PRIMARY DOCUMENT

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to William Preston (June 15, 1780)

SUMMARY

In this letter to the surveyor William Preston, dated June 15, 1780, Thomas Jefferson describes the military attacks Virginia faces from all directions.

FULL TEXT

Richmond June 15 1780

Sir

The present campaign promises our handsful of emploiment from every quarter. Of this you are likely to have your share. While we are threatned with a formidable attack from the northward on our Ohio settlements and from the southern indians on our frontiers convenient to them, our eastern country is exposed to invasion from the British army in Carolina. To the counties of Washington and Montgomery we must allot the operations against the southern indians. We are informed that the Carolinians are meditating an attack on the Chickamogges and will want aid. I am therefore to require that one hundred and fifty militia from Washington and one hundred from Montgomery be embodied in such time and manner as may cooperate with the Carolinians and strike a decisive and memorable blow against those hostile towns, taking great care that no injury be done to the friendly part of the nation. For this purpose you will of course open a proper correspondence with the county Lieutenants of Washington and the commanding officer of the Carolinians. With the county Lieutenant of Washington you will also concert measures for taking a post on proper grounds at or not far from Martins cabbin to be garrisoned by thirty militia from Washington and twenty from Montgomery to continue in service until relieved from their counties. I have no reason to suppose that the Carolinians woud propose to confound together the friendly and hostile parts of the Cherokee nation: it is my duty however to guard against possibilities, and to direct that our people do by no means cooperate against the friendly towns. They have our faith pledged for their protection and tho we cannot oppose force on their behalf in such an event, it is our desire that every thing short of that be exerted in their favour.

The settlements on the Ohio are without ammunition. I have therefore sent orders on Colo. Fleming and Colo. Lynch for powder and Lead to be delivered to the commanding officer of those souldiers who had been enlisted for the western service and who on the apprehension of a design against the Lead mines were stationed there till further orders. The time is now come when it is necessary for them to join their regiment and at the same time perform the useful service of escorting the powder and Lead to Kentucky. The inclosed Letter to the officer I must pray you to deliver. A guard of militia of Washington and Montgomery in proportion to their numbers must supply their place at the mines, which must be proportioned to what you shall think there is reason to apprehend. A small one at any rate will be necessary to guard against the mischief which might be done secretly by solitary or small combinations of disaffected persons.

Five hundred weight of powder will immediately be sent from hence for the Chickamogga expedition and other public uses of your two counties and I inclose an order on Colo. Lynch for one thousand pound of Lead. Mr. Baker the southwestern commissary and quarter master must furnish the aids of his departments.

Since writing the above we have concluded to put the men going against the Chuccamoggas under command of Colo. William Campbell now here, to whom therefore I have given the order for the lead, and who will superintend the sending from this place the necessary articles of other kinds.

I am Sir With great respect Your most humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

FURTHER READING

The Constitution of Virginia (1776) An act for better securing the payment of levies and restraint of vagrants, and for making provision for the poor (October 1776) An Act for speedily recruiting the Virginia Regiments on the continental establishment, and for raising additional troops of Volunteers (May 20, 1777) A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom (1779) An Act establishing a Board of War (June 1779) The Election of Jefferson as Governor: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (June 1, 1779) Thomas Jefferson’s Acceptance Speech for the Position of Governor: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (June 2, 1779) An act for the removal of the seat of government (June 18, 1779) An act for re-enlisting the troops of this state in the continental army, and for other purposes (October 1779) Thomas Jefferson’s Election to a Second Term as Governor: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (June 2, 1780) An act to revive and amend an act entitled ‘An act for giving farther powers to the governour and council’ (October 1780) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington (October 26, 1780) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Virginia Delegates in Congress (October 27, 1780) Remonstrance to Congress (1781) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Horatio Gates (February 17, 1781) Letter from George Washington to Thomas Jefferson (February 21, 1781) Letter from Lafayette to Thomas Jefferson (February 21, 1781) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette (March 10, 1781) Letter from Edmund Pendleton to James Madison (March 26, 1781) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to the House of Delegates (May 28, 1781) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington (May 28, 1781) The Need for a New Governor of Virginia: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (May 29, 1781) The Election of Governor Nelson: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (June 12, 1781) An Investigation into the Conduct of Thomas Jefferson: an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (December 12, 1781) Letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe (May 20, 1782) “Life of Isaac Jefferson of Petersburg, Virginia, Blacksmith” by Isaac Jefferson (1847)

CITE THIS ENTRY
APA Citation:
Jefferson, Thomas. Letter from Thomas Jefferson to William Preston (June 15, 1780). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/letter-from-thomas-jefferson-to-william-preston-june-15-1780.
MLA Citation:
Jefferson, Thomas. "Letter from Thomas Jefferson to William Preston (June 15, 1780)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 09 May. 2021
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