Elias Paston to County Lieutenant of Frederick - "pr: Express."
May 22, 1781
We are under the disagreeable necessity of troubling you for your assistance immediately. I received an Express just now from the Commanding Officer of this County, for as many men as can be had, not at any Rate, less than three hundred from Frederick County. Col: Vanmeter recommends that they who can, be mounted, may immediately mount & come on & the Foot to follow as quick as Possible. We look upon it, that our lives & Fortunes are in danger of being taken, we don't know how soon - Yesterday the militia of this county march'd to Capt: Stumps; there made a halt, and sent a party of light Horse to see what Discoveries they could make about Jacob Brake's Mill on the South Fork. they were repuls'd by a fire & got off without any Loss, & brought with them two prisoners - they can't make any Discovery of the number of the Enemy. I understood by one Powel who came from Clapoles, on the Lost river (the Commander of the Tories) that he expected by last night to command one thousand men - Col: Vanmeter, in his Express, has left the proceedings in a great measure to my judgment, & I think the only sure Remmedy to apply, would be to prevail upon Genl: Morgan to take a Tower amongst them, which seems to be their chief Resin - they are daily dareing him. The People of this County, who are our Friends, are so much connected, as well as related, that they are, on these accts very bacward to turn out, so that the welfare of our wives & children seems greatly to depend upon your Immediate Assistance. they threaten, if successful, to kill Men, Women & Children. I shall leave you to consider the deplorable situation of your Suffering Friends & Neighbours - "
"N. B. Let the men be officer'd & well arm'd."
Capt: Beall, the Bearer, has seen the Express & can inform you more particularly the contents thereof - "
Claypool's Rebellion: Primary Documents