A Well Regulated Militia: 1607-1756

(A Well Regulated Militia - Part II : 1757-1800).



Jamestown is founded in 1607 and Becomes the First Capital of Virginia



"XI. And we do further of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, for us, our heirs, and successors, give and grant unto the said treasurer and company, and their successors, for ever, by these presents, that it shall be lawful and free, for them and their assigns, at all and every time and times hereafter, out of any our realms and dominions whatsoever, to take, lead, carry, and transport, in and into the said voyage, and for and towards the said plantation, of our said first colony in Virginia, all such and so many of our loving subjects, or any strangers, that will become our living subjects and live under our allegiance, as shall willingly accompany them in the said voyages and plantation; with shipping, armour, weapons, ordinance, munition, powder, shot, victuals, and all manner of merchandises and wares, and all manner of cloathing, implements, furniture, beasts cattle, horses, mares, and all other things necessary for the said plantation, and for their use and defence, and for trade with the people there, and in passing and returning to and from, without paying or yielding any subsidy, custom, or imposition, either inward or outward, or any other duty to us, our heirs, or successors, for the same, for the space of seven years from the date of these presents." Third Charter of Virginia by Kings James I. (1611).

Jamestown Fort

Library of Congress' Thomas Jefferson Paper's Collection: Records of The Virginia Company



Williamsburg Capitol Building

In 1809 a collection of the laws of the Colony of Virginia was published at the request of Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia legislature. The Statutes at Large :Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature in 1619, was compiled by William Waller Hening and was produced in 13 Volumes:

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 1 (Ancient Charters, 1619 to 1660)(1823).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 2 (1660 - 1682)(1810).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 3 (1684 - 1710)(1823).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 4 (1711 - 1736)(1820).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 5 (1738 - 1748)(1819).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 6 (1748 - 1755)(1819).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 7 (1756 - 1763)(1820).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 8 (1764 - 1773)(1821).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 9 (1775 - 1778)(1821).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 10 (1779 - 1781)(1822).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 11 (1782 - 1784)(1823).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 12 (1785 - 1788)(1823).

Va. Stat. at Large : Vol. 13 (1789 - 1792)(1823).

The following excerpts of the laws are generally presented in their original form and the reader of the works will gain an appreciation of the arbitrary nature of the laws as well as the spelling of the words. Though only touched on in this section, it was unlawful to parle with any Indians or sell or barter with them depending upon the time. It was a love/hate or war and peace relationship. When Virginia's Indians were at peace with the English, they were known as "our friendly Indians" depending on the tribe and it became legal to trade with them which included firearms. Trade with Indians for guns was also exempted for a time when outsiders were making a profit at Virginia's expense. It was then later made unlawful for Indians to possess firearms. Negroes including slaves, indentured servants and free blacks were allowed or not allowed to own firearms depending upon the circumstances and times and this changed frequently. Free Blacks were required to serve in the militia but were usually used as scouts (Pioneers), fife and drummers, or laborers. White males were required to supply and bear their own arms for militia service. In 1756, Papists or Catholics were deemed as dangerous to the Colony and were disarmed.

The Great Massacre of March 22, 1622

"The very morning when the blow fell, Indians came into the various settlements bearing gifts of game and making protestations of cordial friendship. They accepted the hospitality of the Virginians and ate their morning meal at their tables. There was on the part of the white settlers no suspicion at all in the act. They had come so thoroughly to believe that the Indians were a subdued race that they would not tolerate the suggestion that they were capable of doing them any harm or hurt...As though a mine had been planted, the explosion came on March 22, 1622, at the same hour of the day, all the way from Berkeley's plantation to Southampton's Hundred, on the Chesapeake Bay. "They fell upon the English and basely and barbarously murthered them, not sparing age or sex, man, woman or child. Being at their several works in the house and in the fields, planting corn and tobacco, gardening, making brick, building, sawing and other kinds of husbandry, so sudden was the cruel execution that few or none discerned the weapon or the blow that brought them to destruction."

Six members of the Council were killed. The reported list shows, however, only the names of four - George Thorpe, Captain Nathaniel Powell, John Berkeley and Samuel Macock. It is argued that the other two must have been John Rolfe and Michael Lapworth, as they unmistakably died about this time, and as the other members of the Council are all accounted for.

When the night of that dreadful day fell, three hundred and forty-seven persons had been slain. Of the twenty-four people at Falling Creek only a single boy and girl escaped. Around Henrico settlement more than eighty met their death. Indeed, one report declares that so many as a hundred and eighteen were killed at this place. George Thorpe, one of the most useful men in the colony, and one of the most devoted friends the Indians had, in spite of his warm interest in the old Indian emperor, and though warned by his servants, whom he refused to believe, was killed and his body shamefully mutilated by the savages. At Appomattox, Flower de Hundred, Macock, Westover, Powell's Brook and Martin-Brandon there was the same story of destruction and slaughter. In some instances settlers were able to defend their homes and to beat off their assailants. At Martin's Hundred seventy-three were butchered. Very curious indeed is the report that near Martin's Hundred there was a small family who knew nothing of the massacre until after two days had passed. Not many were killed on the Eastern Shore, and this is attributed to the fact that the "laughing King" could not be induced to join in the "general combination against the English, which otherwise might have completed the ruin of the colony." This attitude of the "laughing King" kept from the Eastern Shore settlements Indians from remoter tribes. Save for the revelation of Chanco, the Indian convert at Jamestown, the slaughter would have been universal. He notified his master, for whom he had great affection and from whom he had received much kindness, that the blow was going to fall the next morning. The warning had come too late, however, to be widely circulated. Men were immediately sent out to warn the neighboring settlements, but there was not sufficient time for them to cover more than a circuit of five miles from Jamestown.

The University of Henrico was granted a royal Charter in 1618 and was headed by George Thorpe. It was located near the "Citie of Henricus". The city and the university were destroyed in the massacre. "As it was, the town of Henrico was totally annihilated, and George Thorpe, the superintendent of college lands, was killed, and seventeen of the college tenants perished with him. Thus came to an end the proposed college.

The Colonial Dames of America (Chapter I.), deploring the neglect of these facts in Virginia's history, have offered to the Johns Hopkins University a medallion, to be conferred annually upon some graduate or student of the university for the best essay on American history. The medallion contains this inscription: "The University of Henrico, destroyed in the massacre March 22, 1622." In the centre of the medallion is George Thorpe, and behind him stand his tenants, while in front are the Indians rushing upon them." Source: Julian A. Chandler and Travis B. Thames, Colonial Virginia, 106-107, 176-183 (1907).

Image Source: Edward D. Neill, History of the Virginia Company of London: With Letters to and from the first Colony never before printed, 340 (1869).

Citie of Henricus

The Response to the Massacre

March 1623-4 --21st James 1st:

"4. That the 22d of March be yeerly solemized as holliday, and all other hollidays (except when they fall two together) betwixt the feast of the annuntiation of the blessed virgin and St. Michael the arch-angell, then only the first to be observed by reason of our necessities." See Va. Code § 2.2-3300. Legal holidays.

"23.That every dwelling house shall be pallizaded for defence against the Indians."

See the Original Manuscript Source of the Laws

"24. That no man go or send abroad without a sufficient partie well armed."

"25. That men go not to worke in the ground without their arms (and a centinell upon them.)"

"26. That the inhabitants go not aboard ships or upon any other occasions in such numbers, as thereby to weaken and endanger the plantations."

"27. That the commander of every plantation take care that there be sufficient of powder and ammunition within the plantation under his command and their pieces fixt and their arms compleate."

" 28. That there be dew watch kept by night."

"29. That no commander of any plantation do either by himselfe or suffer others to spend powder and ammunition unnecessarily in drinking or enterntainments, &c."

The Colony of Virginia Census of 1624-25

Decisions of the Virginia General Court 1626-1628

A Court at James citty the 3d of April 1627, being present Sr George Yeardley, Knt. Governor &c, Capt. West, Dr. Pott, Capt. Smith, Capt. Mathewes, Mr. Secretary, Capt. Tucker, and Mr. Ferrar.

Whereas by some information now of late from other Indians, we understand there is a purpose in these Indians or enemies to make a generall assault uppon all our plantations this spring, it is ordered that notice be given by proclamation through the Coloniy that according to a former proclamation published, all dwelling houses or plantations be strongly palizadoed about and that all men doe carefully stand uppon their guard, keepe sentinell uppon their worke men by day & keepe goode watch by night, shutting and making fast the gate of their forte, not suffering any single men to stragle abroad, where by all danger may be prevented.

A Court held at James City, the 7th day of May 1627, being present Sr George Yeardley, Knt., &c., Dr. Potts, Capt. Roger Smith.

Whereas it appeareth upon the complaint of Ensigne John Uty, (by oaths of John Day and Francis Banks) that Richard Bickley hath resisted an opposed him, in his comand, in denying to take armes and discharge his publick dutye, the Court hath ordered, that for this his offence he shalbe laid neck and heels 12 hours, and at the croppe by way of fine shall pay 100L of Tobo."

A Court held 25th June 1627. Sr George Yeardley, Knt. Governor &c., Capt. Smyth and Mr. Claybourne.

Whereas Mr. Will'm Barnes and Robert Paramor did on Thursday last behaved themselves very negligently on their watch, it is therefore ordered that they shall pay 3 days work apiece in cutting downe and clearing off such shrubbs and lowe woods as are before the town in the fields, & likewise that Goodman Osborne for the like offence doe give 1 dayes work.

The Petition of Right, 1628 ( Set Forth Individual Rights and Liberties of British Subjects)

February 1631- 2 --7th CHARLES 1st:


NOE man shall goe or send abroade without a sufficient party well armed.


NOE man shall goe to worke in the grounds without theire armes, and a centinell uppon them.


THERE shall be due watch kept by night where neede requires.


NOE commander of any plantation, shall either himselfe or suffer others to spend powder unnecessarilie, that is to say, in dringinge or enterteynments.



All men that are fittinge to beare armes, shall bring their peices to church uppon payne of every effence, yf the mayster allow not thereof to pay 2 lb. of tobacco, to be disposed by the church-wardens, who shall levy it by distress, and the servants to be punished.


THE ioyninge plantations, to assisst the fronteires or their neghbours, uppon alarmns, the default to be severelie censured, and false alarmns punished.


It is ordered and appoynted, That the commanders of all the severall plantations, doe upon holy days exercise the men under his command, and yearlie doe likewise uppon the first day of December, take a muster of theire men, togeather with the women and children, and theire ages, countryes, and towns, where they were borne, with the shipps they came in, and the yeare of the Lord, as also of armes and munition, corne, cattle, hoggs, goates, barques, boates, gardens, and orchards, and yf they shall make default, to be censured by the Governor and Counsell.


The third of March, 1631.

IT is agreed uppon by the Grand Assembly, That Capt. Samuel Mathewes, when he hath finished, and perfected, the worke at the ffort at Poynt Comfort, shall give notice to the comissioners for that purpose, that they may viewe the worke.



IT is further agreed, That Capt. Samuel Mathewes, shall leave 6 sufficient men thereon for a guard, and that he shall receive satisfaction for them, of the country, until such tyme as it can be otherwise provided for.


THAT the inhabitants about the corporation of James Citty, with the ayde of the Burgisses thereof, shall with all convenient speed that may be, remove the carriadges for the ordinance, into some dry place to preserve them for the decayinge of the weather, or otherwise.


September 1632 -- 8th CHARLES 1st:


"EVERY vessel or shipp cominge out of the ocean customs untill further orders be taken therein shall pay after the rate of one barrell of gunpowder containinge 100 lbs. and ten iron shott for ordinance, for every hundred tunns of burthen, to be for the use of the fort at Poynt Comfort, and soe to be accounted propotionably bee the shipp or barque bigger or lesser."


"...But it is thought convenient that any man be permitted to kill deare or other wild beasts or fowle in the common woods, forests, or rivers in regard that thereby the inhabitants may be trained in the use of theire armes the Indians kept from our plantations, and the wolves and other vermine destroyed..."


FEBRUARY, 1632-3 −−− 8th CHARLES 1st.


An act for Tradesmen to worke on their trades.

THE necessitie of the present state of the country requiringe, It is thought fitt, That all gunsmiths and naylers, brickmakers, carpenters, joyners, sawyers, and turners, be compelled to worke at theire trades and not suffered to plant tobacco or corne or doe any other worke in the ground −−− And the commissioners in the several parts of this colony, shall take care to see this act performed. And further to see that they have good payment made unto them for theire worke out of the stores as soone as the tobacco is brought thither.


AUGUST, 1633 −−− 9th CHARLES 1st.


An act for all new comers to pay 64 lb. of Tobacco in the maynteynance of the fort at Poynt Comfort

FFOR the maynteynance of the ffort at Poynt Comfort, It is enacted and ordered, That all such as have arrived in this colony since the takinge of the general muster for the paym't. of the generall debts the 4th Sept. last past, beinge freemen, and likewise all titheable persons of the said freemens families, shall pay in like manner as the planters of this colony have paid 64 lb. of tobacco per poll, to be paid the next cropp after theire arrivall, by soe many as shall be liveinge the first day of September; Nevertheless it is permitted unto them that yf the said new comers with theire families shall not plant tobacco the said first yeare, they shall be free and exempted from payinge the said 64 lb. of tobacco, And yf any surplusage shall remayne over and above the mayntenance of the ffort, It is thought fitt, that 1000 lb. of tobacco be allowed out of this levy of 64 lb. of tobacco unto the interpreter who shall be resident with the Governor. And the commanders, upon the first day of December, shall, togeather with the generall muster, deliver a list of such new comers in. And it is ordered that the several storekeepers for the stores in this colony, shall receave the said 64 lb. of tobacco, and deliver an account of the same unto Mr. John Corker the generall account. And this present assembly doe confirm and approve of the order of cort made the 14th day of December last past by the Governor and Counsell, vizt.

b. tob. barr's.
To the Captayne of the ffort 2000 and 10 corne
the Gunner 1000 and 6 corne
the Drummer and Porter 1000 and 6 corne
for 4 other men each of them
500 lb. tob. & 4 barr's of
corne, 2000 and 16

lb. tob. 6000 and 38 corne



"In 1634. The country divided into 8 shires, which are to governed as the shires in England.

"The names of the shires are,
James City
Charles City
Elizabeth Citty

Warwick River
Charles River

"And Lieuten'ts. to be appointed the same as in England, and in a more especial manner to take care of the warr against Indians. "



"Be it therefore enacted by the authoritie of this present Grand Assembly, That every shipp cominge out of the ocean unto the habour at Poynt Comfort, in dischardge of all payments and duties there for the said shipp, shall pay one quarter of a pound of powder and shott proportionably for every tunn of burthen that the said shipp is of. And the commander of the ffort at Poynt Comfort shall hereby have power to require and take the same."


An act that no Armes or Amunition be sould to the Indians.

IT is ordered and appoynted, That yf any person or persons shall sell or barter any gunns, powder, shott, or any armes or amunition unto any Indian or Indians within this territorie, the said person or persons shall forfeite to publique uses all the goods and chattells that he or they then have to theire owne use, and shall also suffer imprisonment duringe life, the one halfe of which forfeiture shall be to him or them that shall informe and the other halfe to publique uses.


"FFOR the maynteynance of the ffort at Poynt Comfort, It is enacted and ordered, That all such as have arrived in this colony since the takinge of the general muster for the paym't. of the generall debts the 4th Sept. last past, beinge freemen, and likewise all titheable persons of the said freemens families, shall pay in like manner as the planters of this colony have paid 64 lb. of tobacco per poll, to be paid the next cropp after theire arrivall, by soe many as shall be liveinge the first day of September;...And the commanders, upon the first day of December, shall, togeather with the generall muster, deliver a list of such new comers in."

January 1639- 40 -- 14th CHARLES 1st:

" All persons except negroes to be provided with arms and ammunition or be fined at the pleasure of the Governor or Council."

"An Act in 1637, which makes it felony to barter with the Indians repealed, and enacted that for trading with them for arms and ammunition shall be felony, and for other commodities imprisonment at discretion of the Governor and Council."

March 1642- 3 -- 18th CHARLES 1st:



"...Be it further also enacted that if any servant running away as aforesaid shall carrie either peice, powder and shott, And leave either all or any of them with the Indians, And being thereof lawfully convicted shall suffer death as in case of ffelony."



"BE it also enacted and confirmed, that what person or persons soever shall sell or barter with any Indian or Indians for peece, powder and shott and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall forfeit his whole estate, the one halfe to the informer the other halfe to the vse of the county where such ffact shall be committed, And if any person shall barter or trade with the Indians for any other comodities such person shall suffer imprisonment at the discretion of the Governour and Counsel, And whereas it is informed that divers persons do entertain Indians to kill deare or other game, And do furnish the said Indians with peeces, powder and shott, by which great abuse, not onely the Indians (to the great indangering of the collony) are instructed in the vse of ovr arms, but have opportunity given them to store themselves as well with arms as powder and shott, Be it therefore enacted, That what person or persons soever within the collony, shall lend any Indian either peece, powder and shott, It shall be lawfull for any person meeting with any such Indian so furnished, to take away either peece, powder or shott, so as such person taking away either peece, powder or shott do carrie the same to the comander of the county, and acquaint him therewith, which said comander is hereby authorized to give possession to the informer either of the peece, powder or shott so brought before him, Ad the said commander is further require, to make a strict inquire and examination to find out such person that did lend or give such peece, powder or shott to the Indians, And in case the said commander or other commanders in examination shall find any person by just proofe delinquent in the premises, he or they are to bind over the said party to answer the same, before the Governor and Counsell the ensuing quarter court, and in such case the party delinquent for his just offence shall forfeit two thousand pounds of tobacco, the one half whereof shall be an come to the King's majesty, the other halfe to the informer, And it is further enacted that such delinquent for his second offence shall forfeit his whole estate, one halfe to the King, the other halfe to the informer. And this act to be of force after publication hereof in each county."


"...Be it further enacted & confirmed, for the better observation of the saboth and for the restraint of divers abuses committed in the collony by unlawful shooting on the sabbath day as asforesaid, unless it shall be for the safety of his or their plantations or corne fields or for defence against the Indians, he or they so offending shall forfeit for his or their first offence being thereof lawfully convicted, if he be a freeman the quantity of twenty pounds of tobacco, and if a servant be punished at the discretion of his master, And if masters of any such servants be remisse and neglegent in the punishing of his servant for the offense aforesaid he shall be liable to the forefeiture of twenty of twenty pounds of tobacco, being justly convicted for the same."


" It is enacted and confirmed that masters of every family shall bring with them to church on Sondays one fixed and serviceable gun with suficient powder and shott vpon penalty of ten pound of tobacco for every master of a family so offending to be disposed of by the churchwardens who shall levy it by distresse, and servants being commanded and yet omitting shall receive twenty lashes on his or theire bare shoulders, by order from the county courts where he or they shall live."


"VPON consideration had by this Grand Assembly of the scarsity of powder and aminition in the plantation and the difficultie in procureing the same, It is thought fitt and enacted that the Governour, at his discretion, do allott a barrel of powder to each countie, to be kept and preserved in the hands of the commander and a publique stock, for which the comander of each county is to be responsible."


Accomack-Northampton County Court Records 1640-1645 (Penalty for Not Bearing Arms)


English Civil Wars (1642-1651)



FEBRUARY, 1644-5 −−− 19th CHARLES 1st. 

ACT IV. (Second Great Massacre to be Remembered, April 18, 1644)

"THAT the eighteenth day of April be yearly celebrated by thanksgivinge for our deliverance from the hands of the Salvages."


"BE it enacted by the Governour, Counsell and Burgesses of this Grand Assembly that the three countys of Isle of Wight, Vpper Norff: and Lower Norff: shall prosecute the enemie and defend those parts from Vpper Chipoaks downewards by constant marches vpon the Indians, And the inhabitants of Lawnes Creeke vpwards to the falls on the south side of the river shall do the like from the Vpper Chipoaks to the vtmost extend on that side. And that the Leifts. and deputy Leifts. or the major part of them be the counsell of warr of the aforesaid associating countys and limitts vnder th Governour and Counsell; And that the warr be managed equallie and proportionably, respect being had to the frontiers, And that the same counsell of war shall have power to leavie such and soe manie men, arms, ammunition and other necessaries as emergencie of occasions shall require, And in case of any of the said Leifts. or deputy Leifts. shall abuse their trust, And just complaint made thereof, that they shall be subject to punishment by the Governour and Council or general Assembly, And that the election of the comanders in cheife be from time to time referred to the Governour and Council And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that for the manageing the warr on the north side of the river, That evrie 15 tithable person shall sett forth, compleatly furnish and maintain, one soldier, vntil such time as the Governour and Council shall find cause to increase or diminish the number; And because there shall be no scruple or invasion who are and who are not tithable, it is resolved by this Grand Assembly, That all negro men and women, and all other men from the age of 16 to 60 shall be adjudged tithable: And incase any person or persons within their familys, that such delinquents shall forfeit double pay for everie tithable person soe concealed; And where ffifteen are joyned to set forth on and cannot agree amongst themselves, That in such case the council of warr shall press whom they shall think fitt, And whereas some difference may arise concerning the pay of the soldier so sett out, It shall be lawfull for the 14 to compound and agree with him as they and he shall think fitt, And in case of disagreement that then the counsell of warr shall allow the soldier such satisfaction from the 14 as to them shall seem convenient, And the said counsell of warr shall have power to arme the soldier with all necessaries out of the said fifteen men, provided that the soldier be responsible for his arms (in case he shall negligently loose or spoyle them) out of his sallary, And to avoid all doubts and controversies that may arise in case of the death of any such soldier, whether he be servant or other, Be it enacted by the authoritie aforesaid that any soldier so slayne in the service his whole yeares sallary shall be due if he were hired for so long time as he did serve, and the remainder by a publique leavie, And in case he be only sick, maymed or hurt, that then the county of which he went to pay for his cure to the chirurgion that shall be imployed about him, And if it so fall out that a diminution of the armes shall be expedient, That when the least number maintaining a soldier shall be first releived."


"BE it alsoe enacted and confirmed that this clause be annexed to the first act of Assembly held the first of March, 1643, concerning shooting of Gunns −−− That the penaltie for every offender and offence in that kind shall be 100 pound of tobaccoe halfe to him that informed the Left. and the other halfe to the vse of the countye."


"BE it enacted by the present Grand Assembly, That the act the last Assembly excepting servants, armes, amunition, and corn for present subsistance from the rigor of exec'n. be still in full force and power and so to continue till the twentieth of October next."

OCTOBER, 1644 −−− 19th CHARLES 1st.


"WHEREAS by the late reducement of the inhabitants into great familys divers inconveniences have happened, Be it enacted by the authoritie of this present Grand Assembly, that all persons soe reduced and placed may remove and dispose of themselves for their best advantage and convenience, Only in places of danger it shall not be lawfull for any to seat or inhabitt without ten sufficient men at the least, and arms and ammunition accordingly, The said places of danger to be considered, and the parties licensed by the Leifts. and their deputies."


"BE it enacted by the authoritie of this present Grand Assembly that for the defraying of the charges of Sir William Berkeley's voyage, And towards satisfaction for the powder to be bought, that there be levied eighteen pound of tobaccoe per poll for all tithable persons to be presently collected by the severall sherriffs, And deposited with the comissioners of each county court, to be by them reserved vntil the next Grand Assembly, And the severall comissioners are required to take care thereof."


MARCH 1645-6 −−− 21st CHARLES 1st.


"BE it enacted for the defence of the inhabitants on the southside of James River and the prevention of the great releife and subsistance to the Salvages by ffishing in Bristoll alias Appomattocke River, as also for the cutting down their corne or performeing any other service vpon them, That there be a ffort forthwith erected, att the Falls of the said Appomattock River, nominated fforte Henry, and forty-five soldiers raised from the inhabitants from Basses choyce vpwards, including the said Basses choice: All which soldiers are to bee raised by the leu'ts. and deputy Leu'ts. within the said lymitt either by presse or otherwise as the Leu'ts. and deputy Leu'ts shall think fitt, from the inhabitants resideing within the said precincts proportionably, that is to say, Henrico 3, Charles Citty 12, James Citty 15, Isle of Wight 15, which said Leiuet's and deputy Leu'ts are authorized to leavie armes, ammunition and all other things necessary for the service, as well for the building of the ffort as otherwise: And it is further enacted that the inhabitants within the lower parish of Isle of Wight county and the Vpper and Lower Norff. counties do vndertake the warr against the Nansimum Indians, or any other neighbouring Indians, by cutting vp their corne and doing or performing any act or acts of hostility against them, And that they have power (if it be thought fitt by the Lefts. and deputy Lefts. within the said countie) to erect a forte within the said countyes, And it is further thought fitt, that the charge of the said warr in all the aforesaid lymitts be leavied proportionably from the inhabitants of the south side of James River, And that the same salary be allowed to the officers respectively of the ffort Henry that the officers of the fortes on the north side of the rive had and enjoyed the last year by vertue of the 3d act of the 17th of ffeb: 1644, with the like priviledge to the Capt. to elect his inferior officers, And that the Leu'ts. and dept. Leu'ts. do take are to provide a sufficient chirurgeon for the said forte."


"WHEREAS the Governor, Council and Burgesses of this present Grand Assembly have maturely weighed and considered the great and vast expence of the collony, in prosecuting the warr against our comon enemies the Indians, and the almost impossibillity of a further revenge vpon them, they being dispersed and driven from their townes and habitations, lurking up & downe the woods in small numbers, And that a peace (if honourably obtained) would conduce to the better being and comoditie of the country, have enacted, and be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, That three-score men be forthwith raised on the north side of James River, well provided with fixed guns, shott baggs and swords, That is to say, from Henrico 2 men, Charles Citty county 4, James Citty countye 13, Yorke county 16, Warwick county eight, Eliz. Citty county 8, and Northampton county 9 −−− All which said men shall march vnder and be obedient to the command of Leift. Fra: Poythers in the manageing of any occasionall warr, And that vpon all emergent occasions in the treaty for the accomodation of a peace the said Leift. ffrancis Poythers shall follow the advice of Capt. Henry ffleet, And that the said Capt Henry Fleet shall according to his undertakeing and propositions made to the Grand Assembly provide and make readie his barque, boat and shallop, victualls and men for the manageing of the said vessells for the space of sixe weeks, And three hundred pound of powder and 1200 lb. of shott or bulletts for the said sixty men to be employed in the service, att his owne proper costs and charges, As alsoe all such nailes, axes, hoes, spades, & other necessaries for the service as occasion shall require, the charge of which shall be borne and defrayed by the publique leavye, And that the said 60 soldiers be raised by the Leift. and deputy Leifts. of the said severall countyes respectively in the severall precincts who are to repaire to their rendevouze at Kickotan on the 20th of Aprill next well appointed as aforesaid, And further be it enacted, That Mr. Cornelius Lloyd and Mr. Antho: Elliot shall forthwith putt in security (according to the present vndertakeing) to provide and make readie att the tyme aforesaid 2520 lb. of beefe and porke sufficiently salted and packt in caske, and 2520 lb. of bread or sifted meale and 40 bushells of peas in caske or the valew in bread and meale, In consideration whereof they shall receive 15000 lb. of tobacco to be raised by the next publique leavie, out of such county or countys as they shall desire. And that Capt. Henry Fleet in satisfaction of his charge and disbursement shall receive the summe of 15000 lb. of tob'o. to be likewise raysed at the next Leavie, Provided allwayes that in case he do not effect the aforesaid intended peace with the Oppechankeno or his Indians our enemies, that then he shall beare all such charges and disbursements without any consideration or satisfaction from the publique, And if it shall soe happen that a peace may not or cannot be concluded, that then they the said fleet and Poythers shall erect and biuld a forte in any convenient place in Rappahannock River, or before if they shall soe think fitt, And follow such further instructions as shall be given them, by this Grand Assembly or the Governour and council."

NOVEMBER, 1645 −−− 20th CHARLES 1st.


"WHEREAS the carelesse stragling of many people hat exposed them to the slaughter of the enemie, Be it enacted, that the Leifts. and deputy Leifts. in the several precincts, shall hereby have power to restraine all such persons (as not being considerable party to defend themselves) shall either hunt in the woods or travell abroad, and punish such as shall offend therein according to the nature of the offence."

OCTOBER, 1646 −−− 21st CHARLES 1st.


AND whereas the maintayneing of the fforts, at least the greater number of them are thought to be of great consequence, In poynt of honour and security of the collony, and yet of great burthen to the inhabitants to be mainteyened by the publique charge, Be it therefore enacted, That the said fortes with the propriety of a competent quantity of land bee granted to particular undertakers, to be maintayned by the severall undertakers, with a sufficient strength of people, with such priviledges for theire encouragement herein as are hereafter mentioned, Be it therefore enacted, That Capt. Abraham Wood whose service hath been employed att fforte Henery, be the vndertaker for the said fforte, vnto whome is granted sixe hundred acres of land for him and his heires for ever; with all houses and edifices belonging to the said fforte, with all boats and amunition att present belonging to the said fforte, Provided that he the said Capt. Wood do maintayne and keep ten men constantly vpon the said place for the terme of three yeares, duringe which time he the said Capt. Wood is exempted from all publique taxes for himselfe and the said tenn persons: And whereas Mr. Thomas Pitt hath a former grant for the said land whereon the forte is built, As alsoe part of the said land hereby granted, it is thought fitt and enacted, That the said Thomas Pitt shall receive a reasonable satisfaction of the countrey for the same.

And it is further enacted and granted, That left. Thomas Rolfe shall have and enjoy for himselfe and his heires for ever ffort James alias Chickahominy fort with fowre hundred acres of land adjoyning to the same, with all houses and edifices belonging to the said forte and all boats and amunition at present belonging to the said ffort; Provided that he the said Leift. Rolfe doe keepe and maintaine sixe men vpon the place duringe the terme and time of three yeares, for which tyme he the said Leift. Rolfe for himselfe and the said sixe men are exempted from publique taxes.

And it is further enacted, That Capt. Roger Marshall shall have and enjoy for himselfe and his heires for ever the ffort Royall alias Ricahack ffort with sixe hundred acres of land adjoyning to the same, with all houses and edifices belonging to the said forte and all boats and amunition belonging to the said ffort; provided that he said Capt. Marshall shall keepe and maintayne ten men vpon the place during the terme and time of three yeares, during which time he the said Capt. Marshall for himselfe and the said tem men are exempted from publique taxes.

And whereas there is no plantable land adjoyning to ffort Charles, And therefore no encouragement for any vndertaker to maintaine the same, It is therefore thought fitt and inacted, That if any person or persons purchaseing the right of Capt. Thomas Harris shall or will seate or inhabitt on the south side of James River right opposite to the said ffort, soe it be done this or the ensueing yeare, That hee or they so vndertakeing as aforesaid shall have and enjoy the houseing belonging to the said ffort for the vse of timber, or by burning them for the nailes or otherwise, as also shall be exempted from the publique taxes for the terme of three yeares provided that the number exceed not tenn, as also shall have and enjoy the boats and ammunition belonging to the said ffort.


"BE it inacted, that the officers and soldiers belonging to the severall ffortes do continue their service in their places respectively until the last day of 9br. next, And that the payment be made them by theire severall sherr's. according to the act of this present Assembly in that case provided."


OCTOBER, 1648 −−− 23st CHARLES 1st.


"THIS Assembly haveing knowledge that divers persons vpon occasion of a presse of souldiers by warrant from the Govern'r. or by order from the Gov'r. and council out of a mistake in opinion do conceive their liberties and the lawes of the collonie thereby infringed and themselves particularly injured, the authority of an Assembly not concurring therein. It is therefore thought fitt not by law to establish, but to declare the judgment of this Assembly vppon pervsall of his Ma'ts. Comission and instructions that by vertue of the said com'on and instructions full and ample power is derived from his Majesty to the Governour and Council to make peace or warr, and as a necessary consequent to levy or presse men or other provisions for the warr vpon any emergent occasion to which power in the comission litterally expressed, we may not presume to conceive that any act of Assembly can add strength or vigor, but that all his Ma'ts. subjects are in loyaltie and indue obedience to his sacred Ma'tie. obliged therevnto: And we ought humbly to acknowledge his Majesties royal care of his subjects in establishing such a power wherein are naturally placed so many concernments to the peace and safety of all good subjects, many accidents not admitting delay of time nor those slow motions of great counsells."

Decisions of the Northampton County Court 1649

Northampton County Records in 17th Century, in 4 The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, No. 4., 401, 408 (1897).

At a Court Held May 16, 1649... "Owing to the alarming condition of the county the inhabitants were ordered to carry their arms and ammunition to Church & Court, or whenever they left their houses."



Seeds of Revolution



Articles agreed on and concluded at James Cittie in Virginia for the surrendering and settling of that plantation under the obedience and government of the Common Wealth of England, by the commissioners of the Councill of State, by authoritie of the Parliament of England and by the Grand Assembly of the Governour, Councill and Burgesses of that countrey.

FIRST, It is agreed and cons'ted that the plantation of Virginia, and all the inhabitants thereof, shall be and remaine in due obedience and subjection to the common wealth of England, according to the lawes there established, And that this submission and subscription bee acknowledged a voluntary at not forced nor constrained by a conquest vpon the countrey, And that they shall ave and enioy such freedomes and priviledges as belong to the free borne people of England, and that the former government by the comissions and instruction be void and null.

2dly. Secondly, that the Grand Assembly as formerly shall convene and transact the affairs of Virginia, wherein nothing is to be acted or done contrarie to the government of the common wealth of England and the lawes there established.


7thly. That the people of Virginia have free trade as the people of England do enjoy to all places and with all nations according to the lawes of that commonwealth, And that Virginia shall enjoy all priviledges equall with any English plantations in America.

8thly. That Virginia shall be free from all taxes, customes and impositions whatsoever, and none to be imposed on them without consent of the Grand Assembly, And soe that neither ffortes nor castles bee erected or garrisons maintained without their consent.


"13thly. That all amunition, powder and arms, other then for private vse shall be delivered vp, securitie being given to make satisfaction for it."



"WHEREAS diverse gentlemen have a voluntarie desire to discover the Mountains and supplicated for lycence to this Assembly, It is ordered by this Assembly, That order be granted vnto any for soe doing, Provided they go with a considerable partie and strength both of men and amunition."

"AN act of indempnitie is granted for all such as have lent gunns to the Indians, and if any person shall hereafter offend and justly prooved against him, he or they so offending shall suffer seveerly according to act in that case provided, other counties to have the same priviledge."


NOV. 1654 −−− 5th OF COMMONWEALTH.

"IT is ordered by the Assembly that the comissioners of the militia and the comissioners of the respective counties shall at the next sessions of this Assembly in March give in an account of the 6 lb. of tobacco per pole lately levied for powder and shott for the vse of each county, and what other powder and shott shall be in their custody belonging to the county."



Act concerning Imploying Indians with Guns.

"TO prevent the disorderly imploying of Indians with gunns vnder the pretence of being their servants, It is inacted, That noe person shall dare to imploy such Indian servants with gunns vnless they have allowance from the county court where they live or from the Governour anc Councill."


NOV. 1654 −−− 5th OF COMMONWEALTH.


Concerning the March against the Rappa'. Indians.

"WHEREAS divers complaints have bin made by the inhabitants of the counties of Lancaster, Northumberland and Westmorland concerning divers injuries and insolencyes offered and done by the Rappahannock Indians, vnto them the said inhabitants, and have refused to give satisfaction though often demanded by the comissioners of the said countyes, which gives just occasions of jealousies and fears of an intended warr: It is therefore ordered by this present Grand Assembly, that the said counties bee associated and joyned together in and concerning the affaires of their neighbouring Indians, and that for this present expedition there be raised in the county of Lancaster one hundred men sufficiently furnished with armes, amunition and provisions, with boates and other necessaries for their voyage to the said Rappahannock townes, likewise the county of Northumberland 40 men qualified as aforesaid, Also in the county of Westmerland thirty men qualified as aforesaid, and that the said men be raised and pressed in such manner as the first man in commission in each county with the assistance of the commissioners of the respective countyes direct and think fitt for the most easie accomplishment of this imployment, and that the nomination of the leaders of the said men in the counties of Northumberland and Westmerland be att the appointment of their severall courts respectively, all which said men so raised and pressed in the said three counties are hereby required to repaire on the first Wednesday in February next to the house of Thoms Meades in Rappahannock river which is thought the most convenient place of generall rendizvouz, and from thence Ma'r. John Carter who is hereby appointed commander in cheife is hereby required and authorized to march with all the aforesaid men to the afore said Indian towne and demand and receive such satisfaction as he shall thinke fitt for the severall injuries done vnto the said inhabitants not vsing any acts of hostility but defensive in case of assault, And it is further ordered that the said Major John Carter give account of his proceedings vnto the hono'ble the Governour who is hereby authorized with the advice of his council to determine of peace or warr in this and all other emergent occasions concerning the said Indians. And it is further ordered, That Capt. Henry Fleet and David Wheatliff attend the said service as interpreters, the charge of the service aforesaid to be born by the three countyes above specified."


March 1655 -- 6th OF COMMONWEALTH:

" Be it therefore enacted that what person or persons soever shall, after publication hereof, shoot any gunns at drinking (marriages and ffunerals onely excepted.) that such person or persons so offending shall forfeit 100 lb. of tobacco to be levied by distresse in case of refusall and to be disposed of by the militia in ammunition towards a magazine for the county where the offence shall be committed."


MARCH. 1655-6 −−− 6th OF COMMONWEALTH.


"WHEREAS information hath bin given that many western and inland Indians are drawne from the mountaynes, and lately sett downe neer the falls of James river, to the number of six or seaven hundred, whereby vpon many severall considerations being had, it is conceived greate danger might ensue to this collony, This Assembly therefore do think fitt to resolve that these new come Indians be in noe sort suffered to seate themselves there, or any place near vs it haveing cost so much blood to expell and extirpate those perfidious and treacherous Indians which were there formerly, It bing so apt a place to invade vs and within those lymitts which in a just warr were formerly conquered by us, and by vs reserved at the last conclusion of peace with the Indians, In pursuance whereof therefore and due respect to our own safety, Be it enacted by this present Grand Assembly, That the two vpper countyes, vnder the command of Coll. Edward Hill, do presently send forth a party of 100 men at least and that they shall first endeavour to remoove the said new come Indians without makeing warr if it may be, only in a case of their own defence, alsoe strictly requireing the assistance of all the neighbouring Indians to aid them to that purpose, as being part of the articles of peace concluded with vs, and faileing therein to look duely to the safety of all the English of those parts by fixing of their arms and provideing ammunition, and that they have recourse to the Governour and Councill for further direction therein, And the Governour and Councill are desired to send messages to Tottopottomoy and the Chickahomynies and other Indians and to treate with them as they in theire wisdoms and discretions shall think fitt."


DEC. 1656 −−− 7th OF COMMONWEALTH.

"IT is ordered that for this present year the com'rs. of the militia in every county endeavour to provide four barrels of powder with shot proportionable for each regiment which shall be allowed the next year out of the several county levies; that Rob't Hubbard for the care in attendance on the committee for review of the acts have two thousand five hundred pounds of tobacco out of the levies of James City or York county, Provided he write out the acts and orders at large and compleat them according to the direction of the committee and get them ready by the first of March next."


"IT is ordered, that Coll. Abraham Wood be appointed and made Coll. over the regiment of Charles City and Henrico countys in the room of Coll. Hill by this present Assembly suspended, and Capt. William Harris made Major if the said regiment being his due as the first Capt. according to the desire of the said Coll. Abraham Wood."

March 1657-8-- 9th OF COMMONWEALTH:


The Sabboth to bee kept holy.

"THAT the Lord's day be kept holy, and that no journeys be made except in case of emergent necessitie on that day, that no goods bee laden in boates nor shooteing in gunns or the like tending to the prophanation of that day, which duty is to be taken care of by the ministers and officers of the severall churches, &c by the comissioners in their places, and the partie delinquent to pay one hundred pounds of tobacco or layd in the stocks, and to take care that servants and others do repaire to their severall churches everie Lord's day."

March 1658-9-- 10th OF COMMONWEALTH:


Indians to vse their owne Gunns.

WHEREAS there is an act in force prohibiting the lending of gunns or ammunition to the Indians, by vertue of which many quarrells have arisen between English and Indians caringe their owne gunns, which might, vnless prevented, prove a disturbance of the peace now made between the two nations, It is enacted and ordained that it shall be lawfull for the Indians to make vse of their owne gunns and amunition without the lett or molestation of any person or persons whatsoever within theire owne limitts.



Free Trade with the Indians.

"Whereas it is manifest that the neighbouringe plantations both of English and fforrainers do plentifully furnish the Indians with gunns, powder and shott, and do thereby drawe from us the trade of beaver to our greate losse and their profit, and besides the Indians being furnished with as much of both gunns and ammunition as they are able to purchase,  It is enacted, That every man may freely trade for gunns, powder and shot: It derogateing nothing from our safety and adding much to our advantage, And this act to be in force the ffirst of April which shall be in the yeare one thousand sixe hundred and sixty."

"Bee it enacted that a provident supplie be made of gunn powder and shott to our owne people, and this strictly to bee lookt to by the officers of the militia, That every man able to beare armes have in his house a fixt gunn two pounds of powder and eight pounds of shott at least which are to be provided by every man for his family before the last of March next...."



Provision to bee made for Amunition.

BEE it enacted that a provident supplie be made of gunn powder and shott to our owne people, and this strictly to bee lookt to by the officers of the militia, (vizt.) That every man able to beare armes have in his house a fixt gunn two pounds of powder and eight pound of shott at least which are to be provided by every man for his family before the last of March next, and whosoever shall faile of makeing such provision to be fined ffiftie pounds of tobacco to bee laied out by the county courts for a common stock of amunition for the county.


MARCH 1661-2 −−− 14th CHARLES II.


Against Shooting.

"WHEREAS it is much to be doubted the common enemy the Indians, if opportunity serve, will suddenly invade this country and bring it to a totall subjection of the same, and whereas the only meanes for discovery of their plotts is by allarmes of which noe certainty can be had in respect to the frequent shooting of guns in drinkings, whereby they proclayme and justifye that beastly vice; Be it therefore enacted that what person or persons soever shall after publication hereof shote any guns att drinking or marriages (buryalls excepted) such person or persons soe offending shall forfeite two hundred pounds of tobacco to the publique to be levyed by distresse in case of refusall."


Supply of ammunition.

" BEE it enacted that a provident supply be made of guns, powder and shott to our owne people, and this strictly to be looked to by the officers of the militia (vizt.) that every man able to beare armes have in his house a fixed gun, two pound of powder and eight pound of shot at least, which are to be provided by every man for his family before the last of March next; and whosoever shall fayle in making such provision to be fined ffifty pounds of tobacco to be laid out by the county courts for a common stock of ammunition for the county, the enquiry referred to the grand jury."


Enquiries to the Governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley

5. What number of horse and foot are within your government, and whether they be trained bands or standing forces?

Answer. All our freemen are bound to be trained every month in their particular counties, which we suppose, and do not much mistake in the calculation, are near eight thousand horse: there are more, but is too chargeable for poor people, as wee are, to exercise them.

October 1665 -- 17th CHARLES II.


An act concerning Indians

...And whereas the careles manner of the English in going unarmed into churches, courts, and other publique meetings may probably in time invite the Indians to make some desperate attempt upon them, It is further enacted that the honourable the governour be requested to issue his commands to the officers of the militia to take care to prevent the same...

October 1666 -- 18th CHARLES II.

An act against refractory Souldiers.

      WHEREAS the officers of the militia have complained that divers refractory persons have in contempt of the authority impowring them, and to the ruyne of all military discipline refused to appeare upon the dayes of exercise and other time when required to attend upon the publique service, It is enacted by this grand assembly that every person soe neglecting to appeare, shall for every such neglect be amerced and fined one hundred pounds of tobacco to be disposed of by the militia to the use of the regiment, and that the commanders returne of such fines to the sherriffe of the respective counties shall be a suffitient warrant (in case of the parties deniall of payment) to levy the same by distresse. Provided that if before the laying of the levy the party amerced doe shew to his commander such cause of his absence as by the said commander shalbe judged reasonable, then the party to be excused and the fine not retorned.




OCTOBER 1673 −−− 25th CHARLES II.


An act providing for the supply of armes and ammunition (Entire Text)




An act permitting the counties of the Isle of Wight and Lower Norfolke to erect each of them a ffort.

FORASMUCH as the counties of the Isle of Wight and Lower Norfolke have petitioned by their burgesses that they might be admitted to build and erect each of them a ffort, and one in Warwick-querke Bay, the other in Elizabeth River; Be it therefore enacted by the governour, councell and burgesses of this grand assembly, and by the authority thereof, that the said countyes by, and with the consent of the people at their owne costs and charges doe erect, or cause to be erected at each of the places aforesaid a fort, and that it may be lawfull for that assotiation, or any other that will joyne with the said countyes, or either of them, to contribute towards the charge of erecting those fforts, or either of them in the places aforesaid; Provided alwayes that neither the said counties, nor either of them, nor any of those that shall contribute towards the said fforts be thereby severed and alienated from their assotiations. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any ship or ships be willing to come into the said bay or river within protection of those fforts, that they may there ride without impeachment by any act, law or usuage, except the kings majesties espetiall command to the contrary notwithstanding.

MARCH, 1675-6−−−28th CHARLES II


An act for the safeguard and defence of the country against the Indians.

...And it is further enacted that in goeing to churches and courts in those tymes of danger, all people be enjoyned and required to goe armed for their greate security...

FEBRUARY, 1676-7−−−29th CHARLES II

IT is ordered that all persons have hereby liberty to sell armes and ammunition to any of his majesties loyall subjects inhabiting this colony, and that the Indians of the Easterne shore have like and equall liberty of trade or otherwayes with any other our ffriends and neighbouring Indians.

An act for the releife of such loyall persons as have suffered losse by the late rebells.

...And whereas by a branch of an act of assembly made in march last, liberty is granted to all persons to carry their armes wheresoever they goe, which liberty hath beene found to be very prejudiciall to the peace and wellfaire of this colony. Bee it therefore further enacted by this present grand assembly, and the authority thereof, and it is hereby enacted, that if any person or persons shall, from and after publication of this act, presume to assemble together in armes to the number of five or upwards without being legally called together in armes the number of ffive or upwards, they be held deemed and adjudged as riotous and mutinous, and that they be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Bacon's Rebellion 1676


"provided alsoe that it shall not be lawfull or permitted any Indian or Indians resorting to or meeting at any those aforesaid marts or ffaires to travell with or carry armes, or appeare there armed, except only the carrying home such armes or ammunition as they shall then and there purchase, and shalbe found registred in the clarkes booke, for which they shall have with them his certificate;"


APRIL 1679−−−31st CHARLES II.

An act for the defence of the country against the incursions of the Indian enemy (Entire text). "And be it further enacted by this present grand assembly and the authority thereof, and it is hereby enacted, that every forty tythables within this colony be assessed and obleiged, and they are hereby assessed and obleiged to fitt and sett forth one able and suffitient man and horse, with furniture well and compleately armed with a case of good pistolls, carbine or short gunn and a sword, together with two pounds of powder and tenn pounds of leaden bullett or high swan shott"


June 1680 -- 32d CHARLES II.



* An act for raising a publique revenue for the better support of the government of this his majesties colony.

"And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that all ships or vessells whatsoever comeing to this colony or any part thereof shall respectively pay for every tunne such ship or vessell shall containe, one halfe pound of good and new gunpowder and three pound of leaden shott, or one shilling three pence sterling in leiu thereof, as alsoe six pence per pole for every person imported not being actually a marriner, the same to be alsoe to the kings most excellent majesty, his heires and successors for ever for the better support of the government of this is majesties colony of Virginia in such manner as in herein before expressed, and to and for noe other sue intent and purpose whatsoever."


An act for continuation of the severall ffortifications and garrisons at the heads of ffowre greate rivers. (Entire Text)



An act for preventing Negroes Insurrections.

"Whereas the frequent meeting of considerable number of negroe slaves under pretence of feasts and burialls is judged of dangerous consequence; for prevention whereof for the future, Bee it enacted by the kings most excellent majestie by and with the consent of the generall assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority aforesaid, that from and after the publication of this law, it shall not be lawfull for any negroe or other slave to carry or arm himselfe with any club, staffe, gunn, sword or any other weapon of defense or offense nor to goe or depart from of his masters ground without a certificate from his master, mistris or overseer, and such permission not to be granted but upon perticuler and necessary occasions; and every negroe or slave soe offending not haveing a certificate as aforesaid shalbe sent to the next constable, who is hereby enjoyned and required to give the said negroe twenty lashes on his bare back well layd on, and soe sent home to his said master, mistris or overseer. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid that if any negroe or other slave shall presume to lift up his hand in opposition against any christian, shall for every such offence, upon due proofe made thereof by the oath of the party before a magistrate, have and receive thirty lashes on his bare back well laid on. And it is hereby further enacted by the authority that if any negroe or other slave shall absent himselfe from his masters service and lye hid and lurking in obscure places, comitting injuries to the inhabitants, and shall resist any person or persons that shalby any lawfull authority be imployed to apprehend and take the said negroe, that then in case of such resistance, it shalbe lawfull for such person or persons to kill the said negroe or slave soe lying out and resisting, and that this law be once every six months published at the respective county courts and parish churches within this colony."

Slavery as a System in Virginia




An act disbanding the present souldiers in garrisons in the fforts on the heads of the severall rivers, as alsoe for the raiseing of other forces in their stead. (Entire Text)

April 1684-- 36th CHARLES II:


An Act for better supply of the country with arms and ammunition. (Entire Text)

"For the encouragement of the inhabitants of this his majesties collony and dominion of Virginia, to provide themselves with arms and ammunition, for the defence of his majesties country, and that they may appear well and compeletely furnished when commanded to musters and other the king's service, which many persons have hereto delayed to do, for that their arms have been imprest and taken from them.-- Be it (a) enacted by the governour, councill and burgesses of this present general assembly, and the authority thereof, and it is hereby enacted,  That all such swords, musketts, (b) pistolls, carbines, guns, and other armes and furniture, as the inhabitants of this country are already provided, or shall provide and furnish themselves with, for their necessary use and service, shall from henceforth be free and exempted from being imprest or taken from him or them, that are already provided or shall soe provide or furnish himselfe, neither shall the same be lyable to be taken by any distresse, seizure, attachment or execution, Any law, usage or custom to the contrary thereof notwithstanding."


An Act for the better defence of the Country. (Entire Text)

"And for the forming of a standing force for the more sure and safe guarding the frontiers, and preventing the murthers, depredations, incurtions and spoiles by the Indians, Bee it enacted by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted, That four troops of horsemen (each troop to contain thirty able men) be raised for the purposes aforesaid, every way well horsed and armed: viz. Every man to have a good able horse for service, a case of pistolls, a carbine, sword and all other urniture fusuall [furniture usual] and necessary for horse souldiers or troopers, one of the four troops to be raised on the upper parts of the James river, one troop thereof on the upper parts of the York river, one troop thereof on the upper parts of the Rappahannock river, and the other troop on the upper parts of the Potomack river out of such as shall voluntarily offer themselves in each river for that service; but in case the full number of thirty men compleatly mounted, armed and provided as aforesaid, cannot be raised by such as shall voluntarily offer themselves for that service, that then his excellencythe governour, and in his absence, the commander in chief for the time being, is desired (upon applycation to him made by the captain or chiefe commander of each troop) to issue forth his warrant for the raiseing soe many men (armed and appointed as aforesaid) as shall be wanting to compleat the number of thirty men by this act appointed.

And be it enacted, That the chief officers of the militia for the upper counties, on the aforesaid rivers, out of the thirty men raised or to be raised as aforesaid, may present to his excellency the fittest and most able person to command under the captain (occasioned by sicknesse or otherwise) is to command, lead, train and exercise the troope."



English Bill of Rights - 1689 ( That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;)


APRIL 1691.−−−3d WILLIAM & MARY.


An act for the better defence of the country. (Entire Text)


APRIL 1692.−−−4th WILLIAM & MARY.


An act for the better defence of the Countrey. (Entire Text)


MARCH 1692-3.−−−5th WILLIAM & MARY.


An act for continuing the Rangers at the head of the four great Rivers. (Entire Text)




An act appointing Rangers on the frontiers of the four great rivers. (Entire Text)


APRIL 1695.−−−7th WILLIAM & MARY.


An act appoynting Rangers att the heads of the four great rivers. (Entire Text)


APRIL 1699.−−−11th WILLIAM III.


An act for restraining and punishing of Pirates and Privateers (Entire Text)

"Be it therefore enacted by the Governour, Councell and Burgesses of this present Generall Assembly, and the authority thereof, and it is hereby enacted, That if any pirates, privateers or sea robers, or any other persons suspected to be such shall land and put on shoar in any port or place in this his majestyes collony and dominion upon notice given or knowledge thereof, all officers civill and military are hereby required and impowered to raise and levy such a number of well armed men as he or they shall judge necessary for the seizing, apprehending and carrying to gaol of any and every such person or persons, and in case of any resistance or refusall to yield obedience to his majestyes authority it shall be lawfull to kill or destroy such person or persons and all and every person or persons that shall oppose or resist the said authority by strikeing or fireing upon any person in execution of this act, shall be deemed taken and adjudged as fellons without benefitt of clergy, and every such officer that shall omitt or neglect his duty therein and being lawfully convicted shall for every such offence forfeit fifty pounds sterling, one moyety to our sovereigne lord the king, his heirs and successors for and towards the better support of the government and the contingent charges thereof, and the other moyety to him that shall sue or informe for the same in any court of record in this his majestyes collony and dominion, in which no essoigne protection or wager of law shall be allowed. And for the better and more speedy execution of justice upon such who haveing committed treasons, piricyes, felloneyes or other offences upon the sea, and shall be apprehended or brought prisoners to this his majestyes collony and dominion."


AUGUST 1701.−−−13th WILLIAM III.


An act for the better strengthening the frontiers and discovering the approaches of an enemy.(Entire Text)

"Provided alwayes, and it is the true intent and meaning of this act that for every five hundred acres of land to be granted in pursuance of this act there shall be and shall continually be kept upon the said land one christian man between sixteen and sixty years of age perfect of limb, able and fitt for service who shall alsoe be continually provided with a well fixt musquett or fuzee, a good pistoll, sharp simeter, tomahauk and five pounds of good clean pistoll powder and twenty pounds of sizable leaden bulletts or swan or goose shott to be kept within the fort directed by this act besides the powder and shott for his necessary or usefull shooting at game...

Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted, That all such persons as shall be seated in cohabitations by virtue of this act shall be also exempted from all military comands but what shall be setled by public authority among themselves and shall tend to their owne defence and security, and for the encouragment of all such persons able and well fited to serve in warr as shall join such undertakeing for cohabitations and be under the rules and directions herein and this act appointed and to be appointed where and so long as the quantity of land undertaken for shall be less than thirty thousand acres...

Provided alwayes, that the governor or commander in chiefe of this majestyes most ancient collony and dominion of Virginia may and he is hereby desired to nominate, choose and appoint one or more as to him shall seem meet that shall be resident in each of the cohabitations or townes to be made by virtue of this act to reside and lodge in the fort and to command and rule the rest in all military affaires according to such orders and directions as he or they shall from time to time receive from the governor or commander in chief for the time being, and also to give directions in what shall be needfull or convenient in raising, maintaining and keeping their fort in repaire and strengthening the same. And for the further security of the frontiers as well towards the sea as land dureing these times of danger and for discovering the approaches of an enemy by sea,"


OCTOBER 1705.−−−4th ANNE.



An Act for settling the Militia (Entire text)

"Provided always, and be it enacted, that eighteen months time be given and allowed to each trouper and foot soldier not heretofore listed to furnish and provide himself with arms and ammunition according to this act, & that no trouper or foot soldier be fined for appearing without having the same at his place of abode untill he hath been eighteen months listed, anything in this act to the contrary, or seeming to the contrary notwithstanding.

And for the encouragement of every soldier in horse or foot to provide and furnish himself according to this act and his security to keep his horse, arms and ammunition, when provided.

Be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the musket or fuzee, the sword, cartouch box and ammunition of every foot soldier, and the horse, saddle and furniture, the carbine, pistols, sword, cartouch box and ammunition of every trouper provided and kept in pursuance of this act to appear and exercise withall be free and exempted at all times from being impressed upon any account whatsoever, and likewise from being seized or taken by any manner of distress, attachment, or writt of execution, and that every distress, seizure, attachment or execution made or served upon any of the premises, be unlawful and void, and that the officer or person that presumes to make or serve the same be lyable to the suit of the party grieved, wherein double damages shall be given upon recovery.

And to the end the militia of this her majestys colony and dominion, being settled and armed as aforesaid, may be the better fitted for service."


An act to prevent Indians hunting and ranging upon patented lands.

"II. And moreover, when any person shall find any such Indian shooting, ranging, or hunting upon his land, contrary to this act, it shall be lawful for such person to take away the gun, powder, and shot, which he shall find upon such Indian, and to keep and convert the same to his own use: And upon any complaint made, or suit brought against any person for such taking and keeping of the gun, powder, and shot, as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the defendant shall be admitted to declare the truth, upon his own oath, which shall be taken as evidence in that case; any law, usage, or custom to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notwithstanding."


An act for security and defence of the country in times of danger. (Entire Text)

"Provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this act, That for the pay and allowance given by this act as aforesaid, every horsemen and dragoon shall find and provide himself with an horse and horse furniture, arms and ammunition, and every foot soldiers arms and ammunition."


NOVEMBER 1711−−9th ANNE:



An Act for appointing Rangers. (Entire Text)


"But if such lieutenant cannot find a sufficient number of able bodyed men, furnished and provided according to the directions of this act, to serve voluntarily under him, then and in such case it shall and may be lawfull for the commander in chief of the militia in the same county, and he is hereby impowered and required, upon the application of such lieutenant, to order and impress out of the militia of that county, so many able bodyed men, furnished as aforesaid, residing next to that frontier station, as shall make up the number of eleven."





An act for erecting a Magazine.

I. WHEREAS our late sovereign lady queen Anne, of her grace and bounty, was pleased to bestow a considerable quantity of arms and ammunition, for the service of this colony, which are in danger to be imbezzled and spoilt, for want of a convenient and proper place to keep them in.

II. Be it therefore enacted, by the Lieut. Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of the present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That as soon as conveniently it may be done, there shall be erected and finished one good substantial house of brick, which shall be called the magazine, at such place as the lieutenant-governor shall think proper: In which magazine, all the arms, gun-powder, and ammunition, now in this colony, belonging to the king, or which shall at any time hereafter be, belonging to his majesty, his heirs or successors, in this colony, may be lodged and kept. For the building and finishing which magazine, there shall be laid out and expended any sum or sums of money, not exceeding two hundred pounds; to be levied and paid out of the monies arising by the duty on liquors & slaves, after the monies arising by the duty on liquors & slaves, after the monies already appropriated and ordered to be paid out of the said duty, are fully satisfied and paid: And the honourable the lieutenant-governor is hereby impowered and desired to order and direct the building the said magazine, and to issue his warrant, from time to time, on the treasurer of this dominion, for the paiment of the money hereby given.

III. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That so soon as the said magazine shall be fit to receive therein the arms and ammunition, it shall and may be lawful for the lieutenant-governor, or the governor or commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, to constitute and appoint a person to look after and take charge of the magazine, and the ammunition which shall be lodged therein; which person so appointed, shall be called the keeper of the magazine, who shall have and receive the yearly salary of twenty pounds: And also to constitute and appoint one other person to take care of, keep clean and mend the arms which shall be kept in the said magazine; which person shall be called the armourer, who shall have and receive the yearly salary of twenty pounds. Which said salaries of twenty pounds hereby given to the keeper of the magazine, and to the armourer, shall be paid & satisfied yearly, out of the monies already appropriated and ordered to be paid out of the said duty, shall be fully satisfied and paid.

IV. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That when, and so soon as there shall be a company erected and incorporated by charter, or act of assembly, by the name of the Virginia Indian Company, or by any other name, to trade with the Indians tributary to this government, or foreign; such company shall, before they be permitted to use or exercise their said trade, pay to the treasurer of this dominion, the sum of one hundred pounds, in part of such money as shall have been laid out and expended, by the directions of this act, for building and finishing the said magazine.




An act for erecting the Counties of Spotsylvania and Brunswick; and granting certain exemptions and benefits to the inhabitants thereof.


"One thousand pounds, to be distributed in arms and ammunition, among such persons as shall hereafter go to seat the said counties, that is, to each christian titheable, one firelock, musket, one socket, bayonet fitted thereto, one cartouch box, eight pounds bullet, two pounds powder, until the whole one thousand pounds be laid out. The account whereof is to be desired to be laid before the general assembly.

Those arms are appropriated to the defence of the said counties, and the land as well as personal estate of the parties that take them, is made liable to see them forthcoming in good order.

The arms to be stamped with the name of the county, and liable to the seizure of any militia officer, if found within [without] the bounds."


May 1723 -- 9th GEORGE I:


An Act for the settling and better Regulation of the Militia.


An Act directing the trial of Slaves, committing capital crimes; and for the more effectual punishing conspiracies and insurrections of them; and for the better government of Negros, Mulattos, and Indians, bond or free.


"XIV. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That no negro, mulatto, or Indian whatsoever ( except as hereafter excepted) shall presume to keep or carry any gun, powder, shot, or any club or other weapon whatsoever, offensive or defensive; but that every gun, and all powder and shot, and every such club or weapon, as aforesaid, found or taken in the hands, custody, or possesion of any such negro, mulatto, or Indian, shall be taken away; and upon due proof thereof made, before any justice of the peace of the county where such offence shall be committed, be forfeited to the seisor and informer, and moreover, every such negro, mulatto, or Indian, in whose hands, custody, or possession, the same shall be found, shall, by order of the said justice, have and receive any number of lashes, not exceeding thirty-nine, well laid on, on his or her bare back, for every such offence.

XV. Provided nonetheless,  That every free negro, mulatto or indian, being a house-keeper, or listed in the militia, may be permitted to keep one gun, powder, and shot; and those who are not house-keepers, nor listed in the militia aforesaid, who are now possessed of any gun, powder, shot, or any weapon, offensive or defensive, may sell and dispose thereof, at any time before the last day of October next ensuing. And that all negroes, mulattos, or indians, bond or free, living at any frontier plantation, be permitted to keep and use guns, powder, and shot, or other weapons, offensive, or defensive; having first obtained a license for the same, from some justice of the peace of the county wherein such plantation lie; the said license to be had and obtained, upon the application of such free negroes, mulattos, or indians, or the owners of such as are slaves, any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notwithstanding."


February 1727−−1st GEORGE II.

Chap. V.

An Act for making more effectual provision against Invasions and Insurrections. (Entire Text)

"I. WHEREAS the frontiers of this dominion, being of great extent, are exposed to the invasions of foreign enemies, by sea, and incursions if Indians at land, and great dangers may likewise happen by the insurrections of negros, and others; for all which, the militia, now settled by law, is the most ready defence. And forasmuch, as the militia of those counties, where any of the dangers aforesaid shall arise, must necessarily be first emploied, and may, by the divine assistance, be able to suppress and repel such insurrections and invasions, without obliging that of the other counties to be raised: And it being reasonable, that such services as shall be performed by any part of the said militia, be rewarded at the public charge,"




An Act for further continuing the Act, For making more effectual provision against Invasions and Insurrections

I. WHEREAS an act was made in the first year of the reign of his present majesty, intituled, An Act for making more effectual provision against Invasions and Insurrections; which was continued by another act, made in the fifth and sixth years of his said majesty's reign, and is now near expiring, and fit to be further continued.

II. Be it enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That the said first recited act shall continue and be in force, for three years, from and after the thirtieth day of March next, and no longer.

November 1738-- 12th GEORGE II:


An Act, for the better Regulation of the Militia. (Entire text)

"I. WHEREAS, the laws heretofore made, for the settling and better regulation of the Militia have proved very ineffectual, whereby the colony is likely to be deprived of its proper defence, in time of danger, for want of training the persons listed to serve therein, and reducing them under a proper discipline:..

V.  And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That every person, so as aforesaid listed, (except free mulattos, negroes and Indians) placed or ranked in horse or foot, shall be armed and accoutered in the manner following: that is to say, Every horse-man shall be furnished with a serviceable horse, a good saddle, with brest-plate, crupper, curb-bridle, carbine or fuzee, and bucket, holsters, a case of pistols, cutting sword or cutlass, double cartouch-box, and six charges of powder; and constantly appear with the same, at the time and place appointed for muster and exercise; and shall keep at his place of abode, one pound of powder, and four pounds of ball, and bring the same into the field with him, when thereunto required.  And every footman shall be furnished with a firelock, musket, or fuzee, well fixed, a bayonet fitted to the same, or a cutting sword or cutlass, a cartouch-box, and three charges of powder; and appear with the same at the time and place appointed for muster and exercise, as aforesaid; and shall also keep at his house, one pound of powder, and four pounds of ball; and bring the same into field when he shall be required.

VI.  And be it further enacted, That all such free mulattos, negroes, or Indians as are or shall be listed, as aforesaid, shall appear without arms; and may be emploied as drummers, trumpeters, or pioneers, or in such servile labour, as they shall be directed to perform..."

King George's War (1739-1748)


Proclamation of April 14, 1746

"Whereas His Majesty having thought fit to give Directions for raising Three Independent Companies, for the Service and defence of South-Carolina, by Beat of Drum or otherwise, in any of His Majesty's Provinces in North-America; And Robert Hodgson, Esq;"


Proclamation of June 10, 1746

"Whereas his Majesty has been pleased to give Directions to me forthwith to make the necessary Dispositions for raising as many Men as the Shortness of Time will enable me to procure within this Government to be employed under my Command to second an important Expedition"


French and Indian War (1754-1763)


"for an encouragement to all who shall voluntarily enter into the said service, I do hereby notify and promise, by and with the advice and consent of his majestys council of this colony, that over and above their pay, two hundred thousand acres, of his majesty the king of Great Britain’s lands, on the east side of the river Ohio, within this dominion, ...shall be laid off and granted to such persons, who by their voluntary engagement and good behaviour in the said service, shall deserve the same."


Division of Land By George Washington from the Proclimation of 1754

MARCH 1756 – 29th GEORGE II.


An Act for raising the Sum of Twenty-five Thousand Pounds, for the better protection of the Inhabitants on the Frontiers of this Colony, and for other purposes therein mentioned.

"XI. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid. That the soldiers so drafted and inlisted, in manner aforesaid, shall be incorporated with, and become soldiers of the Virginia regiment, and shall receive the same pay and rewards, and be entitled to the same immunities and privileges, and be subject to the same government and discipline, as the soldiers of the said regiment, now in the pay of this colony, do receive, and are entitled, and subject to."


An Act for disarming Papists, and reputed Papists, refusing to take the oaths to the government.

"I. WHEREAS it is dangerous at this time to permit Papists to be armed. Be it enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That it shall, and may be lawful, for any two or more justices of the peace, who shall know, or suspect any person to be a Papist, or shall be informed that any person is, or is suspected to be a papist, to tender, and they are hereby authorised and required to tender to such person so known, or suspected to be a Papist, the oaths appointed by act of parliament to be taken instead of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy; and if such person, so required, shall refuse to take the said oaths, and subscribe the test, or shall refuse, or forbear to appear before the said justices for the taking the said oaths, and subscribing the said test, upon notice to him given, or left at his usual place of abode, by any person authorised in that behalf, by warrant under the hands and seals of the said two justices, such person from thenceforth shall be taken to be, and is hereby declared to be liable and subject to all and every the penalties, forfeitures, and disabilities hereafter in this act mentioned...."



An Act for granting protection to certain persons, and for other purposes therein mentioned


Arms Compensation for Loss During Militia Service - April 1756

"It appears to us, from the Information of Major Lewis, that there were not Arms enough provided by the Public for the People that went on the Expedition; That Mr. Overton carried two Guns, that he borrowed, one of which, of the Value of five Pistoles, was lost by a Canoe's oversetting in crossing a River, and the other, of the Value of two Pistoles and an Half, was, by the Direction of Major Lewis, given to an Indian Warrior. And it further appeared to us, that Mr. Overton left his Horse, Saddle and Bridle, with a sick Man, who hath not been heard of since, and the Horse was then tired.

It also appeared to us, from the same Information, that Mr. Gunn carried with him a valuable Gun, which was lost in the same Manner, and that his Horse tired, and was left behind..."

George Washington's Virginia Colonial Militia Memorandum Book, April-May, 1756


Governor Loudoun's Address to the House of Burgesses - September 20, 1756

"As this is demanded from every Colony, I must earnestly recommend it to you, Gentlemen, to form a Law to facilitate the raising of Men, in the most effectual Manner, for this Purpose: And thus justify your Country's Claim to be Her excellent Sovereign's most dutiful, as She is His Most ancient Colony and Dominion.——You cannot but be further felicitous that the Royal American Regiment should be compleated, since any Deficiency in that must be supplied, on every Occasion, with Militia Levies, to put a Stop to the Progress of our French and Indian Enemies...

I must observe that the Dispute between the two Crowns grows near to a Crisis, whether these Colonies are still to remain under the happy Constitution of Great-Britain, or become subject to the Arbitrary Power of a despotic Prince; if under the former, you are safe in your Lives, Religion, Liberties and Estates; if to the Latter (which Heaven avert) reflect, I beseech you, on the dreadful Change, on the sad Necessity of giving up your Liberty for Slavery, the purest Religion for the grossest Idolatry and Superstition, the legal and mild Government of a Protestant King, for the arbitrary Exactions, and heavy Oppressions of a Popish Tyrant. As there can be no Medium, therefore I hope every Individual will exert themselves, in protecting the many Blessings and Privileges we enjoy under the best King and Constitution on the Face of the Earth."




Chap. I


An Act for raising recruits for his majesty’s service; and for other purposes there-in mentioned.

"That so much money as shall be necessary, not exceeding eight thousand pounds, shall be paid by the treasurer of this colony, out of the public money in his hands, to the governor or commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being to be applied towards inlisting men to serve in the Royal American Regiment, for paying the masters of such servants as shall be inlisted within this colony, according to the directions and regulations of an act of parliament passed in the twenty-ninth year of the reign of his present majesty..."


Letters Concerning the Fairfax Militia During the War

William Fairfax to George Washington, July 26, 1755, with Postscript from Fairfax Ladies

George Washington to Henry Lee, October 8, 1755

George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, October 11, 1755

John Carlyle to George Washington, October 17, 1755

George Washington to George William Fairfax, October 23, 1755

George Washington to Adam Stephen, April 7, 1756

Robert Dinwiddie to George Washington, April 15, 1756

George Washington to Thomas Fairfax, April 21, 1756

George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, April 24, 1756

George Washington to John Robinson, April 27, 1756

George Washington, May 2, 1756, Evening Orders

George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, May 23, 1756

Robert Dinwiddie to George Washington, August 19, 1756

William Fairfax to George Washington, September 3, 1756

George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, September 8, 1756






Guns &c. For Sale/Purchase
Various Dates, Virginia Gazette Newspapers:

Is it an S or an F? Eighteenth century English writing is hard to read unless you understand the structure of the "S" and the "F" in writings. All words that end in the letter "s" will be in lower case "s". If the "s" falls before the last  letter of the word, it will be a  Long- "S" which looks like this " ", but there will be no cross in the middle  and extending to the right of the letter. Compare that with the letter f or "ƒ". If the "s" is the first letter of the word it will look like the modern "S" if it is to be capitalized, otherwise it will take the Long-S, "∫"  form.

James Geddy - Guns and Fowling Pieces, Looking For Lost Steel Crossbow- July 8, 1737

James Geddy - Fowling-Pieces and Large Guns for Killing Waterfowl- Williamsburg- Oct 6, 1738

Publick Sale of the Earl of Stair Privateer: 16 Four Pounders, and 16 Swivels - William Mack - Aug. 28, 1746

David and William Geddy: Guns , Pistols, Stocks, Barrels, Locks, Swords etc.- Williamsburg, July 1751

Runaway Convict: With  A Pair of Screw Barreled Brass Mounted Pistols witht the Makers name on the Lock, Fisher in Whitehaven- July 23, 1767.

Guns, Flints, Gunpowder, Indian Axes - by David Ross, Nov. 19, 1767

Henry Flemming Sells in Norfolk Guns, Pistols, Nov. 22, 1770.

Benjamin Bucktrout- Guns , Silver Mounted and Plain Pistols - October 27, 1774

William Pitt Sells Guns for Ready Money Only - Williamsburg, May 10, 1776

Estate Sale of the Late Dr. Nicholas Flood to Include: Guns, Swords, Pistols, and Gun Flints- May 24, 1776.

Rifles for Sale at Amelia Courthouse: Benjamin Ward- June 7, 1776

William Pitt- Small Arms for sale and Swords- Williamsburg, July 5, 1776 / July 6, 1776

Hanover Committee of Safety Sells Gunpowder, Lead, and Flints for Sale for Ready Money. August 13, 1776 - Purdie August 23, 1776.

Patrick Henry Willing To Purchase Serviceable Guns Jan, 26, 1776.

Guns, Subscriber has for sale Six Three Pounders Cannon, with Carriages &c. Some Bullets and Lingrage [langrange], Feb. 10, 1777, Dixon and Hunter p. 2. Col 2.

Guns, Swords, Powder, Etc. by Lewis Hansford, Feb. 28, 1777

Gunpowder For Sale From Aylett's Warehouse May 2, 1777.

Norton and Beal, For Sale : 2 Two Pounders with carriages, 4 Swivels, 7 Muskets, 2 Brass Blunderbusses- July 18, 1777.

Julia Wheatly, Thomas Hughes: "A Very neat Pair of Pocket Pistols and a Small Sword." Oct 3, 1777.

Pocket Pistols - Ann Neill, 30 or 40 Fowling Pieces - Pitt and Stoner : November 14, 1775

Sale of Guns, Swivels (canon on mounts), and Gunpowder by Doerner and Marck- June 19, 1778

Estate Sale: Genteel Pair of Pocket Pistols May 1, 1778.

Various Household Sundry Items Including a Gun - G. Riddell, Jan. 23, 1778.

Norton and Beal , for Sale: Two Pound Guns with Carriages, 150 Pair of Pistols- Williamsburg July 10, 1778 / Second Advertisement

Estate Sale of Samuel Blews: Guns, Gunsmith tools, May 1, 1779.

Preeson Bowdoin: 2 Carriage Guns and 2 swivels, 2 blunderbusses, with muskets and cutlasses - Sept 4, 1779

St. George Tucker: Several Small Arms, Pistols, Blunderbusses, Powder etc. October 2, 1779.

Captain La Porte's Store Williamsburg: Blunderbusses, Pistols with swivels, muskets , Cutlasses - February 12, 1780.

Maps of the Colony of Virginia

Go To A Well Regulated Militia Part II : 1757-1800.