Landon’s Day (We Shall See Edition)

Published:July 3, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1776, a Wednesday, Landon Carter—several of whose slaves had recently escaped, and whose contempt for Patrick Henry is, for the moment, under control—entered the following into his diary:

Monday at Court we heard the Kg and Queen men below had killed a mulatto and two of the blacks out of the 8 of my people who ran away and the remaining 5 surrendered; how true it is I don’t know.

Mr. Page there gave me an account that Pat. Henry was chosen Governor in convention, a great majority over President Nelson, who though he had 45 votes was in the Election of a Council of State but the 7th man and Charles Carter of Corotoman the 8th man. We shall now see what we shall see. Bat Dandridge, a most insignificant lawyer, also chosen one; this a creature of his Excellency’s. Electible only 3 years successively, and must be out 4 years before reeligible. I see and condemn, but as the Multitude of my city has done it I say nothing, but can’t admire the choice. I rather mourn its destructive tendency in secret against.

Our parson is a comical man. He said he imagined I should now be for independency at last. Yes! I replied because the People of [faded] had compelled me to it. His answer was [faded] even against it without any reserve as to compulsion. I declared to the contrary. He said I forgot. I answered he could invent, and I am now resolved never to speak to him on the subject.

Read other entries from Carter’s diary.

IMAGE: Patrick Henry (Virginia Historical Society)