Front Page Titles (by Subject) draft of a resolution of the virginia convention 1 - The Works, vol. 2 (1771-1779)
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draft of a resolution of the virginia convention 1 - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 2 (1771-1779) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 2.
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draft of a resolution of the virginia convention1
v. s. a.
His Excellency the Governor having by proclamation bearing date the 21st day of March2 in the present year declared that his majesty hath given orders that all vacant lands within this colony shall be put up in lot to public sale and that the highest bidder for such lots shall be the purchaser thereof, and shall hold the same subject to a reservation of one-penny sterling per acre by way of annual quit rent and all mines of gold, silver, and precious stones; which terms are an innovation on the established usage of granting lands within this colony; Resolved that a committee be appointed to enquire whether his majesty may of right advance the terms of granting lands in this colony, and make report thereof to the next General assembly or Convention. And that in the mean time it be recommended to all persons whatever to forbear purchasing or accepting grants of lands on the conditions aforementioned; and that be appointed to be of the said Committee.
[1 ]This resolution is printed from the original in Jefferson’s handwriting. It was offered in the Convention, Mar. 27, 1775, and in pursuance of it, Henry, Bland, Jefferson, Nicholas, and Pendleton were appointed a committee, but seem to have done nothing concerning it. At the next session, on July 18th, a new committee was named, and on the arrival of Harrison, Henry, and Jefferson, on Aug. 9, they were added to this second committee, but it was equally fruitless of results. “One of the last acts of the Convention was dictated by a proclamation of the governor . . . declaring that the king had given orders that all vacant lands should be put up in lots at public sale. . . . It was an innovation on the established usage of granting lands within the Colony. Announced that revenue was to be hunted for in disregard of charters and ancient habits, and to be embraced in it minutest shapes. To attack this new head of the hydra of precedent, a committee was appointed of Patrick Henry, Richard Bland, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Carter Nicholas, and Edmund Randolph, to inquire whether his majesty may of right advance the terms of granting lands in this colony, and to make report to the next General assembly or Convention. But this affair was lost in the subsequent events, and at any other time would probably have died away with those numerous thoughtless acquiences with which our history is strewed, in exercises of doubtful prerogative.”—Edmund Randolph’s (MS.) History of Virginia, ii., 35. [March 27, 1775.]
[2 ]Printed in Force’s Archives, 4th, ii., 174.