Collection Items

By his Excellency the Right Honourable John Earl of Dunmore, his Majesty's Lieutenant and Governour-General of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, and Vice-admiral of the same. A proclamation.
In November 1775, from the safety of a British warship near Norfolk, Virginia's royal governor, the earl of Dunmore, decided to handle the explosive political situation by declaring martial law and offering freedom to enslaved people who fought for…

Trial summary, Prince William County Court, Billy alias Will alias William a mulatto Slave the property of John Tayloe Esq for Treason
The summary of Billy's trial included the accusation that he "did in Company of & Conjunction with diverse Enemies of the Commonwealth in armed Vessels feloniously & Traiterously Wage & Levy War against the Commonwealth." His lawyers argued that he…

Letter, Henry Lee and William Carr to Governor Thomas Jefferson
With his request for Jefferson to reprieve Billy, Mann Page included an opinion from Henry Lee and William Carr, justices who dissented from the verdict and supported Page's efforts to commute the death sentence.

Reprieve of Billy
Thomas Jefferson granted a reprieve of Billy until the end of June 1781, and the General Assembly vacated the conviction.

Petition of Mann Page, executor of John Tayloe
With his request for Jefferson to reprieve Billy, Mann Page included a copy of the indictment, conviction, and sentence from the Prince William County Court.

Deposition of Chief Cook
The Virginia Board decided that because members of the Pamunkey Indian tribe had never been allowed to vote, they were not considered citizens of the United States and thus could not be subject to the draft.

Letter, John G. Warburton, Williamsburg, to Governor James H. Price, Richmond
Residents of the Mattaponi Indian Reservation argued that because they were wards of the state, they should not be counted in the census.

Letter, W.M. Kemper, Richmond, to Chief George F. Custalow
W.M. Kemper, executive assistant to the governor of Virginia, wrote to Chief Custalow of the Mattaponi Indian tribe that "all persons living within the Commonwealth" must be counted in the census.
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