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The Smithfield ReviewVolume XIV, 2010The Fincastle Resolutions*lim GlanvilleIntroductionDespite their status as the most significant pre-Revolutionary political statement to emanate from Virginia's western frontier, the FincastleResolutions have never been the subject of the formal scholarly study whichtheir status both for regional and Virginia history clearly warrants. Theneed for a formal work is apparent when we note that the most significantpublished document describing the resolutions is the text of a public address, lacking any footnotes or citations, made thirty-five years ago to celebrate the 200th anniversary of their adoption. 1 Local writers have tendedto vastly over inflate the significance of the resolutions. 2The freeholders of Fincastle County met on 20 January 1775 inpresent-day Wythe County, Virginia. They elected a committee (called thecounty's "committee of safety" by Harwell 4 and other authors) of fifteenmen "in obedience to the resolves of the Continental Congress." These fifteen men subscribed to Congress's resolves and undertook to see that theywould be punctually executed. They then adopted a written address to "theDelegates from this Colony who attended the Continental Congress heldat Philadelphia" and stated that their address was "unanimously agreed toby the people of the county." The address and its preamble, which werepublished twenty-two days after their adoption in Williamsburg in Purdie'sVirginia Gazette, 5 are reproduced in Appendix A.Long tradition calls this publication the "Fincastle Resolutions,"though it would be more accurately termed "The 1775 Address of the People of Fincastle to the Virginia Delegates to the Continental Congress."Long tradition likewise calls the fifteen members of the Fincastle Countycommittee the "signers," a usage which is retained here for convenience*Copyright Jim Glanville 2010.69

ltMGLANVILLEand brevity. Lacking a hand-written copy of the Fincastle Resolutions, historians must rely entirely on the version published in the Virginia Gazette,which prints the names of the committee members. Thus, it is not definitely provable who, or indeed if anyone, signed on 20 January 1775, whoperhaps signed later, or who consented to having his name published as asigner - without having actually been present on 20 January. However, atthis time of intense and growing American self-awareness, men, especiallymen of the frontier, were certainly ready and eager to place their names onstrongly worded documents as demonstrated here.This article examines the resolutions themselves; the context in whichthey were written; the recent experiences of the signers; the resolves writtentwo months earlier in November 1774 at Fort Gower (Appendix E) in thefuture Ohio; the resolutions written by the committees of three other frontier Virginia counties (Pittsylvania, 6 Augusta, and Botetourt: appendices B,C, and D); the political and family connections that linked the signers tothe tidewater Virginia establishment; and the "land-hunger" 7 of contemporary Virginians of all social classes. The political opinions of the officerswho fought in Dunmore's War, as expressed in the Fort Gower Resolves,were well known to some of the signers of the Fincastle Resolutions, andprobably to the committees of the counties of Pittsylvania, Augusta, andBotetourt.An ever-present background theme to this article is that the collective drive among the signers to acquire western land, and the concomitantconflicts with Indians, deeply influenced the political views of the signers. 8A theme not developed here, because it was revealed only several years later,is that in contrast to the views of the most prominent signers, a significantfraction of the region's population held strongly loyalist opinions.On a minor though interesting matter, this article challenges the conventional wisdom that the Fincastle Resolutions were adopted at a meetingthat took place at the Lead Mines. While we may never know for certainwhere they were adopted, an excellent circumstantial case can be madethat their adoption occurred ten miles away at James McGavock's ordinary(tavern and hostelry) at Fort Chiswell, Virginia.Fincastle Counry December 1772 - December 1776Fincastle County (Figure 1) existed as a Virginia political jurisdictionfor just four years. On 1 December 1772 legislation split Botetourt Countyinto two parts: a smaller Botetourt and a new county called Fincastle. 9 Leg70

THE FINCASTLE REsOLUTIONSFigure I. A sketch of the western counties of the colony of Virginia in1774-1775 superimposed on the boundary outlines of the present-day UnitedStates with part of the boundary of the future West Virginia shown dashed. Fincastle Counry is shown shaded. Fincastle Counry in 1774-1775 consisted of all ofmodern Kentucky. southern West Virginia, and western Virginia. Botetourt Counryconsisted of three present-day Virginia counties and the present-day central counties of West Virginia. Augusta Counry consisted of a band of present-day counties along Virginia's present northwest border, the present-day northern countiesof West Virginia, and the vast area of the Ohio and Illinois territories to the west.islation ended Fincastle County four years later on the last day of December l 776 10 when it was divided into the counties of Kentucky (in the west),Montgomery (in the northeast), and Washington (in the southeast).The county was perhaps named for Viscount Fincastle, one of themany titles of Virginia's then-governor, John Murray, Earl of Dunmore,but other suggestions have been offered. The originally-formed FincastleCounty was ultimately divided into all the counties of Kentucky, the counties of southern West Virginia, and the Virginia counties of Giles, Montgomery, Floyd, Pulaski, Carroll, Wythe, Bland, Tazewell, Smyth, Grayson,Buchanan, Russell, Washington, Dickenson, Wise, Scott, Lee, and part ofCraig. 11The Virginia Counry ResolutionsIn March 1774, at a time of growing unrest in the American colonies, the British parliament passed an Act closing the port of Boston. Other"Coercive Acts," aimed principally at Massachusetts, soon followed. On 1371

JIM GLANVILLEMay Bostonians met at Faneuil Hall, resolved to boycott all British goods,and called on the other colonies for support and assistance. Virginians wereclosely following events in Massachusetts through a Committee of Intercolonial Correspondence established a year earlier. 12 On 24 May 1774, theVirginia House of Burgesses adopted a resolution naming 1 June, the daythe port of Boston was to be closed, as a Virginia day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.Two days later Governor Dunmore dissolved the House of Burgesses.The following day, on 27 May, eighty-nine members of the just-dissolvedHouse of Burgesses met at the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, formedan "Association" to defend "the constitutional rights and liberty of BritishAmerica" and proposed an annual "general congress" of the colonies. Theyalso formed a new non-importation association. 13Four days later, on 31 May, the newly-constituted Association issueda summons to all the members of the former House of Burgesses to attenda Virginia convention to be held on 1 August 177 4 in Williamsburg. Thesummons noted an oncoming "alarming crisis" and said the conventionwould deal with matters of "lasting importance to all America." This summons of delegates to the first Virginia Convention further noted: "We fixedthis distant Day in Hopes of accommodating the Meeting to every Gentleman's private affairs, and that they might, in the mean Time, have an Opportunity of collecting their sense of their respective Counties." 14 The callfor collecting the sense of the counties was a significant democratic eventthat had not previously occurred in the colony of Virginia - men beinginvited to instruct their representatives - which set the stage for the laterformation of county committees. The consequent county meetings wereone-time events at which some men in each county typically adopted resolutions and prepared instructions for those they elected to send as delegatesto the forthcoming convention. The meetings began a process by which atleast fifty-nine of the sixty-five jurisdictions in Virginia adopted resolutionsover the ensuing ten months.The adoption of Virginia county resolutions occurred in two waves.The first wave was during the summer of 1774 at individually-called meetings prospective to the August Williamsburg convention. The second wavewas during the fall and winter of 1774-1775 when county meetings notonly made resolutions but had the additional purpose of forming committees - in response to the October 1774 call for such committees by the72

THE FINCASTLE RESOLUTIONSFirst Continental Congress. Because the Fincastle men spent most of 1774engaged in frontier Indian warfare, as described below, Fincastle Countywas among the latecomers in adopting resolutions.These second-wave county committees were extremely important.Harwell remarks" . the formation ofcounty committees to support American liberty and carry through the recommendations of the ContinentalCongress was the beginning of truly American self-government in an independent America." 15 Further information about the Virginia meetings andcommittees of 1774 and early 1775 - in addition to Harwell's book andthe primary documents in Revolutionary Virginia - can be found in thearticles by Coleman, 16 Bowman, 17 and Hack. 18 Soon after his return fromhis western war, Governor Dunmore demonstrated that he fully understood the future implications of the Virginia committees when he wrote on24 December 1774 to Lord Dartmouth in England:Every Counry. besides. is now arming a Company of men. whom they callan Independent Company. for the avowed purpose of protecting their Committees. and to be employed against Government. if occasion reQuire. TheCommittee of one Counry !Spotsylvania] has proceeded so far as to swearthe men of their Independent Company. to execute all orders which shall begiven them from the Committee of their Counry. 19Actions of the Virginia Counties duringthe Summer of 1774Though their objectives were the same, the counties that acted in thesummer of 1774 did not act uniformly. All that held recorded meetingslisted the men who were present, most issued resolves or a statement ofresolve, most gave instructions to the men who would be their delegatesto the August Convention in Williamsburg, and all sent a record of theiractions to Williamsburg to be published in an issue of one of the VirginiaGazettes. 20 Table 1 lists the forty jurisdictions known to have acted duringthe first wave. The resolves and instructions of thirty-one of these wereprinted on the referenced pages in volume I of Revolutionary Virginia, 21 andthe records of nine (labeled 4 August 1774) have apparently been lost tohistory because publisher Clementina Rind lacked space to print them inher Gazette, 22 as she reported on 4 August 1774.The lengths of the documents published by the counties varied, asshown by the page counts listed in column 3 of Table 1. Thus, the Fairfax73

JIM GU\NVILLETable I. Resolutions and Instructions Issued by Counryand Corporate Freeholders and Others*I June - 4 August 1774Author(s)lurisdiction(s)Date of izabeth City Co. &Hampton TownEssexFairfax27 July 177426 July 1774 4 August 177428 July 177414 July 177414 July 17747 July 177415Julyl77416June 177425 July 20-122122-123123-124No recordThomas JeffersonNo recordNot knownNot knownNot knownNot knownNot knownNot knownNot known9 July 177418 July 1774125-127127-133FauquierFrederickFredericksburg TownGloucesterHanoverHenricoJames City CountyKing GeorgeKing WilliamLancasterLunenburgMecklenburgMiddlesex CountyNansemond CountyNew Kent CountyNorfolk County andBoroughNorthumberland9 July 17748 June 17741 June 177414Julyl77420 July 177415Julyl7741 July 1774 4 August 1774 4 August 1774 4 August 1774 4 August 1774 4 August 1774? July 177411July177412July 17749 July 9109109109143-145145-145147-149149-150Not knownGeorge Mason/GeorgeWashingtonNot knownNot knownNot knownNot knownNot knownNot knownNot knownNo recordNo recordNo recordNo recordNo recordNot knownNot knownNot knownNot known 4 August 1774109*Summarized from Revolutionary Virginia, volume I, pages 109-68.The symbol " " means "occurred prior to"74No record

THE FINCASTLE RESOIUTIONSTable I. Resolutions and Instructions . continuedAuthor(s)Jurisdiction(s)Date of MeetingReferencepagesOrangePrince George CountyPrince William Co. &Dumfries TownPrincess Anne CountyRichmond CountySpotsylvania CountyStafford CountySurry CountyWarwickWestmoreland CountyYork County 4 August 1774? June 17746 June 1774109150-152152-153No recordNot knownGeorge Mason27 June 177429 June 177424 June 1774? July 177416 July 1774 4 August 177422 June 3-165165-168Not knownNot knownNot knownNot knownNot knownNo recordRichard Henry LeeNot known*Summarized from Revolutionary Virginia, volume I, pages 109-68.The symbol" " means "occurred prior co"County Resolves, which represent one of the most extensive and radicalspecimens, 2' cover seven pages. The Fairfax Resolves asserted that Virginiacould not be treated as a conquered country, demanded the application ofthe British constitution in Virginia, proclaimed that taxation and representation are inseparable, demanded that American grievances be redressed,and so on, concluding with the 26th resolve that all twenty-six resolvesbe sent to Williamsburg for publication. Ar the other end of the scale, theFredericksburg actions were limited simply to concurring in "every propermeasure" to support the rights and liberties of the town of Boston, appointing the committee's members and clerk, and determining to keep arecord of its proceedings.Pledges to risk "our lives and fortunes" on behalf of King Georgewere frequent (Buckingham, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Richmond, Surry,etc.), as were expressions of support for Boston (Accomack, Albemarle,Caroline, Culpeper, and many others). "Venal" or "evil" ministers in England were objected to (Dunmore and Essex, ere.). Acts of Parliament werecondemned as "violating the most sacred and important rights of Americans" (Caroline), "repugnant" (Dunmore), "unjust, arbitrary, and unconstitutional" (Chesterfield), "tyrannical" (Essex), etc. Objection to taxation75

JIM GlANVILLEwithout representation was a common theme (and explicitly Fairfax's sixthresolve). Many jurisdictions resolved not to import commodities (the nonimportation policy) from Britain, with tea prominent among such itemsspecifically mentioned. Almost all the jurisdictions concluded by electingdelegates to the upcoming Virginia Convention and ordering that theirresolves or actions be published.Several jurisdictions concluded their meetings with hearty roundsof toasts to the King, his Queen, his family, reconciliation with Britain,sundry prominent personages, and, significantly, to American liberty. Thefreeholders ofWestmoreland County managed twelve rounds of toasts, butwere outdone by those of Princess Anne County, who stretched their toastmaking to sixteen rounds.Sixty-five jurisdictions were represented in the House of Burgesses in1774. 24 By August of that year, the records show that forty-one jurisdictions had definitely acted, four had probably acted, and among the remaining twenty others, some may have acted. Many of the men who playedprominent roles during these summer 1774 meetings would subsequentlybecome office-holders on their respective, later-formed county committees.Taken collectively, the resolutions and instructions adopted by thejurisdictions during the summer of 1774 clearly reveal the hardening ofVirginia opinion against British rule in the colony.Actions of the Virginia Committeesduring the Winter of 1774-1775The First Continental Congress formed an ''Association" of all thecolonies at its meeting in Philadelphia in October 1774 and recommendedthe election in each county and town of a committee to enforce the termsof the continental association. In November 1774, the formation of standing Virginia county committees began under the authority of, and following the recommendation of, that Congress.The broad political situation in the winter of 1774-1775 was evenmore inimical to British rule than it had been in the summer of 1774. Subsequent to the actions of the forty jurisdictions listed in Table l, the Continental Congress had acted, and Thomas Jefferson's influential pamphlet ASummary View ofthe Rights ofBritish America, 25 which had been publishedin August, had become widely known in Virginia and elsewhere.76

THE FINCASTLE RESOLUTIONSTable 2. Resolutions and Instructions Issued by Counry Freeholders13 December 1774 - 27 March 1775*JurisdictionDateof MeetingReferencepage(s)Amherst 20 March 1775336AugustaBedford22 Feb. 1775 20 March 1775298-300336Berkeley 21 March 1775336BotetourtBrunswick**11 March 1775 25 March ochland**13Jan.177510 March 177520 Jan. 1775 11 Feb. 1775234232254-255285Hampshire 27 March 177533713 Jan. 1775235-2369 Jan. 1775 21 March 1775227337Northampton13 Dec. 1774243Pittsylvania26 Jan. 1775268-269Southampton** 9 March 1775319-321SussexWilliamsburg City 3 March 1775311208Isle of WightKing and QueenLouisa23 Dec. 1774Action takenAction presumed, delegatesat conventionResolves: See Appendix CAction presumed, delegatesat conventionAction presumed, delegatesat conventionResolves: See Appendix DTried a man for antiAmericanismOnly elected its committeeEncouraged manufacturesResolves: See Appendix ASold improperly importedgoodsAction presumed, delegatesat conventionOrganized itself andplanned meetingOnly organized itselfAction presumed, delegatesat conventionCalled for a committee tobe organizedOrganized and maderesolves.Committee met, actionunknownElected convention delegatesOnly elected committee*Summarized from Revolutionary Virginia, volume 2, pages 208-337.** These four counties (and perhaps others listed above) had probably elected Committees during summer 1774, but evidence to that effect has not survived.The symbol '' " means "occurred prior co .77

l1M GlANVILLENineteen additional Virginia jurisdictions {Table 2) acted between13 December 1774 (Northampton) and 27 March 1775 {Hampshire).The forty listed in Table l, together with the nineteen listed in Table 2,make a total of fifty-nine of the colony's sixty-five jurisdictions that hadacted. There is no surviving record of action by any of the remaining six.Chronologically, rhe Fincastle Resolutions ranked forty-sixth out of thosefifty-nine. Collectively, with the sharp exception of Virginia's four western counties (Augusta, Botetourt, Fincastle, and Pittsylvania), the secondwave of actions of the county committees and their published resolutionswere far less impressive than the first. The committees of the four westerncounties published by far the most significant statements in support ofAmerican liberty. Each of these counties acknowledged rhe work of theContinental Congress, demonstrating chat they knew they were now acting under a national mandate rather than just under a Virginia mandate, ashad been rhe case during the first wave of resolutions.As noted above, at lease four of the counties listed in Table 2 hadprobably elected commirrees during summer 1774, bur no records of choseevents remain. On the record, Brunswick tried the merchant AlexanderLove and acquirred him of violating the County Association; Cumberlandsought to encourage manufactures; Goochland reported a sale of improperly imported goods; and Southampton County left a fifty-page record (ofwhich the first thirty-eight are missing). All four of these counties werelikely jurisdictions whose actions in the summer of 1774 were omittedfrom the Virginia Gazette for lack of space. 26Six jurisdictions acted quite casually. Charlotte merely elected itscommittee. Isle of Wight County resolved co have a chairman and to havea meeting, but records of that meeting have not survived. King and QueenCounty simply elected a chairman, a substitute chairman, and a clerk butmade no resolves. Northampton only called on the sheriff and "two othergentlemen" co become their committee bur made no resolves. Southampton elected delegates and resolved co collect funds for "the suffering inhabitants of the town of Boston." Sussex solely elected delegates according toa report of a single line in the Virginia Gazette. Williamsburg City did nomore than elect its committee.Five counties (Amherst, Bedford, Berkeley, Hampshire, and Louisa)sent delegates co the second Virginia Convention (20-27 March 1775) butleft no records of any meetings at which their delegates were selected.78

THE FINCASTLE RESOLUTIONSThe four westernmost counties rook decisive steps. The first actionamong the four western counties came when the Fincastle committee adopted its resolutions on 20 January 1775 (see Appendix A). In the first lineof its preamble the Fincastle committee told that it acted in "obedience"to the resolves of the Continental Congress, following the precedent thatthe Williamsburg committee had set a month earlier. After constitutingitself, the committee wrote an "address" to the seven members of the Virginia delegation who had attended the Continental Congress, apologizedto them for its lateness in acting due to Dunmore's War (discussed below),and thanked them profusely for their services. The committee then assertedits love of King George III and, with an echo ofJefferson's Summary View,spoke of the British "compact, law, and ancient charters." After complaining that the "hand of unlimited and unconstitutional power" had come tothe Virginia mountains through a "venal British parliament," they resolvedto live and die in defense of their "inestimable privileges." The FincastleResolutions can be characterized as a high-minded appeal to principle andlegal precedent; they are noteworthy for not proposing specific remediesand for failing to mention Boston.The Pittsylvania (see Figure 1) committee met on 26 January 1775, 27perhaps at a tavern in Callands, 28 and chose a committee of thirty-twomen "agreeable to the direction of the General Congress." After electing itschairman and clerk, the committee members determined to be resolute indefending their liberties and properties and, if required, to die on behalfof their "fellow sufferers," the Bostonians. They next raised money for theGeneral Congress, drank "patriotick roasts," and ordered their proceedingspublished, 29 which they were on 11 February 1775 (see Appendix B).The Augusta (see Figure 1) committee met on 22 February 1775- 0 inStaunton. The account of its election of delegates and their instructions waspublished in Pinkney's Virginia Gazette on 16 March 1775 (see AppendixC). Its words were forceful. The committee elected two delegates, who wereinstructed to "comply with the recommendations of the late continentalcongress." The committee did not adopt formal resolves bur, while expressing loyalty to King George and respect for the "parent state," pledged itsmembers' "lives and fortunes" to preserve American rights in the face ofministers, parliaments, or "any body of men on earth" by whom they werenot represented. The committee also "entirely" agreed with "the gentlemenof Fairfax county," in a nod to the Fairfax Resolves of July 1774. Like that79

liM GLANVILLEof Fincascle, the Augusta committee did not mention Boston, althoughthey did propose specific actions, including that the colonies should institute domestic production of commodities such as salt and steel.The Botetourt' 1 (see Figure 1) committee published its instructionsto its delegates in Hunter and Dixon's Virginia Gazette on 11 March 1775 32(see Appendix D). They were brief and forceful. They called the King'sministers "a set of miscreants," who had "cruelly and tyrannically invadedour rights," and said that to "the honest man of Boston," the "hunter onthe Allegany" must offer support with his gun, tomahawk, and life. Thecommittee offered "ardent" acknowledgments to Virginia's delegation atthe late Continental Congress and concluded that should the measurescontemplated by the Congress fail, then the men of Botetourt would "standprepared for every Contingency."The actions of the Fincascle committee should not (as they almostalways have been) be viewed in isolation. Rather, they should be examined in relation to the actions of the committees of Augusta, Botetourt,and Pittsylvania (and of the officers at Fort Gower in November 1774,as described below). All four of these western counties acted late in theResolution-making process, principally because of the involvement of theirleaders and people in Dunmore's War, and together produced by far themost significant documents of the second wave. Each of the statementsadopted by these four counties pledged (in varying language) that the menwho adopted them would give their lives in the cause of American liberty.The View from Fincastle Counry in 1774In 1774 the future signers of the Resolutions were living in a frontiersociety that was litcle more than five years old. About 1750, early pioneerssuch as Stephen Holstein and Samuel Stalnaker reached the Holston Riverwatershed in present-day Smyth County, with the latter engaging in Indiantrade on behalf ofJames Patton. In 1760-61, William Byrd Ill, succeededin August 1761 by Adam Stephen, commanded an army that eventuallyreached more than 1,000 men. This army marched as far as the Long Islandof the Holston (at future Kingsport, Tennessee) where, in November 1761,Stephen concluded a treaty with the Cherokees. The traverse of this armyis only slighcly treated in the popular historical literature; however, it hasbeen well described by academic historians.-13 During the two decades between 1750 and 1770 setclers moved into and back out of the region as Indian conflict waxed and waned. Setclement began in earnest in Southwest80

THE FINCASTLE RESOl.UTIONSVirginia, northwestern North Carolina, and the Northeast of the futureTennessee by about 1770.'4To briefly summarize the literature: Well-known traditional discussions of the 1774 view from Fincastle County include the books by Abernethy,35 Sosin, 36 Tillson, 37 and Johnson, 38 along with articles by lsaac19 andCrawford. 40 Major works of regional history that describe the early yearsduring which Europeans entered the region include Summers, 41 .4 2 F. B.Kegley, 4 ·1 Johnson, 44 and, most recently, M. B. Kegley. 45 Useful is WoodyHolton's book (by an author with roots in Southwest Virginia) about thevarious and complex motivations for revolutionary fervor in Virginia. 46 Alsouseful is Greene's analysis of the origins of the Revolution in Virginia.47The western Virginia frontier in 1774 was a complex social and political environment controlled by the two main forces of land-hunger andAmerican Indian conflict - which were ineluctably entangled. The plightof the Bostonians and anger with British policies, except so far as they involved land, although readily acknowledged, were secondary issues for thefrontiersmen in 1774. In addition to Indian conflict and institutionalizedland acquisition, other issues on the frontier were individual land-grabbingand squatting, the local movement to set up independent governments,such as at Watauga, 48 competition for land grants among powerful groups,rivalry among the colonies for western land, English interests in westernland, the oncoming Dunmore's War, and the incipient Tory movement.However, Tory sentiment in Southwest Virginia had not yet in 1774-1775much manifested itself; it appeared quite strongly a few years later. 49As an illustration of the dominance of conventional land acquisition in the minds of Fincastle frontiersmen, consider the work of WilliamPreston's surveyors John Floyd, Hancock Taylor, and James Douglas, whowere busy in April-June 1774 making the first ever land surveys in thefuture state of Kentucky. Consequent to these surveys, six future FincastleResolutions signers took up Kentucky tracts: Arthur Campbell, WilliamChristian, William Ingles, William Preston, William Russell, and EvanShelby. Other prominent persons taking up Kentucky tracts at this sametime included William Byrd III, William Fleming, Patrick Henry, andGeorge Washington. 50 A recruiting circular published by William Prestonof Smithfield Plantation on 20 July 1774 calling for men to fight Indiansillustrates the role oflndian conflict in the western frontier and the attitudeof the frontiersmen toward Indians:81

hM GLANVILL . Lord Dunmore has called upon me to [raise] two Hundred & fifry Men .in Defence of our Lives and Properties. which have been so long exposed tothe Savages. [W]ithout all Doubt [success will] enable his Lordship toreward every Volunteer in a handsome manner. over and above his Pay: asthe plunder of the Counry will be valluable. & it is said the Shawnese havea great Stock of Horses. This useless People may now at last be Obligedto abandon their Country Their Towns may be plundered & Burned, TheirCornfields Distroyed: & they Distressed in such a manner as will preventthem from giving us any future Trouble: Therefore I hope the men will Readi!)' & cheerful!)' engage in the Expedition as They will not on!)' be conductedby their own Officers but they will be Assisted by a great Number of Officers & Soldiers raised behind the Mountains whose Bravery they cannotbe Doubtful! .The Eyes of this & the Neighbouring Colonies are uponus. The Governor of Virginia calls for us. Our Counry [Fincastle] is readyto pay. & support us: & all the [counties] behind the great Mountains arewilling to loin in Assisting us. Our Cause is good: & theirfo

States with part of the boundary of the future West Virginia shown dashed. Fin-castle Counry is shown shaded. Fincastle Counry in 1774-1775 consisted of all of modern Kentucky. southern West Virginia, and western Virginia. Botetourt Counry consisted of three present-day Virginia counties and the present