Log In Register

Source & Citation Info

title:“Fairfax County Militia Plan "for Embodying the People"”
authors:George Mason
date written:1775-2-6

permanent link
to this version:
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:32 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Dec. 1, 2023, 11:17 p.m. UTC

Mason, George. "Fairfax County Militia Plan "for Embodying the People"." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 1. Ed. Bernard Bailyn and James Morton Smith. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 215-16. Print.
Manuscript, Washington Papers, Library of Congress

Fairfax County Militia Plan "for Embodying the People" (February 6, 1775)

[Enclosure of 6 February 1775]
Threatened with the Destruction of our antient Laws & Liberty, and the Loss of all that is dear to British Subjects & Freemen, justly alarmed with the Prospect of impending Ruin,—firmly determined, at the hazard of our Lives, to transmit to our Children & Posterity those sacred Rights to which ourselves were born; and thoroughly convinced that a well regulated Militia, composed of the Gentlemen, Freeholders, and other Freemen, is the natural Strength and only safe & stable security of a free Government, & that such Militia will relieve our Mother Country from any Expense in our Protection and Defence, will obviate the Pretence of a necessity for taxing us on that account, and render it unnecessary to keep any standing Army (ever dangerous to liberty) in this Colony, WE the Subscribers, Inhabitants of Fairfax County, have freely & voluntarily agreed, & hereby do agree & solemnly promise, to enroll & embody ourselves into a Militia for this County, intended to consist of all the able-bodied Freemen from eighteen to fifty Years of Age, under Officers of their own Choice; & for that Purpose to form ourselves into distinct Companies of Sixty-eight Men each; and so soon as the said Companies, or any of them in convenient neighbourhoods & Districts are completed, to chuse from among our Friends and acquaintaince, upon whose Justice, Humanity & Bravery we can relie, a Captain, two Lieutenants, an Ensign & four Serjeants for Each Company; every Captain respectively to appoint four Corporals & a Drummer for his Company, which Election of officers is to be annual in any Company, if the Majority of the Company think fit; & whenever a sufficient Number of Companies shall be made up, all the said Companies are to be formed into a Regiment, under the Command of a Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, & Major, to be chosen by the Captains, Lieutenants & Ensigns of the said Companies; which Election of Field-officers is to be annual also, if the Majority of the Officers think fit. And such of us have, or can procure Riphel Guns, & understand the use of them, will be ready to form a Company of Marksmen or Light-Infantry for the said Regiment, chusing our own Officers as aforesaid, & distinguishing our Dress, when we are upon Duty, from that of the other Companies, by painted Hunting Shirts and Indian Boots, or Caps, as shall be found most convenient, Which Regulation & Establishment is to be preserved &continued, until a regular and proper Militia Law for the Defence of the Country shall be enacted by the Legislature of this Colony. And we do Each of us, for ourselves respectively, promise and engage to keep a good Fire-lock in proper Order, & to furnish Ourselves as soon as possible with, & always keep by us, one Pound of Gunpowder, four Pounds of Lead, one Dozen Gun-Flints, & a pair of Bullet-Moulds, with a Cartouch Box, or powder-horn, and Bag for Balls. That we will use our best Endeavours to perfect ourselves in the Military Exercise & Discipline, & therefore will pay due Obedience to our officers, & regularly attend such private and general Musters as they shall appoint. And that we will always hold ourselves in Readiness, in Case of Necessity, Hostile-Invasion, or real Danger, to defend & preserve to the utmost of our Power, our Religion, the Laws of our Country, & the just Rights & Privileges of our fellow-Subjects, our Posterity, & ourselves, upon the Principles of the English Constitution.1

Resource Metadata