From Burwell Bassett
M. Vernon 30 Augt 1775
The Convention broke up on Saterday last after a siting of six weeks, they have agreed to raise fourteen Hundred & forty five Men & Appointed Patrick Henry to the Command of the first Regment & William Woodford to the second, Wm Christian & Charles Scoot are Lieut. Cols. & Frans Epps & Alexr Spotswood are Majr. Fore hundred of the Men are to be Stationed on the frontiars and the others about Wmsburg & Norfolk, They have laid the Country out in sixteen Districks each of which is to raise five hundred Men to be calld Minute Men they are to be ready to March on the shortest Notice, & are nearly under the same regulations as the Militia of England.1
The Convention have appointed a Committee of Safety of the following Gentlemen Edmond Pendleton, Geo: Mason John Page Cou[ncillo]r Thomas L. Lee Paul Carrington Richd Bland Dudley Diggs Wm Cabbell Carter Braxton James Mercer & John Tabb which are to have the Whole direction of the Army & so call out the Whole or any part of the Minute Men as they think best for the good of the Country,2 Pendleton & Bland begd to be excuse[d] from going to the Congress & we have sent Wythe Thos Nelson & Frans Lee3 & We have agreed to strike three hundred & fifty thousand pounds paper Currency to pay for the Indian War our part of the Continental Army & our own Army & Minute men.4
This is all the news that I can now send you, If you can spare a few Minutes from the great Hurry & fatigue that you must under go it would give me great Pleasure to hear that you are well.
Mrs Bassett & the Children join me in our best wishes for your Health & Happyness I am Dr Sr Yr Affnate Friend & Hble Servt
1. The third Virginia convention met in Richmond from 17 July to 26 August. For the act creating the various military forces for the defense of the colony, see 9 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 9–35. For the articles of war, see ibid., 35–48. William Woodford (1734–1780), a resident of Caroline County who served as a subaltern under GW during the French and Indian War, became a Continental brigadier general in February 1777 and was captured at the surrender of Charleston in 1780. William Christian (c.1743–1786) of Fincastle County, a veteran of Dunmore’s War, commanded an expeditionary force against the Cherokees in 1776. Charles Scott (c.1737–1813) of Cumberland County, said to have been a noncommissioned officer in the Braddock campaign of 1755, was commissioned colonel of a Virginia regiment in May 1776. Scott was promoted to brigadier general the following year and was taken prisoner with Woodford at Charleston in 1780. Both Francis Eppes (d. 1776) of Dinwiddie County and Alexander Spotswood (1751–1818) of Spotsylvania County became lieutenant colonels in the Continental service during the spring of 1776. Eppes was killed in the fighting on Long Island in August 1776. Spotswood was promoted to colonel in February 1777 and resigned his commission in October of that year. For the Virginia convention’s selection of these officers, see William J. Van Schreeven, Robert L. Scribner, and Brent Tarter, eds., Revolutionary Virginia: The Road to Independence description begins William J. Van Schreeven et al., eds. Revolutionary Virginia: The Road to Independence. A Documentary Record. 7 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1973–83. description ends , 7 vols. (Charlottesville, 1973–83), 3:400–401, 457–59.
2. For the convention’s act establishing the committee of safety, see 9 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 49–53. For the appointment of the members, see Van Schreeven, Revolutionary Virginia description begins William J. Van Schreeven et al., eds. Revolutionary Virginia: The Road to Independence. A Documentary Record. 7 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1973–83. description ends , 3:456–57. Edmund Pendleton became president of the committee of safety. The other members were George Mason (1725–1792) of Fairfax County, John Page (1743–1808) of Gloucester County, Thomas Ludwell Lee (1730–1778) of Stafford County, Paul Carrington (1733–1818) of Charlotte County, Richard Bland (1710–1776) of Prince George County, Dudley Digges (1718–1790) of York County, William Cabell (1730–1798) of Amherst County, Carter Braxton (1736–1797) of King William County, James Mercer (1736–1793) of Fredericksburg, and John Tabb (d. 1798) of Amelia County. Of this group only John Page had been a member of the governor’s council before the Revolution.
3. The convention appointed George Wythe (1726–1806) of Williamsburg and Thomas Nelson, Jr. (1738–1789), of Yorktown to the colony’s congressional delegation on 11 Aug., and four days later it added Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734–1797) of Richmond County. Peyton Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Harrison continued to serve as delegates (ibid., 418–19, 446–47). Wythe, a prominent lawyer who had been clerk of the House of Burgesses for many years, attended Congress until the end of 1776. He became speaker of the Virginia house of delegates in 1777, was appointed to the new state court of chancery in 1778, and in December 1779 was named professor of law at the College of William and Mary. Nelson, a member of the governor’s council from 1764 to 1775, served in Congress until the spring of 1777 and again in 1779. He was governor of Virginia during the latter half of 1781 and commanded the state militia at the siege of Yorktown. Francis Lightfoot Lee, a brother of Richard Henry Lee, had long been a member of the House of Burgesses and an active supporter of the American cause. He sat in Congress until June 1779 and later served several years in the state senate.
4. For the convention’s act authorizing the issuance of these treasury notes, see 9 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 61–71. The Indian war was Dunmore’s War of 1774.