Peter Coffee, probably a convict from London's Newgate Prison, was placed aboard the passenger and cargo ship "Forward Gally" by Johnathan Forward, a prosperous tobacco buyer and "Contractor for Transportation" in London. Jonathan Forward received 5-pounds per passenger to take convicts and indentured laborers to the Virginia Colony, and received the money wherather they survived the trip or not. The "Forward Gally" was one of three passenger and cargo vessels owned and operatedby Jonathan Forward under contract to the London Company.The other two were the "Forward Frigate" and the "Pretty Patsy".
In 1737 Peter Coffee sailed with the"Forward Gally"from London's St. Katherine Dock bound to the Virginia Colony at Dumfries Dock on the Potomac River. Dumfries Dock was located in Stafford County andwas as large a seaport as Philadelphia and New York at that time.The size of the port was due to the thousands of Scots-Irish convicts, indentured laborers and paid passengers arriving in the Virginia Colony from Ulster in norther Ireland. The great migration of Scots-Irish Ulstermen occurred after the Williamite Waragainst the Irish Catholics (Jacobites). The largeVirginia tobacco cargos were loaded on the passenger ships at Dumfries Dock and returned toEngland.Dumfries Dock was on the Potomac River , in an area which later became Prince William County and now is located in the Quantico Marine Base.
In 1739, Peter Coffee married Susannah Mathews in Stafford County. Susannah was the daughter of William Mathews who immigrated from Ulster to the Virginia Colony with Susannah and her three brothers, James, Benjamin and Samuel.Peter and Susannah remained in Stafford County until 1743, and had their first four of eleven children in Stafford County, their first child, Frances b. 1739 died in 1741; James, b. 1740; Frances, b. 1841; Lydia, b. 1742, Benjamin, b. 1843.My g.g.g.g.grandfather William Coffee (1744-1799) was the fifth child and he was born in King George County Virginia. Soon after William was born, Peter and Susannah Coffee moved with their children from King George County to the new Caldwell Settlement in Amelia County, in a area that later to became St. Patricks Parrish of Prince Edward County. In late 1744, their sixth child, Peter Coffee, Jr., was born in Amelia County.They settled on acreage they purchased (or was given in a will) from Susannah's father William and her brothers James andSamuel Mathews. William's son Benjamin must have died either on the voyage to Virginia or soon after they arrived.
In 1738, the Caldwell Settlement was established by John Caldwell, grandfather of John Caldwell Calhoun, twice vice president of the United States and father of the Confederate States of America.John Calwell came to that area of Virginia witha number of Scots-Irish Presbyterian (dissenters) settlers from Ulster in northern Ireland. The only head rights the Scots-Irish could obtain from their English masters were in the "back-woods" of the Virginia Colony, in areas that were moreliable to Indian attacks.