Claypool's Rebellion

Documents from Calendar of Virginia State Papers

Garret Vanmeter to Gov: Nelson.
July 28, 1781
Hampshire County

Upon receipt of his Letter by Mr. Wodrow, he had sent by Express the Commission of Oyer & Terminer to the gentlemen named in it, but as it has "fallen through" by their failure to attend at the time and place designated, his Excellency will now judge what is best to be done. He has discharged the Troop of Horse, and as their services have been considerable, gives them credit for a "tour of Duty" in accordance with the instructions from Gov: Jefferson - Apologizes for not having sooner answered his letter" of the 22d &23d ult:," but the people were so busy in their harvest, that it was impossible to "get any person to ride Express so far, there being no other mode of conveying intelligence from this quarter" - The want of a Commissioner under the Provision Law prevents his giving any idea of "the amount of Provisions in the County belonging to the public" - There is only four and wheat, the latter taken for the Specific Tax, and the beeves have been consumed by the militia. The people would by no means agree to go with their Wagons, else he should have sent several Loads of flour to the Army - Some have agreed to go, after harvest is ended, "but they are reluctant, not knowing what compensation they are to have for their trouble and loss of time."

Concludes "with respect to the unhappy people who have been concerned in the late insurrection, I did, in consequence of your letter of the 23d ult: send two Gentlemen of character to meet some others from the Counties of Augusta and Rockingham, who as I was informed had similar instructions from you, to communicate the mild intentions of the Executive towards these deluded people - I am happy in informing you that they have cheifly, all (except a few of the ring-leaders) availed themselves of your gracious offers of Pardon, and have promised to conduct themselves hereafter as good citizens, a considerable number of them have joined the Army, and those who are at home, have faithfully promised to assist in apprehending the others who yet remain obstinate. I feere this will be difficult as they have fled to the mountains and cannot be easily taken. As the Commission has fell through and as it is to be feared a considerable difficulty may arise in getting them who were found Guilty by the County Court, Tried, could wish that a General Indemnity might be granted to the whole that have surrendered, including not only those who were set for further Trial, but those who were bound to the Grand Jury Court, as there will be a very striking impropriety in subjecting the latter to heavy fine & perhaps imprisonment, when they are in all probability not near so guilty as some of those who have availed themselves of your offers contained in your letter to me of June 23d. I have therefore recommended to them to send a Petition to your Excellency for that purpose, & I hope it will merit your attention.

As to those who remain obstinate, I submit it to your Excellency's wisdom, what you think most proper to be done with them."

I am your Excellency's most obet. Servt."

Claypool's Rebellion: Primary Documents