Thomas Jefferson Papers

Warrant to Thomas Russell to Impress Boats, 30 October 1780

Warrant to Thomas Russell to Impress Boats

Virginia to wit.

Whereas the present invasion of this state by a Powerful enemy renders it necessary to collect Boats and other vessels sufficient for occasional transportation of troops across the rivers and water courses. These are therefore to authorize and empower you to impress so many boats and other vessels with crews and appendages as by any commanding officer acting with a distinct corps shall be thought necessary, giving to the owners thereof a certificate of the worth and rate of hire of the said vessels, such worth and hire being first settled by appraisement as by law directed in others cases of impress. And all the good Citizens of this state, and others civil and military within the same are hereby required to be aiding and assisting to you in the execution of this warrant. Given under my hand and the seal of the Commonwealth at Richmond this 30th day of October 1780.

Tho: Jefferson

Tr in War Office Letter Book (MiU-C); location of seal indicated at foot of text.

In PPAP (Weedon Papers) there is a letter from Weedon to Major P. Cooke, dated at Richmond, 31 Oct. 1780, stating that “The Executives have authorized me to assemble a Fleet of flatt bottom boats at Hood for the purpose of transporting Troops from either side of the River as the service may require. Mr. Thomas Russell A.D.Q.M.G. is now on the business of empressing Boats and will assemble them at that place‥‥ His Excellency the Governor informs me you have a body of militia stationed at that place, so that a strong guard may be kept over them by your direction‥‥ PS I must again beg your utmost care in keeping this little fleet always ready and well found-a large smoke on this side made on the shore will be a signal for them to come over.”

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