Virginia’s Fighting Quakers

August 1, 2007

Revolutionary War Image

By the mid 1700s, the colony of Virginia had a substantial population of Quakers. However, for various reasons, the Society of Friends moved West and left sparsley attended or abandoned meeting houses along the way. One of the causes of the great migration of Virginia Quaker families into Ohio had to do with the Revolutionary War. Young men of the best Quaker families were most eager to join on with the Revolutionary Army of Virginia. They were promptly disowned by their Quaker meetings. Many of those fighting Quakers who survived the War were reinstated into membership after the War was finished and won. They, along with descendants of non-Quaker fallen soldiers were granted land bounties by the Legislature of Virginia in the Virginia Military District of Ohio. This was an enormous tract of land set off by the United States Congress for the Commonwealth of Virginia to repay her citizen soldiers for their sacrifices and service. The District of Ohio included the present day counties of Clermont, Brown, Adams, Highland, Clinton, Fayette, Madison, Union and portions of Warren, Greene, Clark, Champaigne, Logan, Hardin, Marion, Delaware, Franklin, Pickaway, Ross, Pike and Scioto. Over 8000 land warrants were issued to Virginia soldiers in the Virginia Military District of Ohio alone. The warrants ranged from 100 acres to an army private who served three years, up to 1100 acres to a general who served three years. These warrants became a great inducement for Virginia’s Revolutionary War veterans to go west to Ohio. A number of so-called Fighting Quakers from Virginia’s South River Meeting received such warrants.

If you are seeking your own ancestors, start with “Virginia Revolutionary Records” by Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh, Volume I. ~~Edna Barney

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The image, Ten Crucial Days/A Young Patriot, is subject to copyright by Mark K_NJ. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.