George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Southy Simpson, 9 February 1778

From Colonel Southy Simpson

Accomack County virginia
9th Febry 1778

May it Please your Excellency,

I hope youl excuse my taking the Liberty, to Intreat you not to take from this too much expos’d part of the State of virginia, those Soldiers Lately Draughted by virtue of an act of the State:1 I Esteem it as one of the greatest Honnours to be your Soldier, and Such I consider Myself, and am ready when ever you think the Service of the States makes it necessary, to risk my Life, and I will Risk my Life, in the Execution of All your Commands, yet Great Sir, I Humbly conceive our exposed Situations at least makes it nec[e]ssary, to keep what few Men we have, however we shall think ourselves Happy whilst you have the disposal of us, and all your Commands Shall be Punctually obey’d I have the Honnour to be with the Greatest Esteem, Sir your obedient & very Humble Servant

Southy Simpson


Southy Simpson (c.1725–1779) of Accomack County, Va., served from 1761 to 1775 as a delegate to the Virginia House of Burgesses, and he was elected a state senator in the spring of 1777. From 1776 until about the end of 1778, Simpson was a colonel of the Accomack County militia. His obituary of 26 Mar. 1779 in Dixon & Nicolson’s Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg) describes him as “A Gentleman, to whom though fortune denied the opportunity of a liberal education, yet nature gave the more substantial advantage of sound sense.”

1Simpson, who wrote a similar letter on this date to Henry Laurens (DNA:PCC, item 78), was concerned about provisions for drafts from the militia contained in “An Act for speedily recruiting the Virginia Regiments on the continental establishment, and for raising additional troops of Volunteers,” passed in amended form by the Virginia legislature on 9 Jan. (see GW to James Innes, 2 Jan., n.1).

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