Governor Henry to George Wythe, Speaker of the House of Delegates, 30 October 1777
Letter text, October 30, 1777
Since my Letter of the 22d, the inclosed [sic] Letter from Thomas Adams, Esqr231 came to Hand. It is an Answer to one I wrote him by
Advice of the Council of State, in which I informed him of his having been appointed by a Resolution of the General Assembly one of that Board; but that according to the Plan of Government it was conceived his Election was null and void, if he yet continued to be the Clerk of Henrico County-Court; upon which Point I desired him to give me Information. I cannot mention this Subject, Sir, without expressing the very great Reluctance with which myself & the whole Board of Council took this Step, which we were well aware might be considered by some as too bold & presumptuous- But, after the maturest [sic] Reflections on the Subject, & particularly on the Paths of our Respective Offices, we were of Opinion there was no Alternative, consistent with that Integrity it ought to be out first Care to preserve. And I beg Leave to assure the General Assembly, that in this Business no the least Glimmering of an Idea disrespectful to them was entertained; but, on the contrary, it was painful to find our Selves not at Liberty to indulge our strong Prepossessions in Favour of all their Proceedings, & in Favour too of a Gentleman, whose Merit stands high in our Estimation, but who, nevertheless, would not, as we supposed, have received from the General Assembly this particular Testimony of it, but thro Inadvertence to the disqualifying Circumstance above mentioned.
The Honble George Wythe, Esqr
Speaker of the House of Delegates.
231 Thomas Adams (1730-85) passed some years as a merchant in London; returned to Virginia, and was a member of the continental Congress, 1778. His letters published in the V. H. M., Vol. XXIII, 52 et seq., are very informing with regard to the trade of Virginia just before the Revolution.