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Forbes Expedition – Emergency Session of House of Burgesses

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compiled by Jim Moyer 2/8/2019

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On October 12, 1758

Lt Gov Fauquier announces the last  day of this session of the House of Burgessess:

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That you may have a proper Time for the Discharge of your private Functions, it is
convenient you should now be prorogued, and you are accordingly prorogued to the Third
Thursday in December next.

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Third Thursday meant December 21, 1758.

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Source:

Page 45 of  JOURNALS of the House of Burgesses of Virginia 1758 – 1761

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Forbes change of Plans

But December 1st was when one of the Virginia Regiments was due to disband their term of service.   This would have been okay if the Forbes expedition was going to sit out the winter and forge ahead in Spring.  But reports from captured enemy indicated Fort Duquesne was vulnerable, and the time to attack it was soon.

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Since plans changed to go forward now and not sit out the winter, Forbes needed all his forces.

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November 9, 1758

Lt Gov Fauquier opened an emergency session of the House of Burgesses.

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Gentlemen of the Council, Mr Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses,
It was very far from my Intention, when we last parted, to call you together again so
soon; but by a Letter I have received from Colonel Byrd, / find our Forces will most probably
be in Adion before Fort Du Quesne, at the very time prescribed for their Return into this
Colony; I therefore thought it not only expedient, but necessary, to summon you on this
Occasion.

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The withdrawing our Regiments from the rest of his Majesty’s Forces at a time when the
Event of the Expedition (for which only, Part of them were raised) is at the Crisis, would be
the greatest Disservice to the common Cause, and at the same Time subject this Colony to
all the Censure Disappointment can invent for the Failure of the Expedition, if that should
be the fatal Consequence of such Measures.

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But, when I reflect on the whole Tenor of your Conduct during the Course of the War, I
feel the strongest Conviction that I need not use these, or any other Arguments, to induce you
to make such Alterations, in the Disposal of, and Provision for, the Regiments, as the present
Circumstances require: I am very sensible that one of our Regiments cannot be continued
beyond the first of December, without Breach of the public Faith, which I shall always deem
too sacred to be touched; but I have great Reason to hope that Honor will supply the Place of
Law, Law, and that this Body of Virginians will be influenced by the first, to do that voluntarily,
which the last cannot compel them to.

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I have nothing to add, but to recommend to you the utmost Expedition; for if your Resolves
are not known to the Army before the first of December, all will be frustrated: And, in order
to remove all Obstacles which may occasion Delay, I am desirous (on my Part) to waive all
Forms of Ceremony, which Custom may have introduced in Relation to myself.
Mr Speaker also reported, that the Governor had delivered to him a Letter of the
2 2d of October last, from General Forbes, also a Letter from Colonel Byrd, of the 21* of
October, which he had desired him to lay before this House; and he accordingly delivered
them in at the Table, where they were read, and ordered to lye on the Table.

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Upon a Motion made,
Resolved, That this House will resolve itself into a Committee, to consider of the
Governor’s Speech immediately.

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Source:

Page 49 of JOURNALS of the House of Burgesses of Virginia 1758 – 1761

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A new Lt Governor

Francis Fauquier was appointed January 26, 1758, but assumed office June 5, 1758.

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The Lt Governor was the top managing official of this Crown Colony.

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Who were the absent Governors of this time?

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First Governor John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun (1756–1759) ruled. He then went to Portugal to fight the Spanish who entered the war.

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Then came Governor Jeffery Amherst (1759–1768.

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Both Governors were absent but who happened to be at the time Commander of all North American forces during the French and Indian War.

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