Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Captains Hardy and Young, 7 April 1781

To Captains Hardy and Young

In Council April 7th. 1781


On laying before the Board the Information against Captn. Reeves, they think it best to ask the favour of yourself and

Captain { Young } who is at { Chesterfield Court House }
Hardy Mr. Trents at Ozbornes
to give in the information to some justice of the Peace for the County of Henrico who will thereupon determine the nature of the offence of which Captn. Reeves may have been guilty and put him under a due Course of legal Prosecution. The sooner this is done the better and I need not observe to you the propriety of your both attending the justice together. I am &c,


FC (Vi).

The proceedings of the Council contain no reference to the information against Captn. Reeves, but the following note of 7 Apr. is suggestive of the reasons for this and other such omissions in the journal: “The Board, finding it necessary to employ some person to bring up their back proceedings and to register such Letters, fragments of their journals, and other papers as have not been destroyed by the enemy and may be collected, do appoint Mr. Charles Hay an occasional Clerk for this purpose. Mr. Hay attended and took an oath to keep secret the proceedings of the board” (Va. Council Jour. description begins Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 329). A more informative comment is contained in the following from Richard Call to Steuben: “Yesterday a Captain Reeves was taken into confinement by my order. From the accounts of different gentlemen he appears to have been guilty of practices inimical to America. There cannot as yet be any positive proof procured, but as the enemy are in motion, perhaps for this post, I thought my duty as an officer pointed out the necessity of preventing as much as possible their gaining any intelligence of our situation or at any rate prevent persons of suspicious characters from lurking about a place where military operations are carrying on. A Captain Hardy who came round with a flag from Charleston I am informed is acquainted with many circumstances in Reeves’ conduct” (Call to Steuben, dated at Petersburg, 20 Apr. 1781, NHi).

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