Thomas Jefferson Papers

Impressment Warrants to Various Persons, November 1780

Impressment Warrants to Various Persons

Virginia to wit,

Whereas by an act passed at the General Assembly holden in the month of may in this present year and intituled an act for giving further powers to the Governeur and Council and for other purposes, authority was given for obtaining by impress among other things so many horses waggons and necessaries as might be wanting to supply the militia and other troops ordered into actual service. These are therefore to authorize you to obtain by impressing fifty waggons with their teams and gear and the same when impressed to bring to this place, having them previously appraised according to law; for the hire of which said waggons teams and gear, paiment will be made at the public treasury1 and all officers civil and military and other the good citizens of this commonwealth are hereby required and commanded 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 day of november in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty.

Tho: Jefferson

Tr in the War Office Letter Book (MiU-C); copy of seal at foot of text; in margin: “two copies sent to mr Southall to be sent to Fredericksburg and Alexandria” (this was probably Stephen Southall, assistant quartermaster general for the state; see Official Letters description begins Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 356; Gwathmey, Hist. Reg. of Virginians in the Revolution). These warrants were doubtless issued early in November during Leslie’s invasion threat; a variant one issued at the same time is summarized below.

1Following the text of this document there is in the War Office Letter Book another warrant docketed as “delivered to mr. Robert Boush.” It begins and concludes identically with the text above, but the second sentence, to the point noted, reads as follows: “These are therefore to authorize you to obtain by impressing so many waggons, carts, horses, drivers and gear, boats [and] other vessels with their tackle and crews as may be necessary for removing into a place of security any arms ammunition or other public stores, on the south side of James river, giving certificates of all sums which become due for the hire or use of any of the said articles or services, and returning to me a list of the certificates you shall so give specifying the sum due and to whom and for what due.”

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