Buckingham County Patriots

April 6, 2009

Revolutionary War Image

When Americans of today think about the history of equality, equal protection and equal civil rights, their thoughts are dominated by the history of desegregation, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the antislavery debates of the 1830s. However, long before the slavery debate, Virginians were debating different standards of equality regarding religious diversity. In eighteenth-century Virginia, there was one church rule, and in those days, the church was the law as the head of the church was the British monarch. These discussions and petitions and desires for religious freedom by rank and file Virginians had much to do with fomenting the American Revolution.

While American patriots of New England were throwing crates of tea into Boston Harbor objecting to British taxes, Virginians were standing for religious equality for all, including dissenters. With these petitions they were demanding disestablishment of the Church of England, the outlawing of the Church’s assessments, and the banishment of the Church’s ministers, who were working for the Crown.

This petition was signed by American Revolutionary War patriots of Buckingham County, Virginia on 7 December 1780. The signatories believed that “The Exercise of any of the learned professions gives their Professors an influence which improperly apply’d may prove dangerous to the State.” They therefore petitioned the government at Williamsburg to punish “professed Enemies to the State” by passing laws to “Silence all Nonjuring Preachers of every Denomination” and deprive them of their benefits, “to prohibit men who refuse to give proof of their attachment to the present Government from the Exercise of either the professions of Law or Physic, and to Levy double taxes upon all Nonjurors.”(“Nonjurors” meant those who were loyal to England.) These petitioners signed their names, knowing that their necks would be on the chopping block if England was able to squash the rebellion. This petition is available on-line at the Collection of the Library of Congress where there is much more information as to the relationship between these Virginia petitions and the quest for freedom that birthed a new nation, the United States of America.

Read more of the “Relationship Between Virginia Petitions and the American Revolution.”

My fifth great grandfather, DAVID STINSON, along with his brothers, were brave enough to sign this petition. I have made a transcript of this document HERE.

The image, Petition of 7 December 1780, is subject to copyright by barneykin. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, an administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.

DAR Patriot Index 2000

April 1, 2008

Patriot Index 2000

STIMPSON, STIMSON, STINSON Patriots of the American Revolution. The next edition of the DAR Patriot Index will include my two ancestors from Virginia, Alexander STINSON Senior, father of the listed Alexander (c1733-a1813), and his son David STINSON, both of Buckingham County, Virginia.

Father Alexander STINSON was an old man during the war, however he did contribute supplies to the rebels. It is impossible to know what other support these men may have given to the Patriot Cause, as all the records at Buckingham County Courthouse were burned in 1869 – not by the Yankees, but by arsonist Virginians! We do know that the people of Buckingham County were in the forefront of the movement for liberty, and that many of the county’s citizens must have formed Committees of Safety and more.

My forefather, David STINSON, contributed 400 pounds of beef to the American Revolutionary cause in Buckingham County, Virginia, which qualified him to be a DAR patriot. However, David STINSON did much more to show his true colors during a time of great danger. From some Virginia petitions stored at the Library of Congress I have discovered that my ancestor David STINSON was amongst Buckingham County’s staunchest patriots.  On 7 December 1780, he signed a petition that demanded the privileges of citizenship be withheld from all who refused to swear allegiance to the new American government. He demanded that these “non-jurors” not be allowed to practice law, medicine, and that “non-juror” clergy be silenced and deprived of their benefices. In addition, as a petitioner, he demanded that the non-patriots be double taxed. At that point in history, the South had become the war’s battlefield, and the army of Washington was not assured victory. The cities of Augusta and Savannah in Georgia had fallen to the British. If the American rebellion had been put down, David STINSON and the other petition signatories would have suffered grave consequences.

StarStar As of December 2007, DAVID STINSON is NSDAR Patriot Ancestor #A204931.

After gathering together all the historical documents necessary to prove my STINSON lineage to NSDAR standards, no easy feat in a Virginia burnt county, I decided to write a book on the STINSON family of Buckingham County. It is SO OBSCURE A PERSON – The Story of Alexander STINSON and His Virginia Descendants.   ~~Edna Barney

Learn More: The American Revolution

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The image, DAR Patriot Index 2000, is subject to copyright by barneykin. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.