James Madison Papers

Patrick Henry in Council to Henry Laurens, 10 July 1778

Patrick Henry in Council to Henry Laurens

RC (NA: PCC, No. 71, I, 169).

Wms.burgh July 10th. 1778


Just after sending away my Letter to you of the 8th. on the Subject of the Expedition to Detroit, the inclosed Letter from Mr. Lockhart came to my Hands.1 As it [is] impossible to furnish him with the capital Articles he wants, & as the Beef Cattle cannot be taken from the Monopolizers he mentions, I think additional Reasons appear for postponing the Expedition.2 However refering to my last & to Mr. Lockharts the whole Business is submitted to the Decision of Congress whose Resolves I shall ever take pleasure in Executing to the utmost.

With great Regard I have the Honor to be Sir Yr. most obedient & very humble Servant

P. Henry

1Patrick Lockhart (ca. 1749–ca. 1810) was a merchant of Fincastle, Botetourt County, as early as 1772. In 1773 and frequently thereafter for twenty years he was a justice of the peace. He served in the Virginia Convention of May 1776, in the House of Delegates in 1776–1778, and as sheriff of Botetourt County in 1784. His militia service advanced him to the rank of major before the close of the Revolution and to colonel in 1788. In 1782, Governor Harrison appointed him commissioner of public stores in Botetourt and three adjoining counties. He was appointed by Congress on 11 June 1778 “to procure … necessaries” for the expedition against Detroit (Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., Register of the General Assembly, pp. 1, 3, 5, 242; Botetourt County Court Records, Order Book, 1788–1793, pp. 23, 29, microfilm in Virginia State Library; Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, XIV [1921], 122; Journals of the Continental Congress, XI, 589). Lockhart wrote to Henry on 7 July 1778, telling of his difficulties in obtaining necessary supplies and asking assistance from the state government. He especially complained about the difficulty of obtaining beef and suggested that it might necessarily have to be impressed (NA: PCC, No. 71, I, 173–75). On 9 July the council advised the governor “as the only Method of saving much useless expence to the public, to recommend to Capt. Lockhart to desist from his purchases till the result of the last application to Congress on that Subject shall be known” (Journals of the Council of State, II, 163).

2For the outcome, see Henry to Laurens, 8 July 1778, nn. 5 and 6.

Index Entries