Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Hugh Rose, enclosing Affidavits respecting Jefferson’s Orders for Militia, 26 September 1781

From Hugh Rose, enclosing Affidavits respecting Jefferson’s Orders for Militia

Geddes, Septr. 26th. 1781

Dear Sir

Herewith you will receive my Affidavit with my Certificate agreeable to your Request in your Favour by Jupiter. If either of them from my Aversion to Prolixity shou’d not contain a due Portion of the Facts which came within my Knowledge, I hope you will not scruple to require my Attendance upon the Assembly, for be assured, that no Person will more readily step forth in Exculpation of injured Virtue, as far as Integrety and Honour will permit, than your affectionate Friend & Servt.,

Hugh Rose

P.S. Mrs. Rose and the greatest part my Family being upon a Visit at Coll. Jordans I am for the first time in my Life reduced to the disagreeable Necessity of commencing Housekeeper as such present my Compliments to Mrs. Jefferson &c. in Lieu of ——


Amherst, September 25th. 1781

On Tuesday Evening the second of last January (being in Richmond) I received a Letter from the Governor, earnestly requesting me to take Charge of and to convey by some safe Hand the Despatches therein enclosed; they were for the commanding Officers of Albemarle, Amherst, Fluvanna and Goochland, requiring them immediately to send forth certain Proportions of their Militia in order to oppose Arnold, whose Movements indicated an Intention of penetrating into the Country. After having received the said Despatches, and having dismist the Messenger, reflecting upon my Situation (my Horses not having arrived and that Period being uncertain) I was very uneasy, and resolved to deliver them to his Excellency early the next Morning; but fortunately as I conceivd shortly after Day Light on Wenesday Morning, I met with Coll. Nall of Rockingham on his Passage Home, to whom (as his Rout was through the Counties of Goochland and Albemarle) I deliverd the Despatches of those Counties with the Governors pressing Injunctions for the speedy and safe Delivery of them. I waited upon the County Lieutenant of Goochland the next Day with other Despatches, and he inform’d me that he had received those sent by Coll. Nall on the preceeding Evening.

Amherst Sct.

Hugh Rose

 Sworn to before me

  Gabl. Penn

Amherst, Septr. 25th. 1781

I do hereby certify that on the twenty second of March last, the Executive granted a Suspension from the Draft of the Militia of the said County untill further Orders, which Suspension was taken off by an Order of Council dated April the twelvth which Order I receiv’d about the eighteenth of the same Month and drafted the Militia on the eighteenth Day of May.

Hugh Rose C.Lt.

RC (DLC); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqre. Monticello.” Enclosures are also in DLC and are in Rose’s hand, with attestation by Penn on the first of them; they are on separate pages and have a separate cover addressed as above.

This letter and enclosures were prepared and sent in response to a written request by TJ (missing) for attested information respecting orders given by TJ as governor. The accuracy of Rose’s statement concerning orders for militia in January is verified by a letter he wrote to George Muter from Amherst, 8 Jan. 1781 (Vi, partly quoted above in note to TJ’s letter to the county lieutenants of Charlotte, &c., 2 Jan. 1781). The actual letter from the governor of 2 Jan. 1781 covering the dispatches Rose was to deliver, however, has not been found. TJ wanted the information here furnished for his defense in the forthcoming legislative investigation, and he may well have written to others besides Rose for similar testimony, though no other correspondence on the subject has been found. Rose’s first statement seems to be a reply to the third charge in George Nicholas’ letter of 31 July 1781, though it may also pertain to the third charge in the formal paper also printed under that date. Coll. Nall was lieutenant-colonel of the Rockingham militia; see Gwathmey, Hist. Reg. of Virginians in the Revolution.

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