George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Spotsylvania Independent Company, 26 April 1775

From Spotsylvania Independent Company

Fredericksbg April 26th 1775


By intelligence from Williamsburg it appears that Capt. Collins of his Majestys Navy at the head of 15 Marines carried off the Powder from the Magazine in that City on the night of Thursday last and conveyed it on board his Vessell by Order of the Governor. The Gentlemen of the Independant Company of this Town think this first Publick insult is not to be tamely submitted to and determine with your approbation to join any other bodies of armed Men who are willing to appear in support of the honour of Virginia as well as to secure the Military Stores yet remaining in the Magazine. It is proposed to March from hence on Saturday next for Williamsburg properly accoutred as Light Horsemen.1

Expresses are sent off to inform the Commanding Officers of Companies in the adjacent Counties of this our Resolution & we shall wait prepared for your Instructions & their assistance. We are Sir Your humble Servants

Hugh Mercer

G. Weedon

Alexander Spotswood

John Willis2

As we are not sufficiently supplied with Powder, it may be proper to request of the Gentlemen who join us from Fairfax or Prince William, to come provided with an over portion of that Article.

DS, DLC:GW. The P.S. is in the hand of Hugh Mercer. The letter is addressed “By Mr Daviss.”

2Alexander Spotswood (1751–1818), son of John and Mary Dandridge Spotswood and grandson of Gov. Alexander Spotswood, lived at New Post, his home on the Rappahannock River. He was married in 1769 to Elizabeth Washington, eldest daughter of GW’s half brother Augustine Washington. Spotswood served in the 2d Virginia Regiment from 1776 to 1777, reaching the rank of colonel. John Willis was the son of GW’s cousin Lewis Willis (b. 1734) and grandson of GW’s aunt Mildred Washington and her third husband, Col. Henry Willis (d. 1740). John Willis, known as Fat Jack Willis because of his tremendous girth, served as an officer throughout the Revolution, reaching the rank of major.

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