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The Settlement of the Appalachian Frontier: FINCASTLE COMMITTEE OF SAFETY

The Settlement of the Appalachian Frontier

Sharing information, stories, and ideas for teaching students about the settlement of the Appalachian Frontier. Focusing on the little-known people and history of Southwestern Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, and Eastern Kentucky.

Location: Nickelsville, Virginia, United States

Monday, December 27, 2004


(SOURCE: 1- Virginia GAZETTE, Feb.10, 1775)
(2- American Archives, Ser. IV,I,cols. 1165-66.)

Abstractor's Note: This is the World Famous--FINCASTLE RESOLUTION!
A precursor to the Declaration of Independence!

The FESTER started in 1738/9 when our people of the Western Waters saw they were treated as inferior and overlooked by George II. Then during the F&I War the young boys saw the ignorance and insolence of the Flatt Landed Englishman! They were seldom paid and had to scrounge for their own food, clothing and powder and flints.
The FESTER turned RED in 1763 when crazy George III , bent over backwards to the French and closed all Settlement on the Western Waters West of New River! All the Virginia Colonial Militia were denied their LAND BOUNTY PAY!
The Fester swelled when LORD DUNMORE and his 1000 men took the long way to POINT PLEASANT and got there two days after the Battle was over! (Thanks Dunnie for the thought! Hogwash!)
My William Kennedy Sr and JR. stood on the hill overlooking the Miami River (in Ohio) and saw the hated Shawnee who had been killing their blood since 1740! They were ready! Their leader , Col Andrew Lewis ( of Salem,VA) was ready----yes ready to charge into the red heatherns and get a little "pay back"!
Out rides the Shawnee Chiefs with a white flag and GOVERNOR DUNMORE takes their hand and gives them PEACE! He even took rations from his starving soldiers to give to the cutthroats. THE FESTER BURST! PUS poured all over DUNMORE and every mother's son knew what had to be done-----Return to their homes--form MINUTE COMPANIES (some times called Committee of Safety Companies) and range their frontiers to protect their own--drive all those loyal to the Crown out of public service and military command and GET READY!
Just look at the time frame---Battle at Point Pleasant in the first week of October and march to the Shawnee Villages and then the long return home--some men did not get home till last of November. Immediately they organized and waited for the Resolution from the new Continental Congress!
P.S. This original Resolution is in the handwriting of Reverend Charles Cummings of Abingdon, VA and founder of the Ebbing Springs Church which stands today. God Bless the Ulster Scot-God Bless the American Revolution and God Bless the Presbyterian Church. Amen. Cwkjr.
JANUARY 20, 1775
"In obedience to the resolves of the Continental Congress, a meeting of the freeholders of this county was held this day, who, after approving of the association framed by that augusto body in behalf of all the colonies, and subscribing thereto, proceeded to the election of a committee, to see the same carried punctually into execution, when the following Gentlemen were nominated: Reverend Charles Cummings, Colonel William Preston, Colonel William Christian, Captain Stephen Trigg, Major Arthur Campbell, Major William Inglis, Captain Walter Crockett, Captain John Montgomery, Captain James M'Gavock, Captain William Campbell, Captain Thomas Madison, Captain Daniel Smith, Captain William Russell, Captain Evan Shelby, and Lieutenant William Edmondson.
After the election, the committee made choice of Colonel William Christian for their chairman, and appointed Mr. David Campbell to be their clerk.
The following address was then unanimously agreed to by the people of the county, and is as follows:
To the Honourable Peyton Randolph, Esq.: Richard Henry Bland, Benjamin Harrison, and Edmund Pendleton, Esquires, the Delagates from this colony who attended the Continental Congress held at Philadelphia.
Had it not been for our remote situation, and the Indian war which we were lately engaged in, to chastise those cruel and savage people for the many murders and depredations they have committed amongst us (now happily terminated, under the auspices of our present worthy Governour, his Excellency the Right Honourable the Earl of Dunmore) we should before this time have made known to you our thankfulness for the very important services you have rendered to this country, in conjunction with the worthy Delegates from the other provinces. Your noble efforts for reconciling the Mother Country and the Colonies, on rational and constitutional principles, and your pacifick,steady, and
uniform conduct in that arduous work, entitle you to the esteem of all British America, and will immortalize you in the annals of your country. We heartily concur in your resolutions, and shall, in every instance, strictly and invariably adhere thereto.
We assure you, Gentlemen, and all our countrymen, that we are a people whose hearts overflow with love and duty to our lawful sovereign George III. whose illustrious house, for several successive reigns, have been the guardians of civil and religious rights and liberties of his subjects, as settled at the glorious Revolution; that we are willing to risk our lives in the service of his Majesty, for the support of the Protestant religion, and the rights and liberties of his subjects, as they have been established by compact, law, and ancient charters.
We are heartily grieved at the differences which now subsist between the parent state and the colonies, and most ardently wish to see harmony restored, on an equitable basis, and by the most lenient measures that can be devised by the heart of men.
Many of us, and our forefathers, left our native land, considering it as a kingdom subjected to inordinate power, amd greatly abridged of its liberties. We crossed the Atlantick, and explored this then uncultivated wilderness, bordering on many nations of savages, and surrounded by mountains almost inaccessible to any but those very savages, who have incessantly been committing barbarities and depredations on us since our first seating the country. These fatigues and dangers we patiently encountered, supported by the pleasing hope of enjoying those rights and liberties which have been granted to Virginians and were denied us in our native country, and of transmitting them inviolate to our posterity. But even to these remote regions the land of unlimited and unconstitutional power hath pursued us, to strip us of that liberty and property with which God, nature, and the rights of humanity, have vested us. We are ready and willing to contribute all in our power for the support of his Majesty's government, if applied to constitutionally, and when the grants are made by our own representatives; but cannot think of submitting our liberty or property to the power of a venal British parliment, or to the will of a corrupt ministry.
We by no means desire to shake off our duty or allegiance to our lawful sovereign, but on the contrary shall ever glory in being the loyal subjects of a Protestant prince, descended from such illustrious progenitors, so long as we can enjoy the free exercise of our religion, as Protestants, and our liberties and properties, as British subjects.
But if no pacifick measures shall be proposed or adopted by Great Britian, and our enemies will attempt to dragoon us out of those inestimable privileges which we are entitled to as subjects, and to reduce us to a state of slavery, we declare, that we are deliberately and resolutely determined never to surrender them to any power upon earth, but at the expense of our lives.
These are our real, though unpolished sentiments, of liberty and loyalty, and in them we are resolved to live and die.
We are, Gentlemen, with the utmost esteem and regard, your most obedient servant.