Thomas Jefferson Papers

Proceedings of a Meeting of Representatives in Williamsburg, 30 May 1774

Proceedings of a Meeting of Representatives in Williamsburg

30th May 1774

At a Meeting of 25 of the late Representatives legally assembled by the Moderator, it was agreed

That Letters be wrote to all our Sister Colonies, acknowledging the Receipt of the Letters and Resolves from Boston &c. informing them, that before the same came to hand, the Virginia Assembly had been unexpectedly dissolved, and most of the Members returned to their respective Counties.

That it is the Opinion of all the late House of Burgesses who could be convened on the present Occasion, that the Colony of Virginia will concur with the other Colonies in such Measures as shall be judged most effectual for the Preservation of the Common Rights and Liberty of British America; that they are of Opinion particularly that an Association against Importations will probably be entered into, as soon as the late Representatives can be collected, and perhaps against Exportations also after a certain Time. But that this must not be considered as an Engagement on the part of this Colony, which it would be presumption in us to enter into, and that we are sending Dispatches to call together the late Representatives to meet at Williamsburg on the first Day of August next to conclude finally on these important Questions.

Peyton Randolph, Moderator. Th: Jefferson John Walker
Mann Page Junr. James Wood.
Ro. C. Nicholas Chars. Carter Senr: Wm Langhorne
Edmd Pendleton Js. Mercer T Blackburn
Will: Harwood R Wormeley Carter. Edmd Berkeley
Richd Adams G: Washington Jno. Donelson
Thom Whiting Francis Lightfoot Lee P. Carrington
Henry Lee Thos Nelson jr. Lewis Burwell (Gloster)
Lemuel Riddick R Rutherford

MS in an unidentified hand (Vi). Autograph signatures.

The dispatches emanating from the Boston town meeting of 13 May, convened upon the arrival of a copy of the Port Act (see Force, Archives, 4th ser., i, 331), reached Williamsburg on 29 May, having been relayed by the committees at Philadelphia and Annapolis. The Bostonians appealed for a strict nonimportation, nonexportation agreement among all the colonies in their support-a measure that the Williamsburg meeting of 27 May had explicitly stopped short of. What followed is related in Va. Gaz. (P & D 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 ), 2 June:

“Immediately upon receiving the Letters, the Honourable Peyton Randolph, Esq; Moderator of the Committee of the late House of Representatives, thought it proper to convene all the Members that were then in Town; who, on considering those important Papers, came to a Resolution to call together the several other Members near this City, to whom Notice could be given. Twenty five of them accordingly met next Day at ten o’Clock, when it was unanimously agreed to refer the farther Consideration of this Matter to the first Day of August next; at which Time it is expected there will be a very general Attendance of the late Members of the House of Burgesses, and that a Non-Importation Agreement will be then entered into, as well as Resolutions to suspend, at some future Day, exporting any of our Commodities to Britain, should the present odious Measures, so inimical to the just Rights and Liberty of America, be pursued.”

Copies of the present document, the authorship of which is unknown, were forwarded on 31 May to the Maryland Committee with the request “that it may be immediately transmitted through the Hands of our Friends in Philadelphia to our Friends in Boston, in the same Manner as their Sentiments and Resolutions have been conveyed to us” (JHB description begins Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1619–1776, Richmond, 1905–1915 description ends , 1773–1776, p. 139–40; see also Washington to George Fairfax, 10 June 1774, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, iii, 223–4).

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