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Vestry Elections in Truro and Fairfax Parishes, 25–28 March 1765

Vestry Elections in Truro and Fairfax Parishes

[25–28 March 1765]

Vestry chosen for Truro Parish Vestry chosen for Fairfax Parish
25th March 1765 with the Number of Votes to each 28th March 1765 with the Number of Votes to each
Mr Edward Payne 234 Colo. John West 340
Colo. George Mason 210 Mr Charles Alexander 309
Captn Daniel McCarty 181 Mr William Payne 304
Mr Thomas Wither’s Coffer 174 Captn John Dalton 281
Mr William Gardner 169 C. Geo: Washington 274
Colo. George Wm Fairfax 161 Majr Chs Broadwater 260
Mr Alexr Henderson 158 Captn George Johnston 254
Captn Lewis Ellzey 152 Mr Townsend Dade 252
Mr Tomison Ellzey 151 Mr Richd Sanford 247
Mr Thomas Ford 151 Mr Willm Adams 244
Mr John Ford 141 Captn [John] Posey 222
Majr Peter Wagener 126 Mr Danl French 221
Candidates then rejected Candidates then rejected
Doctr Cockburn Mr Thomas Wren 220
Mr Benja. Grayson Mr James Wren 205
Mr Joshua Ferguson Mr Edward Blackburn 204
Mr Edward Washington Mr John West Junr 199
Mr William Baylis Mr Edward Dulan 199
Mr Henry Boggess Mr Benja. Sebastion 160
Mr William Linton Mr James Donaldson 131
Mr Marmaduke Beckwith Mr Henry Gunnel 126
Mr John Thornton Mr John Seal 120
Mr Thomas Lucas Mr Charles Thrift 112
Mr George Simpson Captn Sampson Darrell1
Mr Benja. Talbot
Mr Joseph Bennet
Mr John O’Daniel
Mr John Monroe
Mr James Halley

D, in the hand of GW, DLC:GW.

A petition from the inhabitants of Truro Parish for partitioning of the rapidly growing parish was read in the House of Burgesses in November 1761 and again in November 1762, and in both instances consideration of the petition was deferred to the next session (JHB, 1761–1765 description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 23, 75). In the 1762 session the already extensive parish of Truro was enlarged by the addition of the part of neighboring Cameron Parish in Loudoun County which lay within the Fairfax County line (ibid., 156–57; 7 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 612–13). On 1 Nov. 1764 the burgesses received another petition for a division of Truro and ordered the two Fairfax representatives, George Johnston and John West, Sr., to draw up the bill for that purpose. The act creating the new parish, which passed on 6 Nov., reads in part: “That from and after the first day of February next the said parish of Truro shall be divided by Doeg creek, from the mouth thereof, to Mr. George Washington’s mill, and from thence, by a straight line, to the plantation of John Munroe, and the same course continued to the line that divides the counties of Fairfax and Loudoun; and that all that part of the said parish of Truro that lies, between the said line and the river Occoquan shall be one distinct parish, and retain the name of Truro, and all that part of the said parish of Truro which lies between the said line and the river Potowmack shall be one other distinct parish, and called by the name of Fairfax” (7 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 43–44). This line threw virtually all of Mount Vernon into the new parish. Each parish was to hold new elections for a vestry; the election for Truro Parish was held on 25 Mar. and that for Fairfax on 28 March. GW was one of those elected to the Fairfax vestry. The results of these elections are printed here.

1There is no vote total beside Darrell’s name. This division of Truro Parish met with considerable opposition. Nearly double the number of inhabitants were in Fairfax Parish as were left in Truro. On 14 May 1765 petitions for a new division of the two parishes were presented and referred to the committee on Propositions and Grievances, of which GW and George Johnston were members. One proposal for the boundary line to run from Clifton’s ferry (Johnston’s ferry) on the Potomac River to the ford over Dogue Run was rejected; the act that passed the House of Burgesses on 23 May divided the two parishes by a line “from the mouth of little Hunting creek, up the same, to the forks thereof; thence up the meanders of the south branch thereof, to the Gum Spring thereon; from thence by a straight line to the ford of Dogue run, where the back road from Colchester to Alexandria crosses the said run; and from thence by a straight line to the forks of Difficult” (8 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 157–59; JHB, 1761–1765 description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 337, 341, 348). Five men were named commissioners to adjust and divide the money and tobacco levied on the inhabitants of Truro before the division and to make a fair division of the money expended on the glebe and the church plate. By the new division of the parishes all Mount Vernon lands except for the River farm remained in Truro Parish, and when the new election was held on 22 July GW was returned to the Truro vestry. The election for Fairfax vestry was held three days later. See Vestry Elections in Truro and Fairfax Parishes, 22–25 July 1765. A plot and description of the new partition of Truro Parish by the county surveyor, George West, dated 15 June 1765, is in Fairfax County Record of Surveys (1742–1856), 44. There is in DLC:GW an undated, mutilated page in GW’s hand, written on both sides, with 163 names listed under “Truro” and 118 names listed under “Fairfax,” for a total of 281. GW probably made the lists after the second division, for he lists himself in the “Truro” column. There is in NHi: George and Martha Washington Papers a single sheet said to be from the Truro Parish vestry book dated from 30 May 1765 to 21 April 1766 and signed by twenty-four vestrymen who were elected to Truro and Fairfax vestries at the time of the divisions, declaring their conformity to the Church of England. Two of the three names signed under the date 30 May 1765 are repeated under the date 19 Aug. 1765. GW’s signature is the first one under 19 Aug. 1765, and the last signature, that of Thomazin Ellzey, is dated 21 April 1766. For more information on the divisions of Truro Parish, see Slaughter, Truro Parish description begins Philip Slaughter. The History of Truro Parish in Virginia. Edited by Edward L. Goodwin. Philadelphia, 1908. description ends , 36–43.

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