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The Official Papers of Francis Fauquier, Lieutenant Governor, 1758-1768
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Francis Fauquier (1703–1768) served as lieutenant to two absentee Virginia governors: John Campbell, fourth Earl of Loudoun, and Sir Jeffrey Amherst. Opening in the midst of the French and Indian War, his administration was fraught with unusual difficulties. He struggled to establish defenses against Indian raids on the frontier and to recruit and supply Virginia regiments to supplement British expeditionary forces; he worked for a compromise between colonials and English merchants over the issue of paper money; and he maintained a strong grip upon the government in the midst of the Stamp Act crisis and revelations of irregularities in the Treasurer's Office following the death of Speaker John Robinson.
Fauquier was well loved in Virginia. Among his close personal friends he counted councillors Robert Carter of Nomini Hall and William Nelson of Yorktown, Attorney General and later Speaker of the House of Burgesses Peyton Randolph, Professor William Small of the College of William and Mary, the incomparable attorney and law teacher George Wythe, and a young and impressionable Thomas Jefferson. He was universally characterized as "vigilant in Government, moderate in Power, exemplary in Religion, and merciful." Some contemporaries in Virginia were moved to say he was the best administrator England had ever provided. Only the unfortunate circumstances of the Stamp Act crisis seem to have clouded the luster of his administration in the eyes of colonials.
This collection of Fauquier's official papers while lieutenant governor provides fascinating and informative views of day-to-day administrative functions and run-of-the-mill legislative politics, as well as of the many dramatic incidents with which the governor had to contend. Patrick Henry's Stamp Act Resolves, a riot by Norfolk mariners directed against Spanish prisoners of war, negotiations over Indian treaties and trade agreements, a persistent controversy with Commissary William Robinson, all combined to tax Fauquier's administrative abilities and political ingenuity to the full.
Edited by George Reese. Virginia Historical Society Documents Series, Volumes 14, 15 and 16.
Three volumes: 1,597 pages, hardcover, ISBN 0813908566 (I), 0813908957 (II), 0813908965 (III), The University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1980, 1981, and 1983
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