George Washington Papers

Enclosure: Resolutions from Culpeper County, Virginia, Citizens, 21 October 1793


Resolutions from Culpeper County, Virginia, Citizens

Culpeper County [Va.] 21st day of October 1793

At a meeting of the Yeomanry of Culpeper County, at the Courthouse on Monday the 21st day of October 1793.1 the following resolutions were adopted.

Resolved 1st That all attempts to Subvert the federal Government or violate its principals ought to be firmly and vigorously resisted.

2. That a continuation of the union between France and America is necessary to the existance of the liberties of both: all measures therefore which may be or have been adopted for the purpose of exciting a prejudice against the French nation or the Citizens of France are dangerous to the welfare of America, and are injurious to the cause of liberty.

3. That it is the interest of the united States to promote peace and harmony with all nations by just and honourable means and that the executive authority ought to be supported in the excercise of its constitutional powers for enforcing the laws.

4. That the patriotic wisdom and tried virtue of the president of the united states Entitle him to the highest confidence as well as lasting gratitude of his country to whose present peace liberty and happiness he has so largely contributed.

5. That we are attached to the federal Government, that we are attached to peace so long as it can be maintained on honourable grounds, that we are attached to the French nation and feel a disposition to render them every service consistant with existing treaties, that we hate monarchies and more intimate connexions with them as productive of the worst of evils. Attest,

Robt W. Peacock Secy2

Edward Stevens Chairman

DS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. These resolutions were printed in the Virginia Herald, and Fredericksburg Advertiser, 14 Nov., which included two orders not on the copy sent to GW: “That a copy of the foregoing resolutions be transmitted to the President of the United States, by the chairman of the meeting, and that he sign the same in behalf of this meeting,” and “That the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Virginia Herald.

GW replied to these resolutions in a letter to Stevens of 16 Nov.: “The resolutions of the Yeomanry of Culpeper, announcing their determination to resist all attempts to destroy the fœderal Government, or violate its principles, bespeak a laudable interest in the national prosperity. Among the means of accomplishing the general happiness, peace with all nations is an obvious policy. It is our duty too to remember the services of the French Nation, & to pursue the republican spirit of our Constitution.

“In whatever degree I may be conceived to have contributed to the public welfare, it is very acceptable to me to know that my conduct is approved by the Yeomanry of Culpeper.” (LB, DLC:GW).

1The call for this meeting was issued on 2 Oct. in opposition to a circular letter of James Mercer and others calling for a district meeting at Fredericksburg on 7 October. At the Fredericksburg meeting, strongly pro-French resolutions were introduced but rejected in favor of resolutions calling for the subject to be considered in county meetings (Virginia Herald, and Fredericksburg Advertiser, 3 Oct.; Virginia Gazette, and General Advertiser [Richmond], 16, 23 Oct.; James Monroe to Thomas Jefferson, 14 Oct., Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends , 27:236–37).

2Robert Ware Peacock (born c.1770) was a Stevensburg, Va., lawyer. By 1801, when he was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court, he had moved to Washington, D.C. In 1805 he escaped from the jail there, where he was being held on a forgery conviction (National Intelligencer, and Washington Advertiser, 29 March 1805), and thereafter no record of him has been found.

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