Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Message Accepting Election as Governor, [2 June 1779]

Message Accepting Election as Governor

[2 June 1779]

Gentlemen

The honour which the General Assembly have been pleased to confer on me, by calling me to the high office of Governour of this commonwealth, demands my most grateful acknowledgments, which I desire through you Gentlemen, to tender to them with the utmost respect. In a virtuous and free state, no rewards can be so pleasing to sensible minds, as those which include the approbation of our fellow citizens. My great pain is, lest my poor endeavours should fall short of the kind expectations of my country; so far as impartiality, assiduous attention, and sincere affection to the great American cause, shall enable me to fulfil the duties of any appointment, so far I may, with confidence undertake; for all beyond, I must rely on the wise counsels of the General Assembly, and of those whom they have appointed for my aid in those duties. To you, Gentlemen, I return my particular thanks, for the polite terms in which you have been pleased to notify the will of the General Assembly.

MS not located. Text from Va. Gaz. description begins Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, 1751–1780, and Richmond, 1780–1781). Abbreviations for publishers of the several newspapers of this name, frequently published concurrently, include the following: C & D (Clarkson & Davis), D & H (Dixon & Hunter), D &N (Dixon & Nicolson), P & D (Purdie & Dixon). In all other cases the publisher’s name is not abbreviated. description ends (D & N description begins Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, 1751–1780, and Richmond, 1780–1781). Abbreviations for publishers of the several newspapers of this name, frequently published concurrently, include the following: C & D (Clarkson & Davis), D & H (Dixon & Hunter), D &N (Dixon & Nicolson), P & D (Purdie & Dixon). In all other cases the publisher’s name is not abbreviated. description ends ), 5 June 1779. TJ is here replying to a message brought by a joint committee of both houses of the Assembly.

On 1 June the two houses of the Assembly in joint session took two ballots to elect a successor to Gov. Henry. The result of the first ballot was:

For Thomas Jefferson 55
For John Page 38
For Thomas Nelson 32

“But neither of the persons ballotted for having a majority of both Houses, the House proceeded to ballot between Thomas Jefferson Esq., and the Hon. John Page, who stand foremost.” The result was:

For Jefferson 67
For Page 61

(See JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , May 1779, 1827 edn., p. 29.)

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