George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 19 September 1768]

19. Went to Court with Colo. Burwell &ca.

On this day the Fairfax County court formally received a new commission of the peace from the governor and the council. Dated 29 July 1768, it authorized 23 justices for the county, including all the current justices but one and adding three new members to the court: GW, Daniel French, and Edward Payne (va. exec. jls. description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia. 6 vols. Richmond, 1925–66. description ends , 6:345). The total number of justices varied from time to time and from county to county. The law only required that a minimum of 8 justices be appointed for each county, and the number added above that limit depended primarily on the changing population and needs of the various counties (hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends , 5:489; sydnor description begins Charles S. Sydnor. American Revolutionaries in the Making: Political Practices in Washington’s Virginia. 1952. Reprint. New York, 1965. description ends , 79). In court today several of the old justices renewed their oaths of office according to law, but GW did not take his oaths until 21 Sept. (Fairfax County Order Book for 1768–70, 36–55, Vi Microfilm).

Index Entries