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title:“George Mason to Martin Cockburn”
authors:George Mason
date written:1775-8-5

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:10 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Dec. 2, 2023, 12:20 p.m. UTC

Mason, George. "Letter to Martin Cockburn." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 1. Ed. Bernard Bailyn and James Morton Smith. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 245-46. Print.
Recipient's Copy, Mason Papers, Library of Congress

George Mason to Martin Cockburn (August 5, 1775)

Richmond Augt. 5th. 1775.
Capt. Grayson informing me that he shall set out on his Return Home to-morrow, I take the Opportunity of writing to you, tho' I have Nothing very agreeable to communicate. We are getting into great Confusion here, & I fear running the Country to an Expence it will not be able to bear—3,000 Men are voted as a Body of standing Troops, to be forthwith raise, & form'd into three Regiments, the first to be commanded by Mr. Patrick Henry, the second by Colo. Thos. Nelson, & the third by Mr. Wm. Woodford. A great push was made for Colo. Mercer of Fredericksburg to the 1st. Regiment; but he lost it by a few Votes, upon the Question between him and Mr. Henry; tho' he had a majority upon the Ballot.
The Expence of the last Indian war will be near £150,000, our Share of the Expence of the continental Army £150,000 more, the Charge of the Troops now raising, & the Minute-Men with their Arms &c. £350,000; these added together will make an enormous Sum, & there are several Charges still behind; such as the Voluntier Compys at Williamsburg, the Payment of the Members of the Convention &c. However nothing is yet absolutely conclusive, & some Abridgement may yet perhaps be made; tho' at present there is little Prospect of it.
As it is proposed that a Company of fifty Men for the standing Army shall be raised in each County, my Son George may perhaps have a Mind to enter into the Service; in which Case, pray tell him that it will be very contrary to my Inclination, & that I advise him by all Means against it. When the Plan for the Minute-Men is compleated, if he has a Mind to enter into that I shall have no Objection: as I look upon it to be the true natural, and safest Defence of this, or any other free Country; & as such, wish to see it encouraged to the utmost. I shou'd have wrote to him but that it was uncertain whether he was at Home, or at the Springs.
I have been very unwell, & unable to attend the Convention for two or three Days, but am now getting better, & attended again to Day, & am going out to morrow to visit a Friend in the Country. God knows when I shall get home again. Remember me kindly to my dear children—the family at Springfield; & all Friends; and believe me Dr. Sir, Yr. affect. Friend and Servt.

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