The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: June 10

WILLIAMSBURG, June 10, 1775.
In the night of Saturday the 3d instant some young men got into the public magazine in this city, intending to furnish themselves with arms, but were presently after surprised by the report of a gun, which was so artfully placed (said to be contrived by L--d D-----e) that upon touching a string which was in their way, it went off, and wounded three persons, but not mortally; one of them is terribly hurt by several small balls that entered his arm and shoulder; another, by the loss of two fingers of his right hand, rendered incapable of following his profession for subsistence; the other wounded very slightly. There were two guns prepared for this horrid purpose, one of which was brought out next morning, and found to be double charged. On Monday a committee was appointed of the Hon. House of Burgesses to examine the state of the magazine, who have placed a guard over it till measures shall be concerted for its better Security.

Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter) June 10, 1775

About this entry:

A loaded spring-gun protected the Powder Magazine from the young raiders, who included Mayor John Dixon's son. In Lord Dunmore's account of the incident he placed responsibility for the trap on the Keeper of the Magazine, Mr. Gabriel Maupin who had been appointed to this office only the month before. Dunmore concluded, "The Crime in this Affair was entirely overlooked, but the punishment inflicted, by the hands of the Criminals on themselves irritated very much; and the Cry among the People was for vengeance."

Sources: Noel Hume, 1775, p212-213

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