The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: June 29

WILLIAMSBURG, Saturday, June 29, 1776.
This day PATRICK HENRY, Esq; was chosen Governor of this country, and a committee appointed to acquaint him therewith; to which he returned the following answer to the Convention.To the Honourable the PRESIDENT and HOUSE of CONVENTION. GENTLEMEN, The vote of this day, appointing me Governor of this Commonwealth, has been notified to me in the most polite and obliging manner, by George Mason, Henry Lee, Dudley Digges, John Blair, and Bartholomew Dandrige, Esquires. A sense of the high and unmerited honour conferred upon me by the Convention fills my heart with gratitude, which I trust my whole life will manifest. I take this earliest opportunity to express my thanks, which I wish to convey to you, Gentlemen, in the strongest terms of acknowledgment. When I reflect that the tyranny of the British King and Parliament hath kindled a formidable war, now raging throughout this wide extended continent, and in the operations of which this Commonwealth must bear so great a part; and that, from the events of this war, the lasting happiness, or misery, of a great proportion of the human species will finally result; that, in order to preserve this Commonwealth from anarchy, and its attendant ruin, and to give vigour to our councils, and effect to all our measures, government hath been necessarily assumed, and new-modelled; that it is exposed to numberless hazards and perils in its infantine state; that it can never attain to maturity, or ripen into firmness, unless it is guarded by affectionate assiduity, and managed by great abilities; I lament my want of talents; I feel my mind filled with anxiety and uneasiness to find myself so unequal to the duties of that important station to which I am called by favour of my fellow citizens, at this truly critical conjuncture. The errors of my conduct shall be atoned for, so far as I am able, by unwearied endeavours to secure the freedom and happiness of our common country. I shall enter upon the duties of my office whenever you, Gentlemen, shall be pleased to direct; relying upon the known wisdom and virtue of your Honourable House to supply my defects, and to give permanency and success to that system of government which you have formed, and which is so wisely calculated to secure equal liberty, and advance human happiness. I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, your most obeident, And very humble servant, Williamsburg, P. HENRY, Jun. June 29, 1776

Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter) July 6, 1776

About this entry:

Patrick Henry was chosen as the first governor of Virginia. The term of governor was one year - Henry was re-elected and served until 1779. At his inauguration on July 6, the day after the Convention's adjournment, Patrick Henry was so ill "of a bilious fever" it was feared that he would die at any moment. " John Page was chosen as president and lieutenant governor, and Henry retired to Hanover County for the rest of the summer to recuperate.

Sources: DNB, Selby p121

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