George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Albemarle Independent Company, 29 April 1775

From Albemarle Independent Company

Charlottesville 29 April 1775


The County of Albemarle in General & the Gentlemen Volunteers in particular are truly alarmed, & highly incensed with the unjustifiable proceedings of Lord Dunmore, who we are informed has Clandestinly taken possession of our ammunition lodged in the Magazine, we should have attended at Fredericksburgh in order to have proceeded to Williamsburgh to demand a return of the powder, had the Alarm reached us before an account of Security being given for its delivery—however to assure you, & the world of our readiness, & willingness to resent every encroachment of Arbitary power, we now declare to you, should it be necessary, that the first Company of Independents for Albemarle will attend in Williamsburgh properly equiped (& if not to be obtained ⟨other⟩wise) to Enforce an immediate delivery of the powder, or die in the Attempt, with respect we remain ready to obey your commands.

Chas Lewis Capt.

George Gilmer Lieutt

John Marks Leu. 2d1

P.S. The Company will stand under arms all day on Tuesday waiting your answer &c.2


1Charles Lewis (d. 1779) was married to Lucy Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s sister, and lived at Mount Eagle, eight miles from Charlottesville, on the Rivanna River. He became colonel of the 14th Virginia Regiment in November 1776 and resigned in March 1778. Dr. George Gilmer (d. 1796) of Pen Park near Charlottesville served in the House of Burgesses during the Revolution. He was married to Lucy Walker, daughter of Dr. Thomas Walker, and numbered Thomas Jefferson among his patients. John Marks served during most of the war in the Virginia line, rising to the rank of captain. He later moved to Georgia. Marks was the stepfather of Meriwether Lewis.

2GW responded on 3 May from Mount Vernon: “Gentlemen: I was not at Fredericksburg when your favor of the 29th ultimo reached that place, nor did anybody think to send your letter to me, otherwise an immediate answer would have been dispatched. I obtained sufficient intelligence from Williamsburg before the meeting at Frdericksburg to convince me that there could be but little occasion for men to go thither from distant counties, and that I could not, under that plea, justify my non-attendance on a duty I had been deputed to by the country at large. These were my reasons for not being at Fredericksburg. I highly applaud the spirit you have manifested on this occasion. I thank you for the honor you intended me in being under my command, and am, with sincere esteem, gentlemen, Your Most Obedient Servant, Go. Washington” (Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 24:175–76).

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