Fayette County History & Genealogy

History of Fayette County

From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County


This county, occupying a portion of the Virginia Military Reservation, reaches hack in its political history into early colonial times, hefore the organization of the general government of the United States, and when all the territory northwest of the River Ohio, extending west to the Mississippi, was claimed by Virginia.

In the years 1774 and 1775, before the Revolutionary War began, the thirteen colonies then existing, so far as their relations to one another were concerned, were separate, independent communities, having, to a considerable extent, different political organizations and different municipal laws; but their various population spoke, almost universally, the English language, and, as descendants from a common English stock, had a common interest and a common sympathy.

In the year 1773, on the 7th day of July, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, then in England, wrote an official letter to the Massachusetts Assembly, strongly urging a general assembly of the representatives of the people of all the colonies, that they might make such a declaration and assertion of their rights as would be recognized by the king and parliament of Great Britain. Pursuant to this advice a congress, called the First Continental Congress, assembled at Carpenter's Hall, in Philadelphia, on the 5th day of September, 1774, and remained in session until the 26th day of October, following. A second Continental Congress met on the 10th day of May, 1775. This congress, styled also the revolutionary government, on the 4th day of July, 1776, published to the world the Declaration of Independence, and on the 15th day of November, 1777, agreed to articles of confederation and perpetual union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Article I. recited that "The style of this confederacy shall be The United States of America;" and Article II. that "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States in congress assembled." These articles of confederation, thirteen in number, which defined the powers and privileges of congress, and the rights of the several states, after their adoption by each state, constituted the supreme law until the adoption of the constitution in 1788. It was under this confederacy that the great discussions arose concerning the disposition of the public lands.

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