Fincastle Resolutions


20Jan1775, Fort Chiswell, VA

To the Honourable Peyton Randolph, Esq.: Richard Henry Bland, Benjamin Harrison, and Edmund Pendleton, Esquires, the Delegates from this colony who attended the Continental Congress held at Philadelphia. Gentlemen, Had it not been for our remote situation, and the Indian war which we were lately engaged in, to chastise those cruel and savage people for the many murders and depredations they have committed amongst us, now happily terminated, under the auspices of our present worthy Governour, his Excellency the Right Honourable the Earl of Dunmore, we should before this time have made known to you our thankfulness for the very important services you have rendered to this country, in conjunction with the worthy Delegates from the other provinces. Your noble efforts for reconciling the Mother Country and the Colonies, on rational and constitutional principles, and your pacifick, steady, and uniform conduct in that arduous work, entitle you to the esteem of all British America, and will immortalize you in the annals of your country. We heartily concur in your resolutions, and shall, in every instance, strictly and invariably adhere thereto. We assure you, Gentlemen, and all our countrymen, that we are a people whose hearts overflow with love and duty to our lawful sovereign George III. whose illustrious house, for several successive reigns, have been the guardians of civil and religious rights and liberties of his subjects, as settled at the glorious Revolution; that we are willing to risk our lives in the service of his Majesty, for the support of the Protestant religion, and the rights and liberties of his subjects, as they have been established by compact, law, and ancient charters. We are heartily grieved at the differences which now subsist between the parent state and the colonies, and most ardently wish to see harmony restored, on an equitable basis, and by the most lenient measures that can be devised by the heart of men. Many of us, and our forefathers, left our native land, considering it as a kingdom subjected to inordinate power, and greatly abridged of its liberties. We crossed the Atlantick, and explored this then uncultivated wilderness, bordering on many nations of savages, and surrounded by mountains almost inaccessible to any but those very savages, who have incessantly been committing barbarities and depredations on us since our first seating the country. These fatigues and dangers we patiently encountered, supported by the pleasing hope of enjoying those rights and liberties which have been granted to Virginians and were denied us in our native country, and of transmitting them inviolate to our posterity. But even to these remote regions the land of unlimited and unconstitutional power hath pursued us, to strip us of that liberty and property with which God, nature, and the rights of humanity, have vested us. We are ready and willing to contribute all in our power for the support of his Majesty’s government, if applied to constitutionally, and when the grants are made by our own representatives; but cannot think of submitting our liberty or property to the power of a venal British parliament, or to the will of a corrupt ministry. We by no means desire to shake off our duty or allegiance to our lawful sovereign, but on the contrary shall ever glory in being the loyal subjects of a Protestant prince, descended from such illustrious progenitors, so long as we can enjoy the free exercise of our religion, as Protestants, and our liberties and properties, as British subjects. But if no pacifick measures shall be proposed or adopted by Great Britain, and our enemies will attempt to dragoon us out of those inestimable privileges which we are entitled to as subjects, and to reduce us to a state of slavery, we declare, that we are deliberately and resolutely determined never to surrender them to any power upon earth, but at the expense of our lives. These are our real, though unpolished sentiments, of liberty and loyalty, and in them we are resolved to live and die. We are, Gentlemen, with the utmost esteem and regard, your most obedient servant.”

The signers of the above were
• William Campbell
• Arthur Campbell
• William Christian
• Walter Crockett
• Charles Cummings
• William Edmondson
• William Ingles
• Thomas Madison
• James McGavock
• John Montgomery
• William Preston
• Evan Shelby
• Stephen Trigg

The clerk of the Fincastle meeting was David Campbell. He would go on to clerk for General William Blount, military governor of the Territory South of the Ohio. He built at Campbell’s Station (Exit 373 of interstate 40/75, Knox County TN). Campbell and Newell were among those who persuaded Samuel Carrick (Liberty Hall graduate) to pastor First Presbyterian Church in Knoxville. In 1794, Carrick began a school there which became the University of Tennessee. David Campbell became a justice of the first Tennessee supreme court.

In old Tryon County (September 1775) and Mecklenburg County (May 1775), the Carolina Patriots wrote their resolutions with similar topics, similar language, and similar timing.

Some ties of the Fincastle Resolutions signers to Kings Mountain and to the Revolution:
Three sisters of Patrick Henry lived west of the Blue Ridge. Their husbands, William Campbell, Thomas Madison, and William Christian signed the Fincastle Resolutions. Patrick Henry could declare, as had his brothers in law in slightly different words, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

William Campbell, Arthur Campbell, and David Campbell were students at Liberty Hall Academy. Now Washington and Lee University, old Augusta Academy was renamed to Liberty Hall and moved to a town newly named Lexington, Virginia to express solidarity with the Patriots of Lexington and Concord. William Edmonson was in the battle at Kings Mountain. His family paid the highest toll among the patriots with three Edmondsons killed and one wounded. Robert Edmondson, a nephew, also a Liberty Hall graduate would be wounded in the Battle at Kings Mountain. Liberty Hall was also represented at Sycamore Shoals by its graduate, Rev. Samuel Doak. Doak’s inspiring sermon and benediction echoed up to heaven, across the mountain, and into our history books. Robert Edmondson, David Campbell, William Campbell, and Samuel Newell were the Virginian Liberty Hall boys in the battle. Some Burke County North Carolina accounts place Samuel and James Greenlee, Liberty Hall students, at the Battle of Kings Mountain.
Evan Shelby remained at his plantation near Sapling Grove, but sent a few Shelby’s to Sycamore Shoals. The Shelby family was well represented at Kings Mountain by David, Evan Jr., James, John, Moses, Thomas, and Col Isaac. John Montgomery nor Walter Crockett mustered for Kings Mountain, but like Shelby, their relatives did. Charles Cummings joined some of his congregation at the 24Sep muster near Black’s Fort after services at Sinking Spring. He did not go on with them to Sycamore Shoals.
The Montgomery County contingent of the Fincastle Resolution signers were among the names in various rosters of Patriots, though not at BKM. They mustered four companies and crossed the Blue Ridge too late for the battle of Kings Mountain, but in time for the Battle at Shallowford. William Ingles Ferry, now Radford VA was downstream from the lead mines. Mary Draper Ingles contributed mightily to Kings Mountain when her nephew wrote the definitive history of the battle. Stephen Trigg was apparently serving in Kentucky County at the time of BKM. His brother Abraham Trigg led one of the Montgomery County companies which answered the call against Patrick Ferguson. They contributed in the backhanded way of clearing out a large band of Tories at Shallow Ford who might have ambushed the Patriots on their way to the Moravian Towns with the loyalist Kings Mountain battle prisoners.