. After various postponements<sup>1</sup> the case came to trial in 1763, before those of Maury and Camm had been decided. As presiding justice of the Elizabeth City court<sup>2</sup> George Wythe heard the arguments in this suit. A jury brought in a special verdict in favor of Warrington if the law of 1758 were invalid, in favor of the defendant if the court upheld
+
his tobacco. After various postponements<sup>1</sup> the case came to trial in 1763, before those of [[wikipedia:James Maury|Maury]] and [[wikipedia:John Camm|Camm]] had been decided. As presiding justice of the Elizabeth City court<sup>2</sup> George Wythe heard the arguments in this suit. A jury brought in a special verdict in favor of Warrington if the law of 1758 were invalid, in favor of the defendant if the court upheld
  
 
----
 
----
1. See <u>e.g</u>., entry of June 1, 1762, <u>Court Record 1760</u>, [Order Book, 1760-1769], 82, Elizabeth City County Records.
+
1. See, <u>e.g</u>., entry of June 1, 1762, <u>Court Record 1760</u> [Order Book, 1760-1769], 82, Elizabeth City County Records.
  
 
2. A cursory examination shows that Wythe attended 23 out of 68 meetings of the court between July 7, 1761 and July 2, 1766: <u>ibid</u>., <u>passim</u>; the writer did not find his name in the records approximately 70 meetings after the latter date reported in this volume. The following table shows the dates upon which he was present, with page citations to <u>ibid</u>. for his attendance and for his signatures as presiding justice:
 
2. A cursory examination shows that Wythe attended 23 out of 68 meetings of the court between July 7, 1761 and July 2, 1766: <u>ibid</u>., <u>passim</u>; the writer did not find his name in the records approximately 70 meetings after the latter date reported in this volume. The following table shows the dates upon which he was present, with page citations to <u>ibid</u>. for his attendance and for his signatures as presiding justice:
Line 3,334: Line 3,343:
 
===Page 186===
 
===Page 186===
  
the Two Penny Act.<sup>1</sup> Two months later the justices listened to pleas of each party's counsel on this matter of law; they determined that the enactment of 1758 was binding upon the vestrymen.<sup>2</sup> Warrington was thereby defeated, but he pressed an appeal to the General Court,<sup>3</sup> which refused in October, 1767, to reverse the verdict.
+
the [[wikipedia:Two Penny Act|Two Penny Act]].<sup>1</sup> Two months later the justices listened to pleas of each party's counsel on this matter of law; they determined that the enactment of 1758 was binding upon the vestrymen.<sup>2</sup> Warrington was thereby defeated, but he pressed an appeal to the General Court,<sup>3</sup> which refused in October, 1767, to reverse the verdict.
  
Thus Wythe, as a member of the Committee of Correspondence and as a judge of his native county's court (if not, perhaps, in other capacities too<sup>4</sup>), had defended against the attacks of two clergymen the right of Virginia's General Assembly to enact, independently of tardy royal approval, temporary and emergency local legislation. Doubtless the constitutional issue in the controversy interested him much more than its religious phases, though he was an officer of the Church, for as early as November 20, 1760, he had become a vestryman and churchwarden of the Bruton Parish church in Williamsburg.<sup>5</sup>
+
Thus Wythe, as a member of the Committee of Correspondence and as a judge of his native county's court (if not, perhaps, in other capacities too<sup>4</sup>), had defended against the attacks of two clergymen the right of [[wikipedia:Virginia General Assembly|Virginia's General Assembly]] to enact, independently of tardy royal approval, temporary and emergency local legislation. Doubtless the constitutional issue in the controversy interested him much more than its religious phases, though he was an officer of the Church, for as early as November 20, 1760, he had become a vestryman and churchwarden of the [http://www.brutonparish.org/ Bruton Parish church] in Williamsburg.<sup>5</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
Line 3,345: Line 3,354:
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>. These two documents are conveniently reprinted in <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), XX, 172-173.
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>. These two documents are conveniently reprinted in <u>William and Mary College Quarterly</u> (1st series), XX, 172-173.
  
4. It is quite possible, <u>e.g</u>., that he was associated with Nicholas in the legal defense of the Two Penny Act before the General Court in Camm's prosecution and that he was an attorney before the same bench for Elizabeth City Parish in the hearing on Warrington's appeal.
+
4. It is quite possible, <u>e.g</u>., that he was associated with [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Nicholas]] in the legal defense of the Two Penny Act before the General Court in [[wikipedia:John Camm|Camm's]] prosecution and that he was an attorney before the same bench for Elizabeth City Parish in the hearing on Warrington's appeal.
  
5. Surviving records give only incomplete data on his tenure of this position; in addition to the above data it is known only that he was also a vestryman on September 14, 1769, with such men as John Blair, Benjamin Waller, Robert Carter Nicholas, and Thomas Everard: Goodwin, <u>op. cit</u>., 39-40. <u>Cf</u>. Meade, <u>op. cit</u>., I, 179, 191.
+
5. Surviving records give only incomplete data on his tenure of this position; in addition to the above date it is known only that he was also a vestryman on September 14, 1769, with such men as [[wikipedia:John Blair, Jr.|John Blair]], [[wikipedia:Benjamin Waller|Benjamin Waller]], [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas|Robert Carter Nicholas]], and [[wikipedia:Thomas Everard|Thomas Everard]]: Goodwin, <u>op. cit</u>., 39-40. <u>Cf</u>. Meade, <u>op. cit</u>., I [''sic''], [https://hdl.handle.net/2027/nnc1.cu17216257?urlappend=%3Bseq=189 179,] [https://hdl.handle.net/2027/nnc1.cu17216257?urlappend=%3Bseq=201 191.]<ref>Hemphill cites volume I of Bishop William Meade's ''Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia'' (Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott, 1900), but the required pages are in volume II.</ref>
  
 
===Page 187===
 
===Page 187===
Line 3,358: Line 3,367:
 
</center>
 
</center>
  
A controversy of briefer duration than that over the Two Penny Act but of greater intensity and of a more direct relation to the unsolved problems in British colonial organization was the furor raised by the Stamp Act. As might be expected, George Wythe was in the midst of this battle, too, from its very beginning. In accordance with his instructions to report all proceedings of the English government which concerned the colony, Edward Montague, the agent, informed the Committee of Correspondence that early in 1764 a renewal of duties on certain articles of trade, including sugar and wine, would be levied and that the ministry proposed for subsequent enactment a requirement that stamps be placed on legal documents and on other types of papers.<sup>1</sup>
+
A controversy of briefer duration than that over the [[wikipedia:Two Penny Act|Two Penny Act]] but of greater intensity and of a more direct relation to the unsolved problems in British colonial organization was the furor raised by the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]]. As might be expected, George Wythe was in the midst of this battle, too, from its very beginning. In accordance with his instructions to report all proceedings of the English government which concerned the colony, Edward Montague, the agent, informed the Committee of Correspondence that early in 1764 a renewal of duties on certain articles of trade, including sugar and wine, would be levied and that the ministry proposed for subsequent enactment a requirement that stamps be placed on legal documents and on other types of papers.<sup>1</sup>
  
 
The basic difficulty in the imperial crisis which resulted from the stamp proposal was the want, in England's unwritten constitution, of any clear definition of the rightful powers of Parliament over the British colonies. Guarantees
 
The basic difficulty in the imperial crisis which resulted from the stamp proposal was the want, in England's unwritten constitution, of any clear definition of the rightful powers of Parliament over the British colonies. Guarantees
Line 3,367: Line 3,376:
 
===Page 188===
 
===Page 188===
  
in Magna Charta and its later amplifications, such as the Bill of Rights, and in the principles of common law protected from the King's prerogative the liberties of each individual subject. These hard-won rights were often conceded by royal charters to be an inheritance on the colonists, but even these personal privileges were not universally admitted, for in the exercise of its increasing powers Parliament sometimes exceeded the very limitations which it had placed upon the Crown. In the absence of specifically prescribed boundaries of authority, a general recognized division of powers had been worked out by experience between Parliament and its colonial counterparts. Assemblies in the New World were given in practise the function of taxing their peoples, so long as the welfare of the whole British dominions was not thereby placed in jeopardy; Parliament assumed authority over all matters of taxation and customs involving inta-imperial and international trade. Thus, whenever taxes laid in London were construed by colonists to be imposed for revenue on purely local affairs, protests were forthcoming. New postal regulations early in the eighteenth century, for example, met the vigilant Virginians' rebuff that "Parl't could not Levy any Tax, (for so they call ye Rates of Postage,) here without the Consent of the General Assembly."<sup>1</sup> Under this principle, well established by many precedents, Parliament would be within its bounds if it should exact tariffs on sugar and other
+
in [[wikipedia:Magna Carta|Magna Charta]] and its later amplifications, such as the [[wikipedia:Bill of Rights 1689|Bill of Rights]], and in the principles of common law protected from the King's prerogative the liberties of each individual subject. These hard-won rights were often conceded by royal charters to be an inheritance of the colonists, but even these personal privileges were not universally admitted, for in the exercise of its increasing powers Parliament sometimes exceeded the very limitations which it had placed upon the Crown. In the absence of specifically prescribed boundaries of authority, a generally recognized division of powers had been worked out by experience between Parliament and its colonial counterparts. Assemblies in the New World were given in practise the function of taxing their peoples, so long as the welfare of the whole British dominions was not thereby placed in jeopardy; Parliament assumed authority over all matters of taxation and customs involving intra-imperial and international trade. Thus, whenever taxes laid in London were construed by colonists to be imposed for revenue on purely local affairs, protests were forthcoming. New postal regulations early in the eighteenth century, for example, met the vigilant Virginians' rebuff that "Parl't could not Levy any Tax, (for so they call ye Rates of Postage,) here without the Consent of the General Assembly."<sup>1</sup> Under this principle, well established by many precedents, Parliament would be within its bounds if it should exact tariffs on sugar and other
  
 
----
 
----
1. Alexander Spotswood to the Board of Trade, June 24, 1718, Brock, ed., Letters of Spotswood, II, 275-286.
+
1. [[wikipedia:Alexander Spotswood|Alexander Spotswood]] to the Board of Trade, June 24, 1718, Brock, ed., <u>Letters of Spotswood</u>, II, 275-286.
  
 
===Page 189===
 
===Page 189===
  
commodities; but, should the proposed tax via stamps be enacted, it would be exceeding its historical authority. The truth of the matter seems to be that British officials knew this as well as any one and that they may announce their intention long before the passage of the Stamp Act in order that colonial reactions may be weighed during the period for which execution of this plan was deferred.
+
commodities; but, should the proposed tax via stamps be enacted, it would be exceeding its historical authority. The truth of the matter seems to be that British officials knew this as well as any one and that they may announce their intention long before the passage of the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] in order that colonial reactions may be weighed during the period for which execution of this plan was deferred.
  
The Committee of Correspondence met on July 15, 1764 to consider the news borne by its agent's letters and described Virginia in its minutes as "much alarmed at the Attempt in parliament to lay a Duty ... on Madeira Wine & [at] the proposal for a Stamp Duty." It resolved to order Montague "to oppose this with all his Influence, & as far as he may venture [to] insist on the Injustice of laying any Duties on us & particularly [of] taxing the internal Trade of the Colony without their consent."<sup>1</sup> Wythe was appointed to draft a letter to Montague, 'with the assistance of Robert Carter Nicholas, pursuant to this and other resolutions.<sup>2</sup> The resultant letter was reported to the Committee and adopted in a meeting held thirteen days later.<sup>3</sup> Thus it was given to George Wythe to be spokesman in the outstanding and most
+
The Committee of Correspondence met on July 15, 1764 to consider the news borne by its agent's letters and described Virginia in its minutes as "much alarmed at the Attempt in parliament to lay a Duty ... on [[wikipedia:Madeira Wine|Madeira Wine]] & [at] the proposal for a Stamp Duty." It resolved to order Montague "to oppose this with all his Influence, & as far as he may venture [to] insist on the Injustice of laying any Duties on us & particularly [of] taxing the internal Trade of the Colony without their consent."<sup>1</sup> Wythe was appointed to draft a letter to Montague, 'with the assistance of [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]], pursuant to this and other resolutions.<sup>2</sup> The resultant letter was reported to the Committee and adopted in a meeting held thirteen days later.<sup>3</sup> Thus it was given to George Wythe to be spokesman in the outstanding and most
  
 
----
 
----
Line 3,387: Line 3,396:
 
===Page 190===
 
===Page 190===
  
earnest early protest against the Stamp Act.<sup>1</sup>
+
earnest early protest against the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]].<sup>1</sup>
  
Every prominent argument used later by all colonies against the proposed form of taxation, except the point that it would hurt British trade by draining the colonies of their little specie, was summarized adequately in the instructions to the Montague written by Wythe and Nicholas. They urged first that the intention was ill-timed, since Virginia was already staggering under a war debt relatively comparatively to Great Britain's:
+
Every prominent argument used later by all colonies against the proposed form of taxation, except the point that it would hurt British trade by draining the colonies of their little specie, was summarized adequately in the instructions to the Montague written by Wythe and [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Nicholas]]. They urged first that the intention was ill-timed, since Virginia was already staggering under a war debt relatively comparatively to Great Britain's:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Line 3,398: Line 3,407:
  
 
----
 
----
1. Samuel Adams' resolutions of May 24, 1764, in a Boston town meeting and James Otis' memorial and instructions adopted by the lower house of Massachusetts' legislature, June 13, 1764, were directed principally against the Sugar Act, though probably not exclusively so, as Lyon G. Tyler's articles of claim: <u>cf</u>. <u>e.g</u>., that in <u>Tyler's Quarterly Magazine</u>, III, 246-247.
+
1. [[wikipedia:Samuel Adams|Samuel Adams]]' resolutions of May 24, 1764, in a Boston town meeting and [[wikipedia:James Otis Sr.|James Otis']] memorial and instructions adopted by the lower house of Massachusetts' legislature, June 13, 1764, were directed principally against the [[wikipedia:Sugar Act|Sugar Act]], though probably not exclusively so, as Lyon G. Tyler's articles of claim: <u>cf</u>. <u>e.g</u>., that in <u>Tyler's Quarterly Magazine</u>, III, 246-247.
  
 
===Page 191===
 
===Page 191===
Line 3,405: Line 3,414:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
... but what makes the approaching Storm appear still more gloomy & dismal is, that, if it should be suffer'd to break upon our Heads, not only we & our children, but our latest Posterity may & will probably be involved in its fatal Consequences. It may, perhaps, be thought presumptious in us to attempt or even to desire any Thing which may look like a restraint upon the controlling Power of Parliament; We only wish that our just liberties and Privileges as free born British Subjects were once properly defin'd, we think that we may venture to say that the People of Virginia, however they may have been misrepresented, would never entertain the most distant Inclination to transgress their just Limits. That no Subjects of the King of Great Britain can be justly made <u>subservient</u> to Laws without either their personal Consent, or their Consent by their representatives we take to be the most vital principle of the British Constitution; it cannot be denyed [<u>sic</u>] that the Parliament has from Time to Time, where the Trade of the Colonies with other Parts was likely to interfere with that of the Mother Country, made such Laws as were thought sufficient to restrain such Trade to what was judg'd its proper Channel, neither can it be denied that, the Parliament, out of the same <u>Plentitude</u> [<u>sic</u>] <u>of its Power</u>, has gone a little Step farther & imposed some Duties upon our Exports; but to fix a Tax upon such Part of our Trade & concerns as are merely internal, appears to us to be talking a long & hasty Stride & we believe may truly be said to be of the first Importance. Nothing is farther from our Thoughts than to show [<u>sic</u>] the least Disposition to any Sort of rudeness, but we hope it cannot be taken amiss that we, apprehending ourselves so nearly concern'd, should, at least whilst the Matter is in Suspence, humbly represent against it, & take every Measure which the Principles & Laws of our Constitution appear clearly justify, to avert a Storm so very replete with the most dangerous Consequences.
+
... but what makes the approaching Storm appear still more gloomy &amp; dismal is, that, if it should be suffer'd to break upon our Heads, not only we &amp; our children, but our latest Posterity may &amp; will probably be involved in its fatal Consequences. It may, perhaps, be thought presumptious in us to attempt or even to desire any Thing which may look like a restraint upon the controlling Power of Parliament; We only wish that our just liberties and Privileges as free born British Subjects were once properly defin'd, we think that we may venture to say that the People of Virginia, however they may have been misrepresented, would never entertain the most distant Inclination to transgress their just Limits. That no Subjects of the King of Great Britain can be justly made <u>subservient</u> to Laws without either their personal Consent, or their Consent by their representatives we take to be the most vital principle of the British Constitution; it cannot be denyed [<u>sic</u>] that the Parliament has from Time to Time, where the Trade of the Colonies with other Parts was likely to interfere with that of the Mother Country, made such Laws as were thought sufficient to restrain such Trade to what was judg'd its proper Channel, neither can it be denied that, the Parliament, out of the same <u>Plentitude</u> [<u>sic</u>] <u>of its Power</u>, has gone a little Step farther &amp; imposed some Duties upon our Exports; but to fix a Tax upon such Part of our Trade &amp; concerns as are merely internal, appears to us to be taking a long &amp; hasty Stride &amp; we believe may truly be said to be of the first Importance. Nothing is farther from our Thoughts than to shew [<u>sic</u>] the least Disposition to any Sort of rudeness, but we hope it cannot be taken amiss that we, apprehending ourselves so nearly concern'd, should, at least whilst the Matter is in Suspence, humbly represent against it, &amp; take every Measure which the Principles &amp; Laws of our Constitution appear clearly justify, to avert a Storm so very replete with the most dangerous Consequences.
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Reverting again to Virginia's recent participation in the French and Indian War, which made additional demands inexpedient, the letter argued that it made them also unjust:
+
Reverting again to Virginia's recent participation in the [[wikipedia:French and Indian War|French and Indian War]], which made additional demands inexpedient, the letter argued that it made them also unjust:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
Line 3,422: Line 3,431:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
We ... therefore ... most earnestly recommend to you, as the greatest Object of our present Concern, the exerting [of] your whole weight &amp; Influence as far as Decency will allow in opposing this &amp; every other Measure of the Sort; and since we find, upon other Occasions, that you have met with a ready Disposition in the Agents of the other Colonies to cooperate with you, whenever the general Interest of the Continent of America seems to have been concern's, we are of Opinion that their Aid and Assistance, in all Probability can never, upon any Occasion whatever, be more seasonably ask'd than in the present Conjuncture, &amp; we don't doubt but [that] you will endeavor to avail yourself of it.<sup>1</sup>
+
We ... therefore ... most earnestly recommend to you, as the greatest Object of our present Concern, the exerting [of] your whole weight &amp; Influence as far as Decency will allow in opposing this &amp; every other Measure of the Sort; and since we find, upon other Occasions, that you have met with a ready Disposition in the Agents of the other Colonies to cooperate with you, whenever the general Interest of the Continent of America seems to have been concern'd, we are of Opinion that their Aid and Assistance, in all Probability can never, upon any Occasion whatever, be more seasonably ask'd than in the present Conjuncture, &amp; we don't doubt but [that] you will endeavor to avail yourself of it.<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
After this letter had been signed, the Committee heard the reading of more recent news in the same dire vein from Montague, written on the eleventh of April, which had been received after its meeting of the middle of July. Its members therefore agreed to write immediately at their table a postscript to the letter drafted by Wythe and Nicholas, in order that Montague might be acquainted fully with their reaffirmed concern "that the parliament seem so determined to carry their Intentions of taxing the Colonies at pleasure into Execution." This addendum should also suggest to him that, " to prevent a precedent of being taxed in this
+
After this letter had been signed, the Committee heard the reading of more recent news in the same dire vein from Montague, written on the eleventh of April, which had been received after its meeting of the middle of July. Its members therefore agreed to write immediately at their table a postscript to the letter drafted by Wythe and [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Nicholas]], in order that Montague might be acquainted fully with their reaffirmed concern "that the parliament seem so determined to carry their Intentions of taxing the Colonies at pleasure into Execution." This addendum should also suggest to him that, " to prevent a precedent of being taxed in this
  
 
----
 
----
Line 3,451: Line 3,460:
 
===Page 194===
 
===Page 194===
  
that the pending Stamp Act might not be enacted before Virginia's General Assembly could put on record its sentiments regarding the proposal.<sup>1</sup> Convening on October 30, 1764, the House of Burgesses turned almost immediately from the usual work of organizing itself to consideration of the state of the colony and ordered the letters of the Committee of Correspondence to be laid before it. After several days of debate on the subject of the projected tax three firm resolutions were reported in mid-November for the preparation of an address to the King and memorials to the House of Lords and House of Commons, as an evidence of the Burgesses' disapproval. And on the same day the resolutions were referred to a committee consisting of Peyton Randolph, chairman, Richard Henry Lee, Landon Carter, Wythe, Edmund Pendleton, Benjamin Harrison, Archibald Cary, and John Fleming.<sup>2</sup> Randolph, Carter, and Wythe were members of the Committee of Correspondence, which had already reviewed the problem, and another of that group was appointed to join in the writing of the three papers when Richard Bland was added several days later to Randolph's committee.<sup>3</sup> After about two weeks of effort spent in drafting the three documents the committee reported to the House,<sup>4</sup> which was unable from the pressure of other business to
+
that the pending [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] might not be enacted before [[wikipedia:Virginia General Assembly|Virginia's General Assembly]] could put on record its sentiments regarding the proposal.<sup>1</sup> Convening on October 30, 1764, the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] turned almost immediately from the usual work of organizing itself to consideration of the state of the colony and ordered the letters of the Committee of Correspondence to be laid before it. After several days of debate on the subject of the projected tax three firm resolutions were reported in mid-November for the preparation of an address to the King and memorials to the [[wikipedia:House of Lords|House of Lords]] and [[wikipedia:House of Commons|House of Commons]], as an evidence of the Burgesses' disapproval. And on the same day the resolutions were referred to a committee consisting of [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], chairman, [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]], [[wikipedia:Landon Carter|Landon Carter]], Wythe, [[Edmund Pendleton]], [[wikipedia:Benjamin Harrison V|Benjamin Harrison]], [[wikipedia:Archibald Cary|Archibald Cary]], and John Fleming.<sup>2</sup> Randolph, Carter, and Wythe were members of the Committee of Correspondence, which had already reviewed the problem, and another of that group was appointed to join in the writing of the three papers when [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]] was added several days later to Randolph's committee.<sup>3</sup> After about two weeks of effort spent in drafting the three documents the committee reported to the House,<sup>4</sup> which was unable from the pressure of other business to
  
 
----
 
----
 
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 14.
 
1. <u>Ibid</u>., 14.
  
2. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses</u>, <u>1761-1765</u>, 256, 257.
+
2. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1761-1765</u>, 256, 257.
  
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>., 264.
 
3. <u>Ibid</u>., 264.
Line 3,464: Line 3,473:
 
===Page 195===
 
===Page 195===
  
resolve itself again into a Committee of the Whole to consider them until two more weeks had passed.<sup>1</sup> The address to the King was adopted without change, but the papers to the two branches of Parliament had to be amended before acceptance.<sup>2</sup> With all of Randolph's committee representing the Burgesses except Carter, Harrison, and Bland,<sup>3</sup> a series of conferences with certain members of the Council ensued before the upper branch of Virginia's legislature concurred, December 18, 1764, in the documents; the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|remonstrance to the Commons]] was thereby further amended.<sup>4</sup> When the papers had thus become the official and unanimous statements of the General Assembly, the Burgesses commanded that a copy of each should be inserted in their minutes and that their Committee of Correspondence should send five copies of each to Montague for presentation to the proper authorities in England.<sup>5</sup> The Committee was conscientiously prompt in transmitting the address and memorials within two days, expressing to the agent "apprehensions that you will meet with Difficulty in getting the memorial to the Commons laid before them, as we have heard of their refusing to receive Petitions from the Colonies in former similar Instances." In such an eventuality Montague was directed
+
resolve itself again into a Committee of the Whole to consider them until two more weeks had passed.<sup>1</sup> The address to the King was adopted without change, but the papers to the two branches of Parliament had to be amended before acceptance.<sup>2</sup> With all of [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Randolph's]] committee representing the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses]] except [[wikipedia:Landon Carter|Carter]], [[wikipedia:Benjamin Harrison V|Harrison]], and [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Bland]],<sup>3</sup> a series of conferences with certain members of the Council ensued before the upper branch of Virginia's legislature concurred, December 18, 1764, in the documents; the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|remonstrance to the Commons]] was thereby further amended.<sup>4</sup> When the papers had thus become the official and unanimous statements of the General Assembly, the Burgesses commanded that a copy of each should be inserted in their minutes and that their Committee of Correspondence should send five copies of each to Montague for presentation to the proper authorities in England.<sup>5</sup> The Committee was conscientiously prompt in transmitting the address and memorials within two days, expressing to the agent "apprehensions that you will meet with Difficulty in getting the memorial to the Commons laid before them, as we have heard of their refusing to receive Petitions from the Colonies in former similar Instances." In such an eventuality Montague was directed
  
 
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===Page 196===
 
===Page 196===
  
to use the propagandist method adopted by Peyton Randolph when he was refused a hearing on the pistole fee:
+
to use the propagandist method adopted by [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]] when he was refused a hearing on the pistole fee:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
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</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
It is of special interest that the memorial to the House of Commons, in the form in which it was reported from the committee to the House, was submitted to amendment before its adoption by the Burgesses and to still other amendments before it was approved by the Council. For Thomas Jefferson reports that [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|George Wythe penned the remonstrance]] in its original form and that, "following his own principles, he so far overwent, the timid hesitations of his colleagues that his draught was subjected by them to material modifications."<sup>2</sup> And upon another occasion Jefferson said that Wythe wrote it "with so much freedom, that, as he has told me himself, his colleagues ... shrank from it as bearing the aspect of treason and smoothed its features to its present form."<sup>3</sup> Despite sundry expurgations of phrases and thoughts too spirited to
+
[[File:JeffersonBiographicalNotesp2.jpg|thumb|left|500px|Page two of Thomas Jefferson's "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]." Image from the [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib023877  Library of Congress,] ''The Thomas Jefferson Papers.'']]
 +
It is of special interest that the memorial to the [[wikipedia:House of Commons|House of Commons]], in the form in which it was reported from the committee to the House, was submitted to amendment before its adoption by the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses]] and to still other amendments before it was approved by the Council. For [[Thomas Jefferson|Thomas Jefferson]] reports that [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|George Wythe penned the remonstrance]] in its original form and that, "following his own principles, he so far overwent, the timid hesitations of his colleagues that his draught was subjected by them to material modifications."<sup>2</sup> And upon another occasion Jefferson said that Wythe wrote it "with so much freedom, that, as he has told me himself, his colleagues ... shrank from it as bearing the aspect of treason and smoothed its features to its present form."<sup>3</sup> Despite sundry expurgations of phrases and thoughts too spirited to
  
 
----
 
----
 
1. Committee of Correspondence to Edward Montague, December 20, 1764, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IX, 354-355.
 
1. Committee of Correspondence to Edward Montague, December 20, 1764, <u>Virginia Historical Magazine</u>, IX, 354-355.
  
2. Jefferson, "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", filed under August 31, 1820, Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. The original authorship of the address to the King and of the memorial to the House of Lords has been variously attributed to Peyton Randolph, Richard Bland, Richard Henry Lee, and Landon Carter.
+
2. Jefferson, "[[Notes for the Biography of George Wythe]]", filed under August 31, 1820, Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. The original authorship of the address to the King and of the memorial to the House of Lords has been variously attributed to Peyton Randolph, [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]], [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]], and [[wikipedia:Landon Carter|Landon Carter]].
  
3. Thomas Jefferson to William Wirt, August 14, 1814, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, XIV, 168.
+
3. Thomas Jefferson to [[wikipedia:William Wirt (Attorney General)|William Wirt]], August 14, 1814, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, XIV, 168.
  
 
===Page 197===
 
===Page 197===
  
secure general acquiescence, however, this [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|exposition by Wythe for the House of Commons]] of the dangers inherent in its plan of imposing internal taxes on the colonies was yet bold enough to leave no doubt as to Virginia's unalterable opposition to a Stamp Act. Longer than the address to the King or the memorial to the Lords, it was stronger in argument and terminology than either of them, as it should naturally have been, since it was meant for the unreceptive ear of the body in which the threatened tax would be initiated.
+
secure general acquiescence, however, this exposition by Wythe for the [[wikipedia:House of Commons|House of Commons]] of the dangers inherent in its plan of imposing internal taxes on the colonies was yet bold enough to leave no doubt as to Virginia's unalterable opposition to a [[wikipedia:Stamp Act|Stamp Act]]. Longer than the address to the King or the memorial to the Lords, it was stronger in argument and terminology than either of them, as it should naturally have been, since it was meant for the unreceptive ear of the body in which the threatened tax would be initiated.
  
Contemporary references to it spoke of it as a "memorial", but it gave itself the stronger name of a "Remonstrance" and stated in its introductory paragraph that "<u>the Council and Burgesses of</u> Virginia, <u>met in General Assembly, judge it their indispensable Duty, in a respectful Manner, but with decent Firmness, to remonstrate against</u>" the pending tax measure, lest "<u>a Cession of those Rights, which in their Opinion must be infringed by that Procedure, may ... be inferred from their Silence, at so important a Crisis</u>." Without raising the somewhat sophistical distinction between internal and external taxation the remonstrance based its claim that the Stamp Act would be unconstitutional on more general principles, bolstered by illustrations from Virginia history of their application:
+
Contemporary references to it spoke of it as a "memorial", but it gave itself the stronger name of a "[[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|Remonstrance]]" and stated in its introductory paragraph that "<u>the Council and [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses]] of</u> Virginia, <u>met in General Assembly, judge it their indispensable Duty, in a respectful Manner, but with decent Firmness, to remonstrate against</u>" the pending tax measure, lest "<u>a Cession of those Rights, which in their Opinion must be infringed by that Procedure, may ... be inferred from their Silence, at so important a Crisis</u>." Without raising the somewhat sophistical distinction between internal and external taxation the remonstrance based its claim that the Stamp Act would be unconstitutional on more general principles, bolstered by illustrations from Virginia history of their application:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
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===Page 198===
 
===Page 198===
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
<u>Vegabonds or Fugitives, but licensed and encouraged by their Prince and animated with a laudable Desire of en larging the</u> British <u>Dominion, and extending its Commerce: On the contrary, it was secured to them and their Descendants, with all other Rights and Immunities of</u> British <u>Subjects, by a Royal Charter, which hath been invariably recognized and confirmed by his Majesty and his Predecessors in their Commissions to the several Governours, granting a Power, and prescribing a Form of Legislation; according to which, Laws for the Administration of Justice, and for the Welfare and good Government of the Colony, have been hitherto enacted by the Governour, Council, and General Assembly, and to them Requisitions and Applications for Supplies have been directed by the Crown. As an Instance of the Opinion which former Sovereigns entertained of these Rights and Privileges, we beg Leave to refer to three Acts of the General Assembly passed in the 32d Year of the Reign of King</u> Charles II (<u>one of which is entitled</u> An Act for raising a Publick Revenue for the better Support of the Government of his Majesty's Colony of <u>Virginia, imposing several Duties for that Purpose) which they thought absolutely necessary, were prepared in England, and sent over by their then Governour, the Lord</u> Culpeper, <u>to be passed by the General Assembly, with a full power to give the Royal Assent thereto; and which were accordingly passed, after several Amendments were made to them here: Thus tender was his Majesty of the Rights of his</u> American <u>Subjects; and the Remonstrants do not discern by what Distinction they can be deprived of that sacred Birth right and most valuable Inheritance by their Fellow Subjects, nor with what Propriety they can be taxed or affected in their Estates by the Parliament, wherein they are not, and indeed cannot, constitutionally be represented</u>.
+
<u>Vegabonds or Fugitives, but licensed and encouraged by their Prince and animated with a laudable Desire of en larging the</u> British <u>Dominion, and extending its Commerce: On the contrary, it was secured to them and their Descendants, with all other Rights and Immunities of</u> British <u>Subjects, by a Royal Charter, which hath been invariably recognized and confirmed by his Majesty and his Predecessors in their Commissions to the several Governours, granting a Power, and prescribing a Form of Legislation; according to which, Laws for the Administration of Justice, and for the Welfare and good Government of the Colony, have been hitherto enacted by the Governour, Council, and General Assembly, and to them Requisitions and Applications for Supplies have been directed by the Crown. As an Instance of the Opinion which former Sovereigns entertained of these Rights and Privileges, we beg Leave to refer to three Acts of the General Assembly passed in the 32<sup>d</sup> Year of the Reign of [[wikipedia:Charles II of England|King</u> Charles II]] (<u>one of which is entitled</u> An Act for raising a Publick Revenue for the better Support of the Government of his Majesty's Colony of <u>Virginia, imposing several Duties for that Purpose) which they thought absolutely necessary, were prepared in England, and sent over by their then Governour, the [[wikipedia:Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper|Lord</u> Culpeper]], <u>to be passed by the General Assembly, with a full power to give the Royal Assent thereto; and which were accordingly passed, after several Amendments were made to them here: Thus tender was his Majesty of the Rights of his</u> American <u>Subjects; and the Remonstrants do not discern by what Distinction they can be deprived of that sacred Birth right and most valuable Inheritance by their Fellow Subjects, nor with what Propriety they can be taxed or affected in their Estates by the Parliament, wherein they are not, and indeed cannot, constitutionally be represented</u>.
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
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===Page 199===
 
===Page 199===
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
<u>who exerted herself in the late War it is feared beyond her Strength, insomuch that to redeem the Money granted for that Exigence her People are taxed for several Years to come: This with the large Expenses incurred for de fending the Frontiers against the restless</u> Indians, <u>who have infested her as much since the Peace as before, is so grievous that an Increase of the Burthern will be in tolerable; especially as the People are very greatly distressed already from the Scarcity of circulating Cash amongst them, and from the little Value of their Staple at the</u> British <u>Markets</u>.
+
<u>who exerted herself in the late War it is feared beyond her Strength, insomuch that to redeem the Money granted for that Exigence her People are taxed for several Years to come: This with the large Expenses incurred for defending the Frontiers against the restless</u> Indians, <u>who have infested her as much since the Peace as before, is so grievous that an Increase of the Burthern will be intolerable; especially as the People are very greatly distressed already from the Scarcity of circulating Cash amongst them, and from the little Value of their Staple at the</u> British <u>Markets</u>.
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
It was not enough, however, to show that an imposition of stamp duties was inexpedient from Virginia's point of view A Stamp Act would be inexpedient also from the standpoint of Britain's own economic welfare, for it would prove to be a boomerang to English merchants, a poison in the life-blood of the empire's commerce:
+
It was not enough, however, to show that an imposition of stamp duties was inexpedient from Virginia's point of view. A [[wikipedia:Stamp Act|Stamp Act]] would be inexpedient also from the standpoint of Britain's own economic welfare, for it would prove to be a boomerang to English merchants, a poison in the life-blood of the empire's commerce:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
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</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
This argument, constituting the article of the protest which was by all odds most likely to make the Commons take notice, had been overlooked or omitted in the observations of the
+
This argument, constituting the article of the protest which was by all odds most likely to make the [[wikipedia:House of Commons|Commons]] take notice, had been overlooked or omitted in the observations of the
  
 
===Page 200===
 
===Page 200===
  
Committee of Correspondence and was not included in the kindred address to the King or memorial to the Lords. Upon its tenets the fate of the future Stamp Act hinged more directly than upon all other considerations collectively, as will be seen. It is therefore pertinent to comment that, though many other enunciators may have preceded him, George Wythe's pen was the first in the colonies discovered in this investigation to have proclaimed that fundamental doctrine. Finally, in a concluding paragraph, which serves as a logical summation of the three grounds upon which Virginia objected formally to Parliament's unprecedented intention, the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|remonstrance assured the Commons]] unequivocally that the General Assembly was determined in its stand:
+
[[wikipedia:Committee of Correspondence|Committee of Correspondence]] and was not included in the kindred address to the King or memorial to the Lords. Upon its tenets the fate of the future [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] hinged more directly than upon all other considerations collectively, as will be seen. It is therefore pertinent to comment that, though many other enunciators may have preceded him, George Wythe's pen was the first in the colonies discovered in this investigation to have proclaimed that fundamental doctrine. Finally, in a concluding paragraph, which serves as a logical summation of the three grounds upon which Virginia objected formally to Parliament's unprecedented intention, the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|remonstrance assured the Commons]] unequivocally that the General Assembly was determined in its stand:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
<u>From these Considerations, it is hoped that the Honourable House of Commons will not prosecute a Measure which those who may suffer under it cannot but look upon as fitter for Exiles driven from their native Country after ignominiously forfeiting her Favours and Protection, than for the Prosperity of</u> Britons <u>who have at all Times been forward to demonstrate all due Reverence to the Mother Kingdom, and are so instrumental in promoting her Glory and Felicity; and that</u> British <u>Patriots will never consent to the Exercise of anticonstitutional Power, which even in this remote Corner may be dangerous in its Example to the interior Parts of the British Empire, and will certainly be detrimental to its Commerce</u>.<sup>1</sup>
+
<u>From these Considerations, it is hoped that the Honourable [[wikipedia:House of Commons|House of Commons]] will not prosecute a Measure which those who may suffer under it cannot but look upon as fitter for Exiles driven from their native Country after ignominiously forfeiting her Favours and Protection, than for the Prosperity of</u> Britons <u>who have at all Times been forward to demonstrate all due Reverence to the Mother Kingdom, and are so instrumental in promoting her Glory and Felicity; and that</u> British <u>Patriots will never consent to the Exercise of anticonstitutional Power, which even in this remote Corner may be dangerous in its Example to the interiour Parts of the British Empire, and will certainly be detrimental to its Commerce</u>.<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Lieutenant-Governor Fauquier was told by some of the gentlemen of the committee appointed to draw up this rebuke and its contemporary papers that "their whole Study has been to endeavor to mollify them and [that] they have reason to
+
[[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Lieutenant-Governor Fauquier]] was told by some of the gentlemen of the committee appointed to draw up this rebuke and its contemporary papers that "their whole Study has been to endeavor to mollify them and [that] they have reason to
  
 
----
 
----
1. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses</u>, <u>1761-1765</u>, 303-304.
+
1. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1761-1765</u>, 303-304.
  
 
===Page 201===
 
===Page 201===
  
hope there is nothing now in them which will give the least offence."<sup>1</sup> Though Wythe's words were necessarily minced in his [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|original draft of the remonstrance]], lest their desired effect be lost by their very strength, and though some of then were purged by that committee, the House of Burgesses, and the Council, they were nevertheless convincing and resolute. They sought no compromise, bu tan absolute surrender; the pruning knife was brought into play, calculatedly, in order that the force of logical reasoning should not be destroyed by an attitude of gross defiance.
+
hope there is nothing now in them which will give the least offence."<sup>1</sup> Though Wythe's words were necessarily minced in his [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|original draft of the remonstrance]], lest their desired effect be lost by their very strength, and though some of them were purged by that committee, the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]], and the Council, they were nevertheless convincing and resolute. They sought no compromise, but an absolute surrender; the pruning knife was brought into play, calculatedly, in order that the force of logical reasoning should not be destroyed by an attitude of gross defiance.
  
The address to the King, the memorial to the Lords, and the remonstrance to the Commons having been duly despatched, there was nothing to be done but await developments calmly. Before any formal replies were given to the Assembly's papers, however, news reached Virginia that the Stamp Act had been passed early in 1765, to be effective ini the following November. A less dispassionate note was injected into the issue by Patrick Henry, in a reckless manner which may have lacked the merit of thorough premeditation. Or if his actions had been deliberately conceived, they were at best those of an inexperienced upstart.
+
The address to the King, the memorial to the Lords, and the remonstrance to the Commons having been duly despatched, there was nothing to be done but await developments calmly. Before any formal replies were given to the Assembly's papers, however, news reached Virginia that the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] had been passed early in 1765, to be effective in the following November. A less dispassionate note was injected into the issue by [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Patrick Henry]], in a reckless manner which may have lacked the merit of thorough premeditation. Or if his actions had been deliberately conceived, they were at best those of an inexperienced upstart.
  
 
Henry had been a member of the House of Burgesses less than a month when he offered in that body his widely eulogized resolutions against the Stamp Act. Its short session of May, 1765, was drawing to a natural close, and only 39 of its
 
Henry had been a member of the House of Burgesses less than a month when he offered in that body his widely eulogized resolutions against the Stamp Act. Its short session of May, 1765, was drawing to a natural close, and only 39 of its
  
 
----
 
----
1. Francis Fauquier to the Board of Trade, December 24, 1764, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 273, New York Public Library.
+
1. [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Francis Fauquier]] to the Board of Trade, December 24, 1764, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 273, New York Public Library.
  
 
===Page 202===
 
===Page 202===
  
current total of 116 members remained in Williamsburg on the twenty-ninth to conclude its routine business, when he upset the equilibrium of its fruitful attention to ordinary matters by submitting five resolutions against the newly levied tax.<sup>1</sup> Such an event at the fag-end of a session was nothing short of startling to its leaders in a more rational and dignified opposition. Nor was Henry's speech in support of his resolutions quite in line with acknowledged legislative proprieties, for he overstepped conventions by declaring that "he had read that in former times tarquin and Julus [<u>sic</u>] [Caesar] had their Brutus, Charles had his Cromwell, and he Did not Doubt that some good American would stand up in favor of his Country … in a more moderate manner."<sup>2</sup> So irrelevant an allusion to George III provoked a charge of treason from the presiding officer, whereupon Henry apologized quite abjectly and acceptably to the House.<sup>3</sup>
+
current total of 116 members remained in Williamsburg on the twenty-ninth to conclude its routine business, when he upset the equilibrium of its fruitful attention to ordinary matters by submitting five resolutions against the newly levied tax.<sup>1</sup> Such an event at the fag-end of a session was nothing short of startling to its leaders in a more rational and dignified opposition. Nor was Henry's speech in support of his resolutions quite in line with acknowledged legislative proprieties, for he overstepped conventions by declaring that "he had read that in former times tarquin and [[wikipedia:Julius Caesar|Julus [<u>sic</u>] [Caesar]]] had their [[wikipedia:Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger|Brutus]], [[wikipedia:Charles II of England|Charles]] had his [[wikipedia:Oliver Cromwell|Cromwell]], and he Did not Doubt that some good American would stand up in favor of his Country … in a more moderate manner."<sup>2</sup> So irrelevant an allusion to [[wikipedia:George III of the United Kingdom|George III]] provoked a charge of treason from the presiding officer, whereupon [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Henry]] apologized quite abjectly and acceptably to the House.<sup>3</sup>
  
 
----
 
----
1. <u>Id</u>. to <u>id</u>., June 5, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., I, 284-285. On the error of reports that six resolutions were proposed see <u>ibid</u>., 285; Wirt, [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 81 <u>n</u>.; Thomas Jefferson to William Wirt, August 14, 1814, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, XIV, 165-168. The original form of the resolutions and Henry's own account of their initiation and effect are available in Wirt, [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 74-76.
+
1. <u>Id</u>. to <u>id</u>., June 5, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., I, 284-285. On the error of reports that six resolutions were proposed see <u>ibid</u>., 285; Wirt, [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 81 <u>n</u>.; Thomas Jefferson to [[wikipedia:William Wirt (Attorney General)|William Wirt]], August 14, 1814, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, XIV, 165-168. The original form of the resolutions and Henry's own account of their initiation and effect are available in Wirt, [[Life of Patrick Henry|<u>Patrick Henry</u>]], 74-76.
  
 
2. Quoted from the diary of a Frenchman who was an eyewitness of the speech by Claude H. Van Tyne, <u>The Causes of the War of Independence</u>, 155.
 
2. Quoted from the diary of a Frenchman who was an eyewitness of the speech by Claude H. Van Tyne, <u>The Causes of the War of Independence</u>, 155.
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===Page 203===
 
===Page 203===
  
The five resolutions were reported with amendments, after acrid debate in Committee of the Whole, on May 30 and were agreed upon by 22 votes to 17 or by narrower margins, the last by a majority of only one. A small alteration in the membership of the House on the next day gave the minority hope that they could rescind all of the resolutions, but the strength which they mustered was equal only to the task of having the fifth, deemed the most inflammatory, blotted out of the <u>Journal</u>.<sup>1</sup> Peyton Randolph had gotten the single vote or its equivalent, for which he is reported to have exclaimed with vehemence, as he left the Burgesses' chamber on the preceding day, that he "would have given 500 guineas...."<sup>2</sup>
+
The five resolutions were reported with amendments, after acrid debate in [[wikipedia:Committee of the Whole|Committee of the Whole]], on May 30 and were agreed upon by 22 votes to 17 or by narrower margins, the last by a majority of only one. A small alteration in the membership of the House on the next day gave the minority hope that they could rescind all of the resolutions, but the strength which they mustered was equal only to the task of having the fifth, deemed the most inflammatory, blotted out of the <u>Journal</u>.<sup>1</sup> [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]] had gotten the single vote or its equivalent, for which he is reported to have exclaimed with vehemence, as he left the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses']] chamber on the preceding day, that he "would have given 500 guineas...."<sup>2</sup>
  
George Wythe was one of the staunchest and most steadfast among the opponents of Henry's supporters, who were justly characterized by Lieutenant-Governor Fauquier as a phalanx of "the young hot and giddy members."<sup>3</sup> In a report of the whole
+
George Wythe was one of the staunchest and most steadfast among the opponents of [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Henry's]] supporters, who were justly characterized by [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Lieutenant-Governor Fauquier]] as a phalanx of "the young hot and giddy members."<sup>3</sup> In a report of the whole
  
 
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===Page 204===
 
===Page 204===
  
affair to British authorities Fauquier spoke with natural commendation of the efforts of older, cooler, and more experienced heads to forestall adoption of the resolutions and singled out Speaker Robinson, Attorney-General Peyton Randolph, and Wythe as the three "most strenuous oppose of this rash heat...."<sup>1</sup>
+
affair to British authorities [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] spoke with natural commendation of the efforts of older, cooler, and more experienced heads to forestall adoption of the resolutions and singled out [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|Speaker Robinson]], Attorney-General [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], and Wythe as the three "most strenuous oppose of this rash heat...."<sup>1</sup>
  
From the fact that a group of six similar but largely spurious so-called "Virginia Resolves" became, through the medium of publication in newspapers from Savannah to Boston, the spark which ignited a widespread and organized popular opposition to the Stamp Act it might be supposed, at first thought, that the names of men who argued and voted against Henry should be forever synonymous with obloquy and infamy. Yet no odium can properly be attached to them in this instance, nor can their opposition be attributed correctly to want of patriotism, logic, or foresight. True it is that Virginia's resolutions served, in the oft-quoted descriptive simile of a disgusted Massachusetts governor, as an "alarm
+
From the fact that a group of six similar but largely spurious so-called "[[wikipedia:Virginia Resolves|Virginia Resolves]]" became, through the medium of publication in newspapers from Savannah to Boston, the spark which ignited a widespread and organized popular opposition to the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] it might be supposed, at first thought, that the names of men who argued and voted against [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Henry]] should be forever synonymous with obloquy and infamy. Yet no odium can properly be attached to them in this instance, nor can their opposition be attributed correctly to want of patriotism, logic, or foresight. True it is that Virginia's resolutions served, in the oft-quoted descriptive simile of a disgusted Massachusetts governor, as an "alarm
  
 
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===Page 205===
 
===Page 205===
  
bell to the disaffected" element in each of the colonies.<sup>1</sup> But the more or less riotous resistance to the Stamp Act which followed Henry's resolutions tended to defeat its own cause. English authorities could not but deem it seditious, and several of them saw in it an additional proof of their claim that a more rigid, overbearing control should be exercised over their distant colonies. Such considerations played very little part, if any, in motivating the change of heart by which the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766. Instead, that revocation was prompted principally by the unpopularity of the Act among British and Scottish merchants, who found that it was killing geese which had laid golden eggs<sup>2</sup> &mdash; as [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|George Wythe's remonstrance of 1764]], in his plea that the proposed policy would cripple intra-imperial trade, had predicted that it would. Had all the fanfare which attended the colonists' refusal in the winter of 176-1766 to purchase the hated stamps not preceded a rescinding of the Act, ultra-patriotic historians and hero-worshiping biographers (among whom those of Henry offend most in this particular) would not have beguiled themselves into their false interpretation of the colonial fever as the whip before which an astonished, mistaken Parliament cowed.
+
bell to the disaffected" element in each of the colonies.<sup>1</sup> But the more or less riotous resistance to the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] which followed [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Henry's]] resolutions tended to defeat its own cause. English authorities could not but deem it seditious, and several of them saw in it an additional proof of their claim that a more rigid, overbearing control should be exercised over their distant colonies. Such considerations played very little part, if any, in motivating the change of heart by which the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766. Instead, that revocation was prompted principally by the unpopularity of the Act among British and Scottish merchants, who found that it was killing geese which had laid golden eggs<sup>2</sup> &mdash; as [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|George Wythe's remonstrance of 1764]], in his plea that the proposed policy would cripple intra-imperial trade, had predicted that it would. Had all the fanfare which attended the colonists' refusal in the winter of 1765-1766 to purchase the hated stamps not preceded a rescinding of the Act, ultra-patriotic historians and hero-worshiping biographers (among whom those of Henry offend most in this particular) would not have beguiled themselves into their false interpretation of the colonial fever as the whip before which an astonished, mistaken Parliament cowed.
  
 
But Patrick Henry's resolutions were much less likely to be effectual in erasing the impending tax than even the
 
But Patrick Henry's resolutions were much less likely to be effectual in erasing the impending tax than even the
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===Page 206===
  
reckless demonstrations which they prompted. They were ill-timed and too precipitate: were not formal answers to the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|address, memorial, and remonstrance]] of the preceding session yet to be received from Westminsiter [''sup'']? Sufficient time had elapsed to make the arrival of official replies a matter of daily expectation.<sup>1</sup> Five months intervened before the Act could be enforced; there was still a dim hope of conciliation. Moreover, it was a tactical blunder to embody their sentiments in the form of resolutions. Defiance of the parliamentary will had already been expressed with greater dignity and propriety in the remonstrance to the House of Commons, which gave assurance that Virginia "<u>will never consent to the Exercise of anticonstitutional Power</u>." Resolutions to that effect could only anger the English government and excite the colonial rabble. Finally, in both their original and final phraseology, they fell somewhat short in respect to argumentative power of the three papers approved by the General Assembly in 1764, especially of the remonstrance drafted by Wythe. A crushing indictment, that. Though rather contrary to general opinion, it is nevertheless true. One has only to compare the documents to prove the superficiality of earlier analyses. The first of the resolutions proclaimed that the colonists had forfeited by emigration none of their rights as Britons; the second, that royal charters admitted this fact; the third, that taxation by the people or by their representatives was
+
reckless demonstrations which they prompted. They were ill-timed and too precipitate: were not formal answers to the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|address, memorial, and remonstrance]] of the preceding session yet to be received from Westminsiter [''sup'']? Sufficient time had elapsed to make the arrival of official replies a matter of daily expectation.<sup>1</sup> Five months intervened before the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Act]] could be enforced; there was still a dim hope of conciliation. Moreover, it was a tactical blunder to embody their sentiments in the form of resolutions. Defiance of the parliamentary will had already been expressed with greater dignity and propriety in the remonstrance to the [[wikipedia:House of Commons|House of Commons]], which gave assurance that Virginia "<u>will never consent to the Exercise of anticonstitutional Power</u>." Resolutions to that effect could only anger the English government and excite the colonial rabble. Finally, in both their original and final phraseology, they fell somewhat short in respect to argumentative power of the three papers approved by the General Assembly in 1764, especially of the remonstrance drafted by Wythe. A crushing indictment, that! Though rather contrary to general opinion, it is nevertheless true. One has only to compare the documents to prove the superficiality of earlier analyses. The first of the resolutions proclaimed that the colonists had forfeited by emigration none of their rights as Britons; the second, that royal charters admitted this fact; the third, that taxation by the people or by their representatives was
  
 
----
 
----
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===Page 207===
 
===Page 207===
  
a cardinal principle of the English constitution; the fourth, that the General Assembly's control over local taxes and affairs had been recognized and enjoyed uninterruptedly; the fifth, which was amended, passed, and expunged, that attempts to undermine that control tended to destroy American and British freedom. Each of these observations had been enunciated six months earlier with equal firmness and superior taste in the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|remonstrance, written by Wythe]], whose constitutional theory was bolstered by practical reasons foreign to Henry's resolutions &mdash; denouncing a stamp levy, as has been stated, also on the ground that it was destructive of prosperity in both Virginia and England.
+
a cardinal principle of the English constitution; the fourth, that the General Assembly's control over local taxes and affairs had been recognized and enjoyed uninterruptedly; the fifth, which was amended, passed, and expunged, that attempts to undermine that control tended to destroy American and British freedom. Each of these observations had been enunciated six months earlier with equal firmness and superior taste in the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|remonstrance, written by Wythe]], whose constitutional theory was bolstered by practical reasons foreign to [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Henry's]] resolutions &mdash; denouncing a stamp levy, as has been stated, also on the ground that it was destructive of prosperity in both Virginia and England.
  
 
The "alarm bell" resolutions of 1765, then, were merely a partial reaffirmation of principles which had already recieved unanimous approval in both branches of Virginia's legislature. [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|John Robinson]], [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], Wythe, [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]], [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas, Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas|]], [[Edmund Pendleton]], and others who voted against Henry did so from no disagreement with the content of his propositions. They believed in the rational wisdom of allowing the equally strong but more conciliatory protests which they had fathered in 1764 to stand as the sole evidence of Virginia's position in the matter.<sup>1</sup> Besides, if official recognition were not soon taken of those papers,
 
The "alarm bell" resolutions of 1765, then, were merely a partial reaffirmation of principles which had already recieved unanimous approval in both branches of Virginia's legislature. [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|John Robinson]], [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], Wythe, [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]], [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas, Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas|]], [[Edmund Pendleton]], and others who voted against Henry did so from no disagreement with the content of his propositions. They believed in the rational wisdom of allowing the equally strong but more conciliatory protests which they had fathered in 1764 to stand as the sole evidence of Virginia's position in the matter.<sup>1</sup> Besides, if official recognition were not soon taken of those papers,
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===Page 208===
 
===Page 208===
  
would Virginia not have gained the advantage of putting her British rulers in the wrong? In that event her ability to confront the ministry with the serious charge that her professed grievances had been utterly ignored might be a potent factor in later demands for parliamentary concessions or submission.<sup>1</sup> The question on which Wythe did not see eye to eye with Henry, was, therefore, essentially one of method rather than of principle. Subsequent events indicate on the whole the soundness of the former's judgment in preferring the less provocative means of voicing disapproval of the new parliamentary policy; repeal of the Stamp Act came, as has been shown, along lines which he alone had suggested in his warning of its effects upon British trade. To this extent experience and reason triumphed over out and emotion. But none would say that Henry's resolutions, whether they be a product of thoughtless boldness or of deliberate strategy, did not perform a distinct service in the crises preceding American Independence. Though they were instrumental in generating a popular clamor which embarrassed the cause of repeal more than it aided in the attainment of that goal, yet the fact that fresh daring and immoderate forms were so easily given to the old spirit of resistance attests the need for someone to represent the robust feelings of the more unthinking, less tactful elements in colonial politics and society.<sup>2</sup>
+
would Virginia not have gained the advantage of putting her British rulers in the wrong? In that event her ability to confront the ministry with the serious charge that her professed grievances had been utterly ignored might be a potent factor in later demands for parliamentary concessions or submission.<sup>1</sup> The question on which Wythe did not see eye to eye with [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Henry]], was, therefore, essentially one of method rather than of principle. Subsequent events indicate on the whole the soundness of the former's judgment in preferring the less provocative means of voicing disapproval of the new parliamentary policy; repeal of the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] came, as has been shown, along lines which he alone had suggested in his warning of its effects upon British trade. To this extent experience and reason triumphed over youth and emotion. But none would say that Henry's resolutions, whether they be a product of thoughtless boldness or of deliberate strategy, did not perform a distinct service in the crises preceding American Independence. Though they were instrumental in generating a popular clamor which embarrassed the cause of repeal more than it aided in the attainment of that goal, yet the fact that fresh daring and immoderate forms were so easily given to the old spirit of resistance attests the need for someone to represent the robust feelings of the more unthinking, less tactful elements in colonial politics and society.<sup>2</sup>
  
 
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===Page 209===
 
===Page 209===
  
The Committee of Correspondence had met in December, 1764, on the day after that on which the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|address, memorial, and remonstrance]] received final approval in the General Assembly, and these papers were sent posthaste to Montague as enclosures in a letter signed the very next day. By way of significant contrast, it is interesting to note that the committee, each of whose members from the House of Burgesses had probably been aligned in opposition to Henry, felt no obligation to equal enthusiasm and hurry in transmitting to the agent news of the resolutions passed in the following May. It did not find occasion to perform that function until three and a half months had elapsed, and the tenor of its report to Montague may be guessed from the fact that Peyton Randolph, Wythe, and [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas, Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]] were delegated to draw up the usual explanatory letter.<sup>1</sup>
+
The [[wikipedia:Committee of Correspondence|Committee of Correspondence]] had met in December, 1764, on the day after that on which the [[Remonstrance to the House of Commons|address, memorial, and remonstrance]] received final approval in the General Assembly, and these papers were sent posthaste to Montague as enclosures in a letter signed the very next day. By way of significant contrast, it is interesting to note that the Committee, each of whose members from the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] had probably been aligned in opposition to [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Henry]], felt no obligation to equal enthusiasm and hurry in transmitting to the agent news of the resolutions passed in the following May. It did not find occasion to perform that function until three and a half months had elapsed, and the tenor of its report to Montague may be guessed from the fact that [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], Wythe, and [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas, Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]] were delegated to draw up the usual explanatory letter.<sup>1</sup>
  
Sequels in Virginia to the adoption of Henry's resolutions were exciting, but little information as to the role which Wythe played in them can be gleaned. Upon hearing of the resolutions Fauquier dissolved the House by an immediate proclamation, dispensing with the customary "civility of a parting speech."<sup>2</sup> A mere prorogation would have been an inadequate rebuff to its obstreperous members; Fauquier hoped that by dissolution he was giving to their constituents a chance to
+
Sequels in Virginia to the adoption of Henry's resolutions were exciting, but little information as to the role which Wythe played in them can be gleaned. Upon hearing of the resolutions [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] dissolved the House by an immediate proclamation, dispensing with the customary "civility of a parting speech."<sup>2</sup> A mere prorogation would have been an inadequate rebuff to its obstreperous members; Fauquier hoped that by dissolution he was giving to their constituents a chance to
  
 
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===Page 210===
 
===Page 210===
  
rebuke Henry's supporters at the polls in the resultant general election of that summer. It was a vain whish. Only four changes in the Burgesses' personnel were to be noted when the new House convened, and at least one of these is directly attributable to the death in the interim of a former burgess.<sup>1</sup> Whether unrecorded votes on the resolutions became an issue in the campaigns of old members for reelection is unknown in most instances. But it is certain that the stand against Henry's misguided defiance which George Wythe had taken did not bring down upon his head marked disfavor in the eyes of his constituents. Elizabeth City County freeholders, each of whom voted for two representatives, polled an even hundred votes for him; his chief rival candidates, Col. Wilson Miles Cary and Capt. James Wallace, for each of whom Wythe himself cast a courteous vote, received totals of 81 and 69, respectively.<sup>2</sup> Perhaps disappointed in the very slight turnover secured by the election, and certainly alarmed as the year 1765 drew almost violently to a close, Fauquier determined not to call the Burgesses together before more than a year had passed, unless some urgent necessity demanded an earlier session. To the home government he explained late in 1765,
+
rebuke [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Henry's]] supporters at the polls in the resultant general election of that summer. It was a vain wish. Only four changes in the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses']] personnel were to be noted when the new House convened, and at least one of these is directly attributable to the death in the interim of a former burgess.<sup>1</sup> Whether unrecorded votes on the resolutions became an issue in the campaigns of old members for reelection is unknown in most instances. But it is certain that the stand against Henry's misguided defiance which George Wythe had taken did not bring down upon his head marked disfavor in the eyes of his constituents. [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]] freeholders, each of whom voted for two representatives, polled an even hundred votes for him; his chief rival candidates, Col. Wilson Miles Cary and Capt. James Wallace, for each of whom Wythe himself cast a courteous vote, received totals of 81 and 69, respectively.<sup>2</sup> Perhaps disappointed in the very slight turnover secured by the election, and certainly alarmed as the year 1765 drew almost violently to a close, [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] determined not to call the Burgesses together before more than a year had passed, unless some urgent necessity demanded an earlier session. To the home government he explained late in 1765,
  
 
----
 
----
1. John P. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1766-1769</u>, 3-4. Speaker John Robinson had died, as will be noted in the next chapter. One of the new faces was that of George Washington.
+
1. John P. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1766-1769</u>, 3-4. [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|Speaker John Robinson]] had died, as will be noted in the next chapter. One of the new faces was that of [[wikipedia:George Washington|George Washington]].
  
 
2. Poll of the Election of August 23, 1765, <u>Deeds and Wills, 1763-1771</u>, 77-78, Elizabeth City County Records. Col. William Wager was given six votes.
 
2. Poll of the Election of August 23, 1765, <u>Deeds and Wills, 1763-1771</u>, 77-78, Elizabeth City County Records. Col. William Wager was given six votes.
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"my present plan is to give them to next November to cool ...",<sup>1</sup> and he defended that intention, when recommendation of a briefer adjournment came from abroad, with more diatribes against temperaments "so heated as to shut up all avenues to reason",<sup>2</sup> before which, though he was relatively sympathetic and quite anxious to put an end to agitations, he was completely baffled. Wythe thought it well early in 1766 to inform one of his fellow burgesses who lived at a distance of the probable postponement of the next session. "It is generally believed", he wrote to Richard Henry Lee, that "the general assembly, last prorogued to the last Thursday in May, will not meet til [<u>sic</u>] some time in autumn, unless instructions from G[reat] Britain, or some unforeseen emergency here may call us sooner together." Leaving this letter unsealed until he reached the place at which it was to be mailed, he added a postscript, "In my way down [the] street I called at the printing office for a [copy of the] proclamation by which the assembly was prorogued, to be sent to you, but no
+
"my present plan is to give them to next November to cool ...",<sup>1</sup> and he defended that intention, when recommendation of a briefer adjournment came from abroad, with more diatribes against temperaments "so heated as to shut up all avenues to reason",<sup>2</sup> before which, though he was relatively sympathetic and quite anxious to put an end to agitations, he was completely baffled. Wythe thought it well early in 1766 to inform one of his fellow burgesses who lived at a distance of the probable postponement of the next session. "It is generally believed", he wrote to [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]], that "the general assembly, last prorogued to the last Thursday in May, will not meet til [<u>sic</u>] some time in autumn, unless instructions from G[reat] Britain, or some unforeseen emergency here may call us sooner together." Leaving this letter unsealed until he reached the place at which it was to be mailed, he added a postscript, "In my way down [the] street I called at the printing office for a [copy of the] proclamation by which the assembly was prorogued, to be sent to you, but no
  
 
----
 
----
1. Francis Fauquier to Secretary Conway, November 24, 1765, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 381, New York Public Library.
+
1. [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Francis Fauquier]] to [[wikipedia:Henry Seymour Conway|Secretary Conway]], November 24, 1765, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 381, New York Public Library.
  
 
2. <u>Id</u>. to <u>id</u>., December 11, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., 386. This letter continued, in part: "At the time the Resolutions [of May, 1765] were passed in a very thin House, I hoped a fuller House would have quashed them, but by what has since happened ... I fear I was mistaken in that point; though possibly that might have been the case then before the leaven of the North had sufficiently fermented the minds of the Virginians. At present the Colonies reciprocally inflame each other, and where the fury will stop, I know not": <u>ibid</u>., 386-387.
 
2. <u>Id</u>. to <u>id</u>., December 11, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., 386. This letter continued, in part: "At the time the Resolutions [of May, 1765] were passed in a very thin House, I hoped a fuller House would have quashed them, but by what has since happened ... I fear I was mistaken in that point; though possibly that might have been the case then before the leaven of the North had sufficiently fermented the minds of the Virginians. At present the Colonies reciprocally inflame each other, and where the fury will stop, I know not": <u>ibid</u>., 386-387.
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person was there."<sup>1</sup>
 
person was there."<sup>1</sup>
  
On the thirtieth day of October, 1765, Col. George Mercer, collector of the stamp duties for Virginia, arrived in Williamsburg. It was an unfortunate time, for the usual concourse of people were there in attendance upon he fall session of the General Court. Mercer's appearance, however, showed that they were in no ordinary mood. Stirring scenes and impromptu conferences occurred spontaneously between Mercer, with whom Fauquier and members of the Council took sides, and an unidentified populace. Threats and signs of an imminent riot increased by the hour, and the danger was averted only by a promise which the people forced from Mercer on the afternoon of the next day that he would sell no stamps. The helpless Fauquier realized that his own deserved respect in the popular affections, which was his by reason of both his position and personality, had been really the sole guarantee of Mercer's safety before the latter yielded; and in a mystified and horrified vein he wrote detailed reports to England admitting his utter inability to keep the situation under control.<sup>2</sup> Wythe could scarcely have escaped becoming embroiled in the opposition to or defense of Mercer, however little taste he had for such proceedings. Whatever stand he took, doubtless he gave modest and ineffectual counsel for
+
On the thirtieth day of October, 1765, [[wikipedia:George Mercer (military officer)|Col. George Mercer]], collector of the stamp duties for Virginia, arrived in Williamsburg. It was an unfortunate time, for the usual concourse of people were there in attendance upon the fall session of the General Court. Mercer's appearance, however, showed that they were in no ordinary mood. Stirring scenes and impromptu conferences occurred spontaneously between Mercer, with whom [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] and members of the Council took sides, and an unidentified populace. Threats and signs of an imminent riot increased by the hour, and the danger was averted only by a promise which the people forced from Mercer on the afternoon of the next day that he would sell no stamps. The helpless Fauquier realized that his own deserved respect in the popular affections, which was his by reason of both his position and personality, had been really the sole guarantee of Mercer's safety before the latter yielded; and in a mystified and horrified vein he wrote detailed reports to England admitting his utter inability to keep the situation under control.<sup>2</sup> Wythe could scarcely have escaped becoming embroiled in the opposition to or defense of Mercer, however little taste he had for such proceedings. Whatever stand he took, doubtless he gave modest and ineffectual counsel for
  
 
----
 
----
1. George Wythe to Richard Henry Lee, February 14, 1766, Lee Papers, University of Virginia Library.
+
1. George Wythe to [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]], February 14, 1766, Lee Papers, University of Virginia Library.
  
2. Francis Fauquier to the Board of Trade, November 3, 1765, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 347-371, New York Public Library; <u>id</u>. to Secretary Conway, November 5, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., 373-375.
+
2. Francis Fauquier to the Board of Trade, November 3, 1765, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 347-371, New York Public Library; <u>id</u>. to [[wikipedia:Henry Seymour Conway|Secretary Conway]], November 5, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., 373-375.
  
 
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===Page 213===
  
moderation. Mercer's fate and failure to collect a single shilling is of more definite interest because Richard Henry Lee had applied for his position and, but for retraction on wise second thought, would have been in his luckless shoes. Eight months later Lee was forced to publish an <u>apologia</u> in the <u>Virginia Gazette</u>, but nothing which he could do for several years was quite equal to the task of blotting out of public remembrance the imputation of disloyalty which had been circulated because of his application. Wythe's aid in restoring his political reputation may have been enlisted and exerted in a manner unknown, for an endorsement on the back of his public statement, written in a hand other than that of Lee, reads: "Letter to M<sup>r</sup>. Wythe res[pectin]<sup>g</sup> charges vs him &mdash;"<sup>1</sup> Though some contrived to do business without the stamps, most courts in Virginia were closed by an informal boycott; the colonists preferred to dispense with the administration of justice rather than to contribute through them to the British treasury. Certain other channels of business were likewise affected by similar choices, and a non-importation association was formed spontaneously. As early as ten days after Mercer's arrival Fauquier was informed that the resultant commercial and legal stagnation would soon become alarmingly oppressive to the colonists,<sup>2</sup> and until the end of the
+
moderation. [[wikipedia:George Mercer (military officer)|Mercer's]] fate and failure to collect a single shilling is of more definite interest because [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]] had applied for his position and, but for retraction on wise second thought, would have been in his luckless shoes. Eight months later Lee was forced to publish an <u>apologia</u> in the <u>Virginia Gazette</u>, but nothing which he could do for several years was quite equal to the task of blotting out of public remembrance the imputation of disloyalty which had been circulated because of his application. Wythe's aid in restoring his political reputation may have been enlisted and exerted in a manner unknown, for an endorsement on the back of his public statement, written in a hand other than that of Lee, reads: "Letter to M<sup>r</sup>. Wythe res[pectin]<sup>g</sup> charges vs him &mdash;"<sup>1</sup> Though some contrived to do business without the stamps, most courts in Virginia were closed by an informal boycott; the colonists preferred to dispense with the administration of justice rather than to contribute through them to the British treasury. Certain other channels of business were likewise affected by similar choices, and a non-importation association was formed spontaneously. As early as ten days after Mercer's arrival [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] was informed that the resultant commercial and legal stagnation would soon become alarmingly oppressive to the colonists,<sup>2</sup> and until the end of the
  
 
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year he expressed hopes that it would "open their eyes and bring them to another way of thinking,"<sup>1</sup> that thus the Stamp Act "will in time enforce itself ...."<sup>2</sup> But he underestimated the resolution of Virginians or overestimated their inconveniences; with rather remarkable unanimity they upheld their self-imposed restrictions until the Act was repealed. Early in 1766 one of them even had the effrontery to interpret certain of these restraints as a blessing in disguise, while more justly assuring a London friend that their evil effects
+
year he expressed hopes that it would "open their eyes and bring them to another way of thinking,"<sup>1</sup> that thus the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] "will in time enforce itself...."<sup>2</sup> But he underestimated the resolution of Virginians or overestimated their inconveniences; with rather remarkable unanimity they upheld their self-imposed restrictions until the Act was repealed. Early in 1766 one of them even had the effrontery to interpret certain of these restraints as a blessing in disguise, while more justly assuring a London friend that their evil effects
  
 
----
 
----
1. <u>Id</u>. to Secretary Conway, December 11, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., 387.
+
1. <u>Id</u>. to [[wikipedia:Henry Seymour Conway|Secretary Conway]], December 11, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., 387.
  
 
2. <u>Id</u> to the Board of Trade, December 17, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., 393. The Board took careful notice of such sentiments in his letters: entries of January 23, January 27, and February 6, 1766, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXXIV, 21, 25-26, 34-35, respectively, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library.
 
2. <u>Id</u> to the Board of Trade, December 17, 1765, <u>ibid</u>., 393. The Board took careful notice of such sentiments in his letters: entries of January 23, January 27, and February 6, 1766, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXXIV, 21, 25-26, 34-35, respectively, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library.
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would rebound to England.<sup>1</sup>
 
would rebound to England.<sup>1</sup>
  
Though news of the revocation of the Stamp Act became a signal for the most jubilant celebrations the colonies had ever staged, they did not win an unqualified victory. At the same time Parliament passed an act asserting its claim to absolute authority over American Britons in all their affairs. The imperial issue of direct taxation was postponed, not solved. Foreboding for the future might well have been intermingled with the almost unmitigated rejoicing of the present.
+
Though news of the revocation of the [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] became a signal for the most jubilant celebrations the colonies had ever staged, they did not win an unqualified victory. At the same time Parliament passed an act asserting its claim to absolute authority over American Britons in all their affairs. The imperial issue of direct taxation was postponed, not solved. Foreboding for the future might well have been intermingled with the almost unmitigated rejoicing of the present.
  
 
----
 
----
1. "In this province our minds begin to grow calm. We see with certainty that the stroke will recoil with double force to yourselves, and ultimately be the most beneficial measure for us that can possibly be invented. I will tell you its present benefits. We have the pleasure to see the extremest frugality assumed by all ranks of people; every article of luxury is banished; and those are esteemed the best patriots, and most in fashion, whose clothes are most thread bare and patched. I sincerely pity you and other creditors, upon whom the storm must fall the heaviest. You compute this colony owes to Great Britain a million [in private debts]; you know we cannot raise a mite towards the discharge of it. Our provincial debt amounts to <s>L</s>250,000. The new duties and stamps will complete our bankruptcy; and if we coin papers, it cannot be a legal tender, and of course useless. But you [creditors] will not be the only sufferers. The public [treasury] will lose more in its revenue on tobacco than it will gain bystamps. We cultivate that commodity to exchange for your manufactures, which, we shall convince you, we have no need of": extract of a letter from Virginia to London, dated January 6, 1766, as printed in the <u>New London Gazette</u>, August 2, 1766, quoted in Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 276-277, New York Public Library.
+
1. "In this province our minds begin to grow calm. We see with certainty that the stroke will recoil with double force to yourselves, and ultimately be the most beneficial measure for us that can possibly be invented. I will tell you its present benefits. We have the pleasure to see the extremest frugality assumed by all ranks of people; every article of luxury is banished; and those are esteemed the best patriots, and most in fashion, whose clothes are most thread bare and patched. I sincerely pity you and other creditors, upon whom the storm must fall the heaviest. You compute this colony owes to Great Britain a million [in private debts]; you know we cannot raise a mite towards the discharge of it. Our provincial debt amounts to <s>L</s>250,000. The new duties and stamps will complete our bankruptcy; and if we coin papers, it cannot be a legal tender, and of course useless. But you [creditors] will not be the only sufferers. The public [treasury] will lose more in its revenue on tobacco than it will gain by stamps. We cultivate that commodity to exchange for your manufactures, which, we shall convince you, we have no need of": extract of a letter from Virginia to London, dated January 6, 1766, as printed in the <u>New London Gazette</u>, August 2, 1766, quoted in Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 276-277, New York Public Library.
  
 
==Chapter VI==
 
==Chapter VI==
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<center>
 
<center>
WYTHE THE CLERK: HIS TRUE NICHE ATTAINED
+
[[George Wythe|WYTHE]] THE CLERK: HIS TRUE NICHE ATTAINED
 
</center>
 
</center>
  
  
 
<center>
 
<center>
<u>Fauquier's Thwarted Recommendation</u>
+
<u>[[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier's]] Thwarted Recommendation</u>
 
</center>
 
</center>
  
The Stamp Act controversy was followed by the most sweeping realignment of leaders in principal Virginia offices which took place in any brief period of the eighteenth century. George Wythe was a candidate in 1766 for the position of second rank in the colony, but additional significance is attached to the shifting of officers in that year by the fact that the new men continued without exception until the actual outbreak of the Revolution to hold the reins of Virginia's government.
+
The [[wikipedia:Stamp Act 1765|Stamp Act]] controversy was followed by the most sweeping realignment of leaders in principal Virginia offices which took place in any brief period of the eighteenth century. George Wythe was a candidate in 1766 for the position of second rank in the colony, but additional significance is attached to the shifting of officers in that year by the fact that the new men continued without exception until the actual outbreak of the Revolution to hold the reins of Virginia's government.
  
The position of Speaker of the House of Burgesses &mdash; to which the duties of the colony's Treasurer had long been attached through a custom by which the two offices were invariably and perfunctorily vested in the same person &mdash; was by far the most important one which a Virginian could attain. For more than twenty years John Robinson had been its incumbent. Murmurs of dissatisfaction with his execution of its functions were first heard during the General Assembly's session in May, 1765, when a bill to provide for loans from the public treasury to private persons was defeated by the Council after passage in the House. It was charged by its opponents that the bill disguised an effort by Robinson and
+
The position of Speaker of the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] &mdash; to which the duties of the colony's Treasurer had long been attached through a custom by which the two offices were invariably and perfunctorily vested in the same person &mdash; was by far the most important one which a Virginian could attain. For more than twenty years [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|John Robinson]] had been its incumbent. Murmurs of dissatisfaction with his execution of its functions were first heard during the General Assembly's session in May, 1765, when a bill to provide for loans from the public treasury to private persons was defeated by the Council after passage in the House. It was charged by its opponents that the bill disguised an effort by Robinson and
  
 
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===Page 217===
  
his friends to shift to the public the burden of loans already made illegally from the colonial storehouse.<sup>1</sup> The failure of this bill indicated a partial loss of the faith and prestige which Robinson had enjoyed. In addition, the success of Patrick Henry's resolutions, though they were barely passed over the opposition of men like Robinson, Peyton Randolph, and Wythe, presaged a possible turnover in colonial offices.
+
his friends to shift to the public the burden of loans already made illegally from the colonial storehouse.<sup>1</sup> The failure of this bill indicated a partial loss of the faith and prestige which [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|Robinson]] had enjoyed. In addition, the success of [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Patrick Henry's]] resolutions, though they were barely passed over the opposition of men like Robinson, [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]], and Wythe, presaged a possible turnover in colonial offices.
  
Such at least was the fear of Lieutenant-Governor Fauquier, who dreaded the threatened necessity of finding other able leaders, lest they prove less cooperative with him in
+
Such at least was the fear of [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Lieutenant-Governor Fauquier]], who dreaded the threatened necessity of finding other able leaders, lest they prove less cooperative with him in
  
 
----
 
----
1. This episode is not thoroughly related because no evidence has been found to show Wythe's position in the matter. Subsequent developments did actually prove a considerable delinquency in Robinson's accounts. The writer believes that Mr. David J. Mays of Richmond has some valuable materials on Edmund Pendleton's defense of Robinson. Repercussions of this affair, which, as will be noted later, was not finally settled for some years, were still to be seen in 1776. Relating his experiences in the Continental Congress, John Adams wrote, "Jealousies and divisions appeared among the delegates of no State [colony] more remarkably than among those of Virginia. Mr. Wythe told me that Thomas [Ludwell] Lee, the elder brother of Richard Henry [Lee], was the delight of the eyes of Virginia, and by far the most popular man they had; but Richard Henry was not. I asked the reason; for Mr. Lee appeared [to be] a scholar, a gentleman, a man of uncommon eloquence, and an agreeable man. Mr. Wythe said this was all true, but Mr. Lee had, when he was very young, and when he first came into the House of Burgesses, moved and urged on an inquiry into the state of the treasury, which was found deficient in large sums, which had been lent by the treasurer to many of the most influential families of the country, who found themselves exposed, and had never forgiven Mr. Lee. This, he said, had made him so many enemies, that he never had recovered his reputation, but was still heartily hated by great numbers": Autobiography of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, ed., <u>The Works of John Adams</u>, III, 31-32.
+
1. This episode is not thoroughly related because no evidence has been found to show Wythe's position in the matter. Subsequent developments did actually prove a considerable delinquency in Robinson's accounts. The writer believes that Mr. David J. Mays of Richmond has some valuable materials on [[Edmund Pendleton|Edmund Pendleton's]] defense of Robinson. Repercussions of this affair, which, as will be noted later, was not finally settled for some years, were still to be seen in 1776. Relating his experiences in the Continental Congress, [[wikipedia:John Adams|John Adams]] wrote, "Jealousies and divisions appeared among the delegates of no State [colony] more remarkably than among those of Virginia. Mr. Wythe told me that [[wikipedia:Thomas Ludwell Lee|Thomas [Ludwell] Lee]], the elder brother of [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry [Lee]]], was the delight of the eyes of Virginia, and by far the most popular man they had; but Richard Henry was not. I asked the reason; for Mr. Lee appeared [to be] a scholar, a gentleman, a man of uncommon eloquence, and an agreeable man. Mr. Wythe said this was all true, but Mr. Lee had, when he was very young, and when he first came into the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]], moved and urged on an inquiry into the state of the treasury, which was found deficient in large sums, which had been lent by the treasurer to many of the most influential families of the country, who found themselves exposed, and had never forgiven Mr. Lee. This, he said, had made him so many enemies, that he never had recovered his reputation, but was still heartily hated by great numbers": Autobiography of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, ed., <u>The Works of John Adams</u>, III, 31-32.
  
 
===Page 218===
 
===Page 218===
  
his conciliatory policy, which was in essence a favorable blending of sympathy for orderly colonial opinion with loyalty to England. Soon after he had dissolved the Assembly in 1765 he informed British administrators of his impression that Robinson might not be reelected by the new Burgesses to their speakership. Anticipating his problems in that eventuality, he affirmed his belief that the House would always appoint its presiding officer as Treasurer and asked whether he should approve that custom, favor a separation of those two powers, or try to retain Robinson in the treasury against all comers.<sup>1</sup> He was advised to use his own discretion if his fear was realized, though the home government recommended mildly the selection of different men for the two offices.<sup>2</sup>
+
his conciliatory policy, which was in essence a favorable blending of sympathy for orderly colonial opinion with loyalty to England. Soon after he had dissolved the Assembly in 1765 he informed British administrators of his impression that [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|Robinson]] might not be reelected by the new Burgesses to their speakership. Anticipating his problems in that eventuality, he affirmed his belief that the House would always appoint its presiding officer as Treasurer and asked whether he should approve that custom, favor a separation of those two powers, or try to retain Robinson in the treasury against all comers.<sup>1</sup> He was advised to use his own discretion if his fear was realized, though the home government recommended mildly the selection of different men for the two offices.<sup>2</sup>
  
The decreased popularity of Robinson among his colleagues was not to be measured by the test of their votes, for he died in May, 1766, about six months before the House of Burgesses was to convene again. Because no gentleman of known capacity seemed to desire the treasury office, the upright Robert Carter Nicholas offered his services, in a magnificently patriotic and unselfish manner. Avowedly he preferred to abandon his more lucrative legal practise rather than to stand by idly while inferior hands administered the colony's funds. Fauquier, with consent of the Council, appointed him to fill the
+
The decreased popularity of Robinson among his colleagues was not to be measured by the test of their votes, for he died in May, 1766, about six months before the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] was to convene again. Because no gentleman of known capacity seemed to desire the treasury office, the upright [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Robert Carter Nicholas]] offered his services, in a magnificently patriotic and unselfish manner. Avowedly he preferred to abandon his more lucrative legal practise rather than to stand by idly while inferior hands administered the colony's funds. [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]], with consent of the Council, appointed him to fill the
  
 
----
 
----
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===Page 219===
 
===Page 219===
  
vacancy until the Burgesses should meet again, and his pleasure in securing a man of Nicholas' stamp was not lessened when it was rumored that the latter's friends in the House, hoping to secure his continuance in that office, would attempt in the coming session to break the precedent of selecting one man as Speaker and Treasurer.<sup>1</sup> This they were able to do, and the impeccable Nicholas received and disbursed the colony's funds flawlessly until Virginia was no longer a colony.
+
vacancy until the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses]] should meet again, and his pleasure in securing a man of [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Nicholas']] stamp was not lessened when it was rumored that the latter's friends in the House, hoping to secure his continuance in that office, would attempt in the coming session to break the precedent of selecting one man as Speaker and Treasurer.<sup>1</sup> This they were able to do, and the impeccable Nicholas received and disbursed the colony's funds flawlessly until Virginia was no longer a colony.
  
Meantime, speculation as to Robinson's successor in the chair of the House was rife. Fauquier formulated his own ideas on this vital problem within a few days of the former Speaker's death, as indeed he should properly have done in the interests of harmony between Virginia and under his administration and the Mother Country. He informed his English superiors that he intended to exert his influence toward the elevation of Peyton Randolph to the speakership and that he would appoint Wythe Attorney General if Randolph thereby resigned his former position:
+
Meantime, speculation as to [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|Robinson's]] successor in the chair of the House was rife. [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] formulated his own ideas on this vital problem within a few days of the former Speaker's death, as indeed he should properly have done in the interests of harmony between Virginia and under his administration and the Mother Country. He informed his English superiors that he intended to exert his influence toward the elevation of [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]] to the speakership and that he would appoint Wythe Attorney General if Randolph thereby resigned his former position:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
I have heard of two candidates for his [Robinson's] office, viz<sup>t</sup> his Majesty's Attorney General Mr [Peyton] Randolph and Mr [Richard Henry] Lee. The first is of all men in this Colony, in my judgment the best qualified to repair the loss, as he possesses the good qualities of his late most intimate friend and has always been one of the foremost to promote his Majesty's service in all the requisitions of the Crown and has always used his endeavors to induce the Assembly to concur with me in all the measures which were conducible [conducive] to the honor and dignity of the Crown, and [to] the peace and advantage of the Colony. On these accounts my wishes for success attend him.
+
I have heard of two candidates for his [Robinson's] office, viz<sup><u>t</u></sup> his Majesty's Attorney General Mr [Peyton] Randolph and Mr [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|[Richard Henry] Lee]]. The first is of all men in this Colony, in my judgment the best qualified to repair the loss, as he possesses the good qualities of his late most intimate friend and has always been one of the foremost to promote his Majesty's service in all the requisitions of the Crown and has always used his endeavors to induce the Assembly to concur with me in all the measures which were conducible [conducive] to the honor and dignity of the Crown, and [to] the peace and advantage of the Colony. On these accounts my wishes for success attend him.
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
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===Page 220===
 
===Page 220===
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
In case of a vacancy in the place of Attorney General I intend to nominate Mr Geo Wythe to succeed Mr Randolph till his Majesty shall be pleased to appoint another. This gentleman has also exerted him self in support of gov<sup>t</sup> particularly so in his opposetion to the late hot and virulent resolutions [of May, 1765,] which brought on the dissolution [of the House]. Such men my Lords, I am humbly of opinion merit the favorable eye of gov<sup>t</sup> and I hope your Lordships will think it for the service of the Crown to let it be cast on them.
+
In case of a vacancy in the place of Attorney General I intend to nominate Mr Geo Wythe to succeed [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Mr Randolph]] till his Majesty shall be pleased to appoint another. This gentleman has also exerted him self in support of gov<sup>t</sup> particularly so in his opposetion to the late hot and virulent resolutions [of May, 1765,] which brought on the dissolution [of the House]. Such men my Lords, I am humbly of opinion merit the favorable eye of gov<sup><u>t</u></sup> and I hope your Lordships will think it for the service of the Crown to let it be cast on them.
  
 
I cannot my Lords deny this truth, that I have conceived a love and esteem for these gentlemen, but if I know my own heart, it was at first generated and has been since nourished by my observing their conduct both in public and private life, which has been uniformly void of guile and steady in the support of Gov<sup><u>t</u>
 
I cannot my Lords deny this truth, that I have conceived a love and esteem for these gentlemen, but if I know my own heart, it was at first generated and has been since nourished by my observing their conduct both in public and private life, which has been uniformly void of guile and steady in the support of Gov<sup><u>t</u>
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</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
However secret these intentions may have been from others, Fauquier did not hide them from his friend Wythe, who was made fully aware of the approbation which the lieutenantgovernor felt toward him. Wythe thought the chances of Randolph's election as Speaker so good that he took steps fully four months before the expected session to secure an endorsement abroad of his candidacy for the vacancy which might then occur in the Attorney General's office. To Benjamin Franklin, who had recently given influential testimony before Parliament favoring a repeal of the Stamp Act, Wythe wrote a tactful letter which concluded with an aptly turned classical quotation:
+
However secret these intentions may have been from others, [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] did not hide them from his friend Wythe, who was made fully aware of the approbation which the lieutenant governor felt toward him. Wythe thought the chances of Randolph's election as Speaker so good that he took steps fully four months before the expected session to secure an endorsement abroad of his candidacy for the vacancy which might then occur in the Attorney General's office. To [[wikipedia:Benjamin Franklin|Benjamin Franklin]], who had recently given influential testimony before Parliament favoring a repeal of the [[wikipedia:John Robinson (Virginia)|Stamp Act]], Wythe wrote a tactful letter which concluded with an aptly turned classical quotation:
  
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
If our attorney ge[neral, Mr. Randolph, should be elected Speaker] of the house of burgesses, and thereby [resign the attorney's office, as in] all probability will be the case, the gover[nor intends to appoint me] to succeed him; and that recommendation, [undoubtedly w]ill be more effectual, were some of those great per[sons t]o whom it must be addressed, to know that such a promotion would be in any degree pleasing to
+
If our attorney ge[neral, Mr. Randolph, should be elected Speaker] of the [[wikipedia:house of burgesses|house of burgesses]], and thereby [resign the attorney's office, as in] all probability will be the case, the gover[nor intends to appoint me] to succeed him; and that recommendation, [undoubtedly w]ill be more effectual, were some of those great per[sons t]o whom it must be addressed, to know that such a promotion would be in any degree pleasing to
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
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===Page 221===
 
===Page 221===
 
<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
doctor Franklin. If you incline to honour me with your patronage in this competition, you will perhaps be partly instrumental in producing that rare phaenomenon [<u>sic</u>] a contented mind, at least in the article of for tune; and you shall find an exception to that observa tion of Tacitus: "Beneficia eo usque lacta sunt, dum videntur exsolvi posse: ubi multum antevenere, pro gratia odium redditur" [Favors are pleasant only to the extent to which they can be repaid; but when they have exceeded that, hatred is returned instead of gratitude].<sup>1</sup>
+
doctor [[wikipedia:Benjamin Franklin|Franklin]]. If you incline to honour me with your patronage in this competition, you will perhaps be partly instrumental in producing that rare phaenomenon [<u>sic</u>] a contented mind, at least in the article of for tune; and you shall find an exception to that observation of [[C. Cornelii Taciti Opera, Quae Exstant|Tacitus]]: "Beneficia eo usque lacta sunt, dum videntur exsolvi posse: ubi multum antevenere, pro gratia odium redditur" [Favors are pleasant only to the extent to which they can be repaid; but when they have exceeded that, hatred is returned instead of gratitude].<sup>1</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
Deprived of a commission in His Majesty's service by the Board of Trade's reversal of its attitude toward peyton Randolph in 1754 and its request that Dinwiddie restore that wayward but repentant agent to office, Wythe thus definitely hoped that his day was coming twelve years later.
+
Deprived of a commission in His Majesty's service by the Board of Trade's reversal of its attitude toward [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|Peyton Randolph]] in 1754 and its request that [[wikipedia:Robert Dinwiddie|Dinwiddie]] restore that wayward but repentant agent to office, Wythe thus definitely hoped that his day was coming twelve years later.
  
Impetus to his wishes must have been given by the Burgesses' selection of Randolph as their Speaker when they convened in November, 1766.<sup>2</sup> Fauquier thereupon urged the Board
+
Impetus to his wishes must have been given by the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|Burgesses']] selection of Randolph as their Speaker when they convened in November, 1766.<sup>2</sup> [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Fauquier]] thereupon urged the Board
  
 
----
 
----
 
1. George Wythe to Benjamin Franklin, June 23, 1766, Franklin Papers, American Philosophical Society Library. The earlier insertions within brackets represent words lost by a V-shaped tear in the original Ms.
 
1. George Wythe to Benjamin Franklin, June 23, 1766, Franklin Papers, American Philosophical Society Library. The earlier insertions within brackets represent words lost by a V-shaped tear in the original Ms.
  
2. Nominated by Archibald Cary, he was victorious over Richard Bland, nominated by Richard Henry Lee: Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses</u>, <u>1766</u>-<u>1769</u>, 11. These nominations and this choice furnish in themselves a rather conclusive rebuttal of the accuracy of the earlier portion of Jefferson's analysis of leadership in the House after 1765. "By these resolutions [of May, 1765,] Mr. Henry took the lead out of the hands of those who had heretofore guided the proceedings of the House, that is to say, of Pendleton, Wythe, Bland, Randolph, Nicholas. These were honest and able men, [who] had begun the opposition on the same grounds, but with a moderation more adapted to their age and experience. Subsequent events favored the bolder spirits of Henry, the Lees, Pages, Mason, etc., with whom I went in all points. Sensible, however, of the importance of unanimity among our constituents, although we often wished to have gone faster, we slackened our pace, that our less ardent colleagues might keep up with us; and they, on their part, differing nothing from us in principle, quickened their gait somewhat beyond that which their prudence might of itself have advised, and thus consolidated the
+
2. Nominated by [[wikipedia:Archibald Cary|Archibald Cary]], he was victorious over [[wikipedia:Richard Bland|Richard Bland]], nominated by [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard Henry Lee]]: Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1766-1769</u>, 11. These nominations and this choice furnish in themselves a rather conclusive rebuttal of the accuracy of the earlier portion of [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson's]] analysis of leadership in the House after 1765. "By these resolutions [of May, 1765,] [[wikipedia:Patrick Henry|Mr. Henry]] took the lead out of the hands of those who had heretofore guided the proceedings of the House, that is to say, of [[Edmund Pendleton|Pendleton]], Wythe, Bland, Randolph, [[wikipedia:Robert Carter Nicholas Sr.|Nicholas]]. These were honest and able men, [who] had begun the opposition on the same grounds, but with a moderation more adapted to their age and experience. Subsequent events favored the bolder spirits of Henry, the Lees, Pages, Mason, etc., with whom I went in all points. Sensible, however, of the importance of unanimity among our constituents, although we often wished to have gone faster, we slackened our pace, that our less ardent colleagues might keep up with us; and they, on their part, differing nothing from us in principle, quickened their gait somewhat beyond that which their prudence might of itself have advised, and thus consolidated the
  
 
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===Page 222===
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<blockquote>
 
<blockquote>
If he [Randolph] should vacate his place of Attorney I propose to nominate Mr. George Wythe to officiate till His Majesty's pleasure be known. He is a gentleman of a most unexceptionable character for his knowledge of the Law, his candor integrity and inflexibility. May I presume to ask your Lordships [<u>sic</u>] interest to procure His Majesty's confirmation of my nomination. I should not dare to ask this particular favor did I not think it for his Majesty's service to promote men who have constantly and uniformly supported government and all His Majesty's requisitions on the House of Burgesses where he [Wythe] has as much weight as any member.
+
If he [[wikipedia:Peyton Randolph|[Randolph]]] should vacate his place of Attorney I propose to nominate Mr George Wythe to officiate till His Majesty's pleasure be known. He is a gentleman of a most unexceptionable character for his knowledge of the Law, his candor integrity and inflexibility. May I presume to ask your Lordships [<u>sic</u>] interest to procure His Majesty's confirmation of my nomination. I should not dare to ask this particular favor did I not think it for his Majesty's service to promote men who have constantly and uniformly supported government and all His Majesty's requisitions on the [[wikipedia:House of Burgesses|House of Burgesses]] where he [Wythe] has as much weight as any member.
  
The advantages arising to a Gov<sup>r</sup>. from his appear ing to have some interest at home will naturally occur to your Lordships [<u>sic</u>] penetration.<sup>2</sup>
+
The advantages arising to a Gov<sup>r</sup>. from his appearing to have some interest at home will naturally occur to your Lordships [<u>sic</u>] penetration.<sup>2</sup>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
  
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----
 
----
phalanx which breasted the power of Britain. By this harmony of the bold with the cautious, we advanced with our constituents in undivided mass, and with fewer examples of separation than, perhaps, existed in any other part of the Union [continental colonies]": Thomas Jefferson to William Wirt, August 14, 1814, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, XIV, 168-169.
+
phalanx which breasted the power of Britain. By this harmony of the bold with the cautious, we advanced with our constituents in undivided mass, and with fewer examples of separation than, perhaps, existed in any other part of the Union [continental colonies]": [[Thomas Jefferson]] to [[wikipedia:William Wirt|William Wirt]], August 14, 1814, Bergh, ed., <u>Writings of Jefferson</u>, XIV, 168-169.
  
1. Francis Fauquier to the Board of Trade, November 10, 1766, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 453-455, New York Public Library. The Board considered this letter with out taking definite action: entry February 24, 1767, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXXV, 70-71, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library. An extract to the same effect from Fauquier's letter of December 18, 1766, was ordered on the same day to be sent to Secretary Shelburne: <u>ibid</u>., 73.
+
1. [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Francis Fauquier]] to the Board of Trade, November 10, 1766, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 453-455, New York Public Library. The Board considered this letter with out taking definite action: entry February 24, 1767, Board of Trade Journals (Transcripts), LXXV, 70-71, Pennsylvania Historical Society Library. An extract to the same effect from Fauquier's letter of December 18, 1766, was ordered on the same day to be sent to Secretary Shelburne: <u>ibid</u>., 73.
  
2. Francis Fauquier to the Earl of Shelburne, November 10, 1766, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 450-451, New York Public Library. In its description of Wythe this letter is practically identical with that of the same day to the Board of Trade, cited in the preceding <u>n</u>.
+
2. Francis Fauquier to the [[wikipedia:William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne|Earl of Shelburne]], November 10, 1766, Virginia Papers (Bancroft Transcripts), I, 450-451, New York Public Library. In its description of Wythe this letter is practically identical with that of the same day to the Board of Trade, cited in the preceding <u>n</u>.
  
 
===Page 223===
 
===Page 223===
  
John Randolph, his brother, who secured the commission in his stead. For once a major recommendation by Faquier was rejected, though no documents have been located to tell the story of its shipwreck. Perhaps Wythe held the office for a short time under the lieutenant-governor's appointment until a commission, gained by stronger influences in England than he and Fauquier could command, came in John Randolph's name.
+
[[wikipedia:John Randolph (loyalist)|John Randolph]], his brother, who secured the commission in his stead. For once a major recommendation by [[wikipedia:Francis Fauquier|Faquier]] was rejected, though no documents have been located to tell the story of its shipwreck. Perhaps Wythe held the office for a short time under the lieutenant-governor's appointment until a commission, gained by stronger influences in England than he and Fauquier could command, came in John Randolph's name.
  
 
Wythe had lost a second time the fruits of royal patronage. The assurance of the Attorney's annual salary of <s>L</s>140, which was raised in 1769 to <s>L</s>340,<sup>1</sup> could not have been unwelcome to him &mdash; nor for that matter, to any other lawyers in the General Court, few of whom, if any, were as successful as he. Moreover, he had failed to gain a position which would have given him an official rank just beneath that of only one Virginian. But had the commission been awarded to him, embarrassments which he could not foresee might have faced him in the future. In John Randolph's incumbency the office lost gradually some of its prestige as the highest in the Colony secured by appointment of the Crown and as that which was secondary only to the speakership; the new Attorney General became more and more out of step with the trend of the times. His dependence upon His Majesty's pleasure became an insurmountable barrier between him and the progress of his colleagues' thought. When independence of Great Britain became
 
Wythe had lost a second time the fruits of royal patronage. The assurance of the Attorney's annual salary of <s>L</s>140, which was raised in 1769 to <s>L</s>340,<sup>1</sup> could not have been unwelcome to him &mdash; nor for that matter, to any other lawyers in the General Court, few of whom, if any, were as successful as he. Moreover, he had failed to gain a position which would have given him an official rank just beneath that of only one Virginian. But had the commission been awarded to him, embarrassments which he could not foresee might have faced him in the future. In John Randolph's incumbency the office lost gradually some of its prestige as the highest in the Colony secured by appointment of the Crown and as that which was secondary only to the speakership; the new Attorney General became more and more out of step with the trend of the times. His dependence upon His Majesty's pleasure became an insurmountable barrier between him and the progress of his colleagues' thought. When independence of Great Britain became
  
 
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1. Governor Botetourt to the Secretary of State, September 23, 1769, <u>ibid</u>., II, states his and John Randolph's appreciation of the increase.
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1. [[wikipedia:Baron Botetourt|Governor Botetourt]] to the Secretary of State, September 23, 1769, <u>ibid</u>., II, states his and John Randolph's appreciation of the increase.
  
 
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</center>
 
</center>
  
Until George Wythe found his true place in the political set-up of the colony, he served in routine ways familiar to him through the first two sessions of the General Assembly which met in 1766 and was continued by prorogations until 1769. It has been stated in the preceding chapter that he had been reelected a burgess in summer of 1765 by his constituents in Elizabeth City County.<sup>1</sup>
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Until George Wythe found his true place in the political set-up of the colony, he served in routine ways familiar to him through the first two sessions of the General Assembly which met in 1766 and was continued by prorogations until 1769. It has been stated in the preceding chapter that he had been reelected a burgess in the summer of 1765 by his constituents in [[wikipedia:Elizabeth City County, Virginia|Elizabeth City County]].<sup>1</sup>
  
 
Upon the organization of the standing committees he was relieved of his duties on the Committee of Trade; but he retained his position as one of the oldest members on those of Privileges and Elections, Propositions and Grievances, and
 
Upon the organization of the standing committees he was relieved of his duties on the Committee of Trade; but he retained his position as one of the oldest members on those of Privileges and Elections, Propositions and Grievances, and
  
 
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1. <u>Cf</u>. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses</u>, <u>1766</u>-<u>1769</u>, 3, 79, 135.
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1. <u>Cf</u>. Kennedy, ed., <u>Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1766-1769</u>, 3, 79, 135.
  
 
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Courts of Justice.<sup>1</sup> And he was one of the members appointed to count the votes in the balloting for a new doorkeeper to the House.<sup>2</sup>
 
Courts of Justice.<sup>1</sup> And he was one of the members appointed to count the votes in the balloting for a new doorkeeper to the House.<sup>2</sup>
  
He participated in the drafting of three bills relating to the ownership of the lands. One of these concerned the vexing question of titles claimed by aliens in the colony.<sup>3</sup> The others were designed to provide typical concessions to individual owners; one was delegated solely to him,<sup>4</sup> the other to several associates.<sup>5</sup>
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He participated in the drafting of three bills relating to the ownership of lands. One of these concerned the vexing question of titles claimed by aliens in the colony.<sup>3</sup> The others were designed to provide typical concessions to individual owners; one was delegated solely to him,<sup>4</sup> the other to several associates.<sup>5</sup>
  
 
He shared with others the responsibility of preparing two ordinary bills, not so easily classifiable, to establish a revision of the legal method of ascertaining book debts,<sup>6</sup> and a new and more expeditious system for criminal trials and for suits in the General Court.<sup>7</sup>
 
He shared with others the responsibility of preparing two ordinary bills, not so easily classifiable, to establish a revision of the legal method of ascertaining book debts,<sup>6</sup> and a new and more expeditious system for criminal trials and for suits in the General Court.<sup>7</sup>
  
Quite properly, since he represented a nearby Chesapeake Bay county, he was included in a committee appointed to draw up proposals for securing a lighthouse a Cape Henry.<sup>8</sup>
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Quite properly, since he represented a nearby Chesapeake Bay county, he was included in a committee appointed to draw up proposals for securing a lighthouse a [[wikipedia:Cape Henry|Cape Henry]].<sup>8</sup>
  
 
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1. Landon Carter, Lemuel Riddick, Benjamin Harrison, and Richard Henry Lee were also on three of the five: <u>ibid</u>., 14-16.
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1. [[wikipedia:Landon Carter|Landon Carter]], Lemuel Riddick, [[wikipedia:Benjamin Harrison V|Benjamin Harrison]], and [[wikipedia:Richard Henry Lee|Richard H