Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the Speaker of the House of Delegates, 2 June 1781

To the Speaker of the House

Charlottesville June. 2. 1781.


I beg leave to refer to the consideration of the General assembly the inclosed letters from the County Lieutenants of Augusta, Rockbridge and Rockingham, and have the honour to be with great respect Sir your most obedt. humble servt.,

Th: Jefferson

RC (Vi); addressed by TJ: “The honble Benjamin Harrison esq. Speaker of the House of Delegates.” Enclosures (missing): These were probably George Moffett to TJ, 5 May 1781; Samuel McDowell to TJ, 9 May 1781; and Garret Van Meter to TJ, 14 and 20 Apr. 1781.

TJ’s letter with its enclosures was laid before the House on 2 June. The letters from Augusta and Rockbridge were referred to the committee of privileges and elections and the letter from Rockingham was ordered to lie on the table (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , May 1781, 1828 edn., p. 10). Apparently no further action was taken by the House. But on 23 June the Council, “conceiving the late insurrections … to have been occasioned by the artifice of a few disaffected and designing men,” advised the Governor to offer pardon on condition that they would deliver up their ringleaders or, in case they should refuse, to call on “the whole strength of the aforesaid counties for apprehending and bringing them to justice” (Va. Council Jour., ii, 351).

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