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H I STORY
OF THE PRESENT
WAR in AMERICA;
An ACCOUNT of its RISE and PROGRESS,
The POITILCAL SPRINGS thereof,
WITH THE VARIOUS
SUCCESSES and DISAPPOINTMENTS
ON BOTH SIDE S.
By the Rev. JAMES MURRAY, of NEWCASTLE.
NE W CA S T LE:
Printed by and for T. Robson;R. BALDWIN, No. 47, Pater-noster-Row,
London; N. FROBISHER, York ; C. Elliot, Parliament-square, Edinburgh; and DUNLOP and WILSON, Glasgow,
C H A P, X.
Transactions in Virginia-The Powder removed from
Action near the Great Bridge-Connelly taken-+.
HE colony of Virginia, which had entered heartily into the general affociation from the begining, began now to feel the effects of their opposition to government. They had not as yet proceeded to any acts of violence, though they were ripe for the most violent measures. What contributed much to incense and irritate thềm to the highest pitch, was the haughtiness and fury of the governor : A nobleman of a furious temper, and insufferable pride, who being of an arbitrary difpofition, was more disposed to rule according to his own will, ihan according to the laws of the colony, and the spirit of the English conftitution. The colony having delegates at the general congress, fully dec'ared their principles, and dhewed what their opinions of the government were.
The governor considered it as an affront to his power for the colonists to choose commissioners to represent them in an assembly which held the power and authority of Great Britain at defiance. He proceeded therefore to such measures, as plainly hinted his jea. lousy of the loyalty of the Virginians, and intimated by palpable fignatures that he mistrusted them, and intended to behave towards them as a people really disaffected to his Majesty's government.
The Virginians had very different notions of loyalty from Lord Dunmore; they considered loyalty to be directed by certain laws which set bounds to it; whereas he measured his ideas of loyaley by the power of his majesty, and the emoluments that attended it. Respect to the sovereign must always keep pace with the laws of the land, otherwise it degenerates into servile adulation, and issues in actual slavery. viceroy lays claim to dignity and dominion equal to the sovereign himself, and is more disgusted at oppofition to his power and interest, than at opposition to his master's authority. An hungry nobleman, educated in all the high notions of his own consequence without patrimony to support his dignity, is of all men whatever, the most unfit for a substitute of royalty; his vanity would grasp at an empire, and his pride would devour the habitable world. When once he is exalted to preferment, where emoluments are like. ly to be had to encrease his power, he soon turns op: pressor to advance a step higher., The ranks of men beneath him are only considered as so many beings made for no other end than to serve the purposes of his avarice, power, and ambition. The Virginians had alway been among the first in expressing their resolutions, and the readiest in the wing their determi.
nations to support at all risks and events what they judged or termed the rights of America. In other respects they preserved the greatest order, quietness, and tranquility in the province; and notwithstanding the anxiety excited by the prorogation and diffolution of their afsemblies, and the expiration of their militia laws in consequence thereof, which in that coun. ty where a great part of the people are in a state of Lavery, was a circumstance of an alarming nature, yet with these causes of complaint the people seemed to pay a more than ordinary degree of attention and
pers fonal regard to the Earl of Dunmore, their Gover
la this state of affairs however the want of a legal assembly seemed to give some fan&tion to the holding of a convention: upon which a provincial congress was assembled in the month of March, 1775, who under the colour of an old law of the year 1738, which was still said to be in force, took measures for arraying the militia ; but to supply the defects in that law in fome measure, to remedy 'which it was pretended all the subsequent ones had been passed, they recommended to each county to raise a company of volurteers for the better defence and protection of the province.
This proceeding greatly alarmed the Governor; for it was an interference with the power of the crown, in a matter of very great consequence; and it is supposed that the Governor had either neglected his duty, or that they interded no lorger to trust the defence of the province in his hands. Such daring proceedings would have probably rouled a man less susceprible of an affront than Lord Dunmore, and have produced some enquiry into the cause thereof. His Lordship, instead of making a particular enquiry into