The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: August 21

WILLIAMSBURG, August 21, 1777.
By his Excellency Patrick Henry, esq; Governour of the Commonwealth of Virginia: A PROCLAMATIION. Whereas I have received authentick information, that John Goodrich the elder, Andrew M. Cann, Townsend, and Chilcott, who were confined in the jail of Albemarle county as enemies to this commonwealth, made their escape on Monday night last, and were since seen making their way down James river, armed, and having four negroes in their company, I have thought fit, by and with the advice of the Council of State, to issue this my proclamation, hereby commanding all officers civil and military, and all other the good people of this commonwealth, to make diligent search and pursuit after the persons aforesaid, and to apprehend and bring them before the next magistrate of the county where taken, or to the commanding officer of the militia, to be dealt with according to law; and I do hereby offer a reward of 100 DOLLARS for apprehending the said John Goodrich, 50 DOLLARS for apprehending either of the other white persons, and 25 DOLLARS for apprehending each of the said negroes. Given under my hand at Williamsburg this 21st day of August 1777, in the second year of this commonwealth. P. HENRY.

Virginia Gazette (Purdie) August 22, 1777

About this entry:

Goodrich and his cohorts were apprehended in Isle of Wight County and were lodged in the Williamsburg jail less than a week after the governor's proclamation. John Goodrich was known primarily as a smuggler and merchant sea captain in the coastal trade. Although early in the war he had obtained gunpowder for the colonials, he also broke the law and imported British goods. Lord Dunmore won him to the British side and found Goodrich's knowledge of the Tidewater invaluable for raiding riverside plantations. Goodrich and his sons were all captured, but they managed to escape and lead a small fleet of loyalist privateers up and down the coast from Carolina to New Jersey. After the war, the family retired to England and Bermuda with the riches they had gathered.

Sources: Selby, p69; Purdie, Aug 29, 1777, p3

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