Claypool's Rebellion

Documents from Calendar of Virginia State Papers

Garret Vanmeter Co. Com: To Governor Jefferson
April 14, 1781
Hampshire County

Enclosing "Return" of Two Battalions in that county - Instructions had come from Genl: Clarke not to march the militia until further Orders - He has issued the order for the full number required by the Draft, but, adds, "I am afraid they will not be complyed with, by Reason of the disaffected people amongst us. (A Collector of one of the Divisions for making up the Cloathes and Beef was Interrupted in the execution of his office.) A certain John Claypole said if all the men were of his mind, they would not make up any Cloathes, Beef or Men, and all that would join him should turn out. Upon which he got all the men present, to five or six and Got Liquor and Drank King George the third's health, and Damnation to Congress,) upon which Complaint was made to three Magistrates. Upon which there was a warrant Issued for several of them, and Guard of Fifty men with the Sheriff. When they came to the place they found sixty or seventy men embodied, with arms - After some time they capitulated. the Sheriff served the precept on the said John Claypole, but he refused to come with him or give up his arms; but agreed to come such a time, which time is Passt - Inclosed you have a Copy of a Letter they sent me, and the answer I sent them - I was Informed there was one hundred and fifty of them to Gether the next Day. I am informed there are several Deserters amongst those people, Some from the English Prisoners. Some Eighteen Months men, and some Eight Months men, which they support and conceal." Refers his Excellency to Mr. Woodson the bearer for further particulars.

The letter enclosed, with reply -


Having consulted the Majority, it is the Desire of the, that their Conduct that has past Lately may be forgiven, as a great part of it was occasioned by Liquor, and as there is things that is Laid to the Charge of Sum, that is clear of the Charge. but moreover we acknowledge our behaviour was not Discreet. if you would Please to pass it by, we will submit to pay our Tax as the Law directs; and are willing to pay our District tax of Beef & Clothing if they can be purchased, and likewise to be Complyable to the Laws of the State, as far as our ability will allow. At the Request of the majority I have hereunto set my hand -

From Sir, yr: humble Servant

To Colo. Vanmeter - April 3d 1781.
April 4th 1781.


I rec'd yours dated the third Inst: and am very Glad to hear the Mutineers Begin to see their Folly. they may Depend I shall shew them all the Lenity the circumstance of the Case will admit of, but those chargable with breaking the Law I cannot clear, as I am but an Individual, unless they who are in the warrant Comes in and Clears themselves - from your friend, whil you are friends to yourselves and the United States.

To Josiah Osburn

Claypool's Rebellion: Primary Documents