Thomas Jefferson Papers

Oath of Allegiance Signed by Citizens of Albemarle County, [1777]

Oath of Allegiance Signed by Citizens of Albemarle County


We whos names are hereunto subscribed do swear that we renounce and refuse all Allegiance to George the third King of Great Britain, his heirs and successors and that I will be faithfull and bear True Allegiance to the commonwealth of Virginia as a free and independent state, and that I will not at any [time] do or cause to be done, any matter or thing that will be prejudicial or injurious to the freedom and independence thereof as declared by congress and also that we will discover and make known to some one justice of the peace for the said state all treasons or traiterous conspiracies which we now or hereafter shall know to be formed against this or any of the united states of America So help me God.

George Gilmer Th: Jefferson Saml. Bowcock
James Quarles Jno Harvie Dd. Morris
Wm: Lewis John Coles John Wallace
Richd: Anderson James Marks Matt: Maury
Peter Marks John Harris Mask Leak
James Bridget John Jouett Robert Cobbs
John Feilder Nichs. Lewis Thos. Gouch
George Norvill Ben Harris Jams. Woods
Nathl: Haggard Saml. Dedman Js. Reid
Henry Mullins Jas. Hopkins Ben: Lacy
Tucker Woodson C. Sims Wm. Tandy Senr
Isaac Davis James Kerr John Reid
Saml. Taliaferro Michl. Wallace Jos. Holt
John Day Randolph Jefferson Wm. Law: Benge
Mica: Chiles Jos. Hail Ben: Jordan
Richd. Harper David Allen J. Henderson Jr.
Wm. Barton Charles Kerr Wm. Barksdale
John Grier Benj. Henderson Thos. Thorpe
Js. Wm. Crosthwait Thos. Overton Hen: Copeland
R Dixon Thos. Martin Junr Richd Goldsby
J Marshall John Wilkinson Heron Gains
Dan. Coleman Ben. Dod Wheeler John Prince
Wm. Wingfeild Peter Jackson Castle: Harper Jr.
Chrs: Wingfeild Henry Herd Danl. Coleman
Wm. Leak John Jouett Jr Wm. Wingfeild
Mar: Haggard Isaac Davis Junr Chs. Wingfeild
Pet: Balieu Philip Mazzei Wm. Leak
Thos. West George Sanders Martin Haggard
Wm. Anderson Richd. Gaines Pet. Balieu
Ths. Anderson Wm. Briscoe Thos. Fantrees
Joseph Neilson Wm. Carrill Js. Mcmannus
Wm. Colvard Robt. Sharpe Senr Saml. Ray
Wm. Fossetts Robt. Sharpe Junr. Ab. Eads
E. Moore Chs. Lewis Junr John Fantrees
Wm. Haines David Gallasby Wm Sorrow
Ed: Butler Isham Lewis Willm. Fry
R: Davenport Junr Henry Ford Chs. Goodman
Wm. Irvin V. D. M Wm. Sandage Jos. Lamb.
Jason Bowcock Wm. Chinault Jo. Bailey
Henry Shelton Thos. Musick Rowland Horselee
Js. Minor Saml. Huckstep Richd. Harvie
Andr: Bryan Jacob Oglesby Alexr. McKenzie
John Fitzpatrick John Wood  128 Robt Thompson Jr.
John Stockton Thos: Collins John Kearby  180
Josiah Wood Arthur Graham. John Black
Wittle Flannagan Thos. Morgan Wm. Pilson
Peter Forgarson Chs. Hudson Robt. Pilson
Nathl. Mcalester Wm. Jeffers Js. Epperson
John Henderson Jr Richd. Scott. John Lott
John Lewis Senr Bernice Brown Rhcd. Sharp
W. Langford Wm. Statham Robt. Burrus
Petr. Burrus Stephen Hughs Jr. Hen. Randolph
John Tandy Horslee Goodman Wm. Mcgehie
Richd. Goodall Willm: Shelton Saml Karr
Spencer Norvil Lity. Sullevan Saml Mccord
Orlando Jones Castn. Harper Sr: Wm. Karr
Nat: Morris John Nukeham Wm. Ramsay
Wm. Michie Saml. Benge David Nemo
Ths. Craig Richd. Carter Wm. Reynolds
John McColloch Jo: Wingfeild Richd Watson
Chs. Lil. Lewis Hen: Harper Thad. Reynolds
Wm. Johnson Nichs. Hamner Danl. Reynolds
Zacha. Mills Jos. Terril Frs. Browning
John Thomas Danl. Goldsby Wm. Rannald
Wm Hopkins Richd. Davenport Ab. Gollan
Clough Shelton Chs. Tucker Wm Cleavland
Saml Woodson Wm Hickcock Jas. Bird
Wm. Ballard Francis Hoges his  
Ths. Jameson X  John  X Kerbie Junr
Geo. Mann his mark mark  
Danl. Millar  207 Fran: Taliaferro 21 Apl 1779

Tr in Diary of George Gilmer (ViHi).

On 28 June 1777 the General Assembly passed “An Act to oblige the free male inhabitants of this state above a certain age to give assurance of allegiance to the same and for other purposes,” and the House of Delegates directed that the public printer print, without delay, one copy of the Act for each magistrate within the commonwealth, together with a sufficient number of certificates, and send the same to the several counties (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends ix, 281–3; JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , May 1777, 1827 edn., p. 110). The Act provided that all free-born male inhabitants above the age of sixteen, except imported servants, were to subscribe to the oath on or before 10 Oct. 1777 before the justices of the peace in their counties, boroughs, or cities and that the justices of the peace were to keep fair registers of the names of such persons; and before the first of January in every year following, to submit to the clerk of the court for the county a list of the persons who had signed. Upon signing, each person was to receive a certificate which read: “I do hereby certify, that   hath taken and subscribed the oath or affirmation of allegiance and fidelity‥‥ Witness my hand and seal this day of .” The presence of a copy of the oath of allegiance and of the names of the signers in George Gilmer’s Diary (the original MS has not been found) seems to indicate that George Gilmer was the justice of the peace charged with taking the oaths and keeping a record of the signers. From the last entries it appears that the record was cumulative through Apr. 1779. Gilmer was a justice of the peace in Albemarle county, 12 June 1771 (“Justices of the Peace of Colonial Virginia,” Va. State Libr., Bull., xiv [1921], 109). The certificate which TJ received on signing the oath has not been located. The printed certificate issued to James Madison, 11 August 1777, is located in DLC: Madison Papers, 1: 28.

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