Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to the County Lieutenants and Others, [8 May 1781]

To the County Lieutenants and Others

[8 May 1781]

Virginia to wit

The bearer hereof Colo. Senf being sent by Majr. Genl. Marquis Fayette to have the bridges and boats and other vessels destroyed which might otherwise facilitate the passage of the enemy across the rivers Blackwater, Nottoway, Meherrin and Roanoke and to collect vessels for transportation of our own troops, all County Lieutenants and other militia officers and their militia are hereby required on his application to lend all possible aid in effecting the said work and to assemble in arms for the protection of those so engaged, also to be aiding in communicating intelligence from Colo. Senf to the Marquis Fayette.

Given under my hand at Richmond this 8th. day of May 1781.

Th: Jefferson

MS (NNP); entirely in TJ’s hand, presumably the copy given to Senf.

This order to destroy boats and other vessels helps to explain the fact that, on the same day, Capt. Henry Young requested William Davies to order Capt. Maxwell or the person having charge of the ship carpenters in Virginia service to send such a number to Point of Fork “as you may think sufficient to build Batteauxs.” In that letter Young added: “Perhaps this Order wou’d come more propporly from the Governor. You can determine” (Young to Davies, 8 May, Vi; see TJ to Lafayette, 14 May 1781).

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