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General Thomas Posey (b. July 9, 1750, d. March 19, 1818)Thomas Posey (son of John Price Posey and Martha Price) was born July 9, 1750 in Fairfax County, "Rovers Delight" Virginia, and died March 19, 1818 in Shawneetown, Illinois.He married (1) Martha Mathews on November 30, 1772 in Virginia, daughter of Joshua Mathews.He married (2) Mary AlexanderThornton on January 22, 1784 in Spotsylvania County, Parish of St. George, Virginia, daughter of John Alexander and Lucy Thornton.
Notes for Thomas Posey:
THOMAS POSEY moved to Henderson County in the early days of the 19th century and established an estate for part of his large family.In 1804, he was elected to the state senate and, when Lieutenant-Governor John CALDWELL died two months after inauguration, POSEY was elected speaker of the senate.Under the Constitution of 1799, this meant he was also acting Lieutenant-Governor, a position he held until December 28, 1807.
Before coming to Kentucky, General POSEY lived in Virginia where, according to his biographer, “He was born of respectable parents, near the Potomac River on 9 July, 1750.Thomas Posey's military career began in the expedition that Lord DUNMORE led against the Indians in 1774; two years later he was a captain in the 7th Virginia Regiment opposing the same Lord DUNMORE.The year before, at age 25, he was elected a member of a Committee of Correspondence, a state-wide organization that helped prepare the patriots for the Revolution.
Soon after Captain Posey joined the army, General WASHINGTON directed Colonial Daniel MORGAN to organize a rifle regiment of selected officers and men.POSEY was selected as one of the Captains and, in at least two instances, was ordered to take command while MORGAN was on furlough.In 1778 he attained the rank of Major, and at Monmouth served under the orders of Marquis de LaFayette.In the spring of 1779, Major POSEY took command of the 11th Virginia Regiment of infantry and served under General WAYNE.On the night of July 15, 1778, he distinguished himself in the assault on Stoney Point by making a successful charge on an enemy battery.It was Posey who gave the word, "The Fort’s our own", in one of the most daring and brilliant achievements of the Revolution.At the close of the Revolution he held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, which was raised to Brigadier-General in 1793, while he was serving under General WAYNE in the Indian wars of the Northwest Territory.In this same expedition his oldest son, John Posey, earned the rank of Captain.
During the Revolution, General Posey's first wife (Martha Matthews, born 21 Jun 1754 and died 7 Aug 1778 VA) died and he was married a second time, in 1783, to Mrs. Mary ALEXANDER Thornton, the widow of Major George THORNTON, a relative of the WASHINGTON family.Captain John POSEY (born 19 Sep 1774 VA), the son of General POSEY’S first marriage, also moved to Henderson County and married his step-sister on 25 Jan 1798 in Virginia (Lucy Frances THORNTON), making for a closely-knit family.
Thomas and Mary Alexander POSEY were the parents of ten children:Fayette, Lloyd, William, Thornton, Thomas, Maria, Alexander, Washington and Sara Ann.In 1810 Congress sent out aall for men in anticipation of hostilities with either Great Britain or France.Thomas Posey was appointed Major General of the first division of Kentucky Militia.However, the call was premature and the army was disbanded.This action drew Posey's attention to the Orleans Territory and he moved part of his family there in 1812.
When Louisiana became a state he was appointed senator to fill a vacancy and served in the U.S. Senate until appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Indiana Territory on March 13, 1813.He filled this office with universal satisfaction until the Territory became a State in 1816 when the Legislature praised him in a written commendation which said, in part, “During your administration, many evils have been remedied, and… we have become as one people.”
His last position was Agent of Indian Affairs, including the Illinois Territory.He caught cold descending the Wabash River and died at Shawneetown, Illinois on March 18, 1818.
In addition to his brilliant military career, he was politically concerned with the beginnings of five state governments:Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Indiana and Illinois.Posey County, Indiana, is named for him, but Kentucky is the only state he served as Lieutenant-Governor.His son, John, and some of his second family retained Kentucky as their home state and many of their descendants still live in this county.
Story was found on pages 55 - 57 in the “The Annals and Scandals of Henderson County, KY” by Maralea Arnett.Reference to General Posey’s first wife, Martha Matthews was found in Linda Hallmark’s 200 years Henderson County, Kentucky First Families, Early Settlers and a brief History.
On the side of his cemetery monument it reads, "Thomas Posey, born in Virginia, July 9, 1750.He entered the War of independence as a Captain in 1776.At its close, was Lt. Colonel.At the storm of Stony Point, New York he was first to give the word, 'The Forts our own.'In the American Republic he was Brg. General and Governor of the Indiana Territory.In Kentucky he was Lt. Governor and Major General.He died in Illinois on March 19, 1818.Leaving an unstained character, a lasting monument of his virtue."
The cemetery is the Westwood, Cemetery, Old Shawneetown, Illinios.
There are two WIll known.One dated April 12, 1862.The second, dated April 16, 1816.
Noted in his Will, April 12, 1862 of "my dear an adopted daughter Catherine Posey Beverly
During the early years Thomas saw and was involved in events great historical significance.These experiences helped to shape his personal philosophy, and his political and military careers.Some of the main acts of history are:
STAMP ACT.The French and Indian War (1754-63) doubled the debt of the British government and at the same time greatly increased British possessions in America. The British government therefore decided to station British troops in the colonies to prevent the French from recovering Canada and to defend the colonies against the Indians. Most Englishmen thought it only right that the colonies should help pay for the support of these troops. For a partial support of the troops the British Parliament therefore passed the Stamp Act in 1765. This provided that stamps purchased from the British government should be used on all important documents, periodicals, almanacs, pamphlets, and playing cards.
This tax aroused great opposition among the colonists for three reasons: the colonists thought they should not be taxed except by their own representatives; they opposed the presence of British troops; and the tax had to be paid in silver. This would carry so much of their sound money to England that it would seriously interfere with business. Benjamin Franklin, in England at the time, counseled compliance with the law. But a Stamp Act Congress, representing nine colonies, met in New York City on Oct. 7, 1765, and declared that only the colonial assemblies should tax the colonists. The congress also petitioned the king and Parliament for repeal of the objectional measures. When the stamped papers began to arrive, mobs seized them or forced the ships' captains to take them back to England. They also forced stamp commissioners to resign, so that even where the stamps were landed there was no one to distribute them.
Many wealthy merchants favored stopping all business that required the use of stamped papers. This, they said, would be perfectly legal, and it would so seriously interfere with the business of British merchants that Parliament would be forced to repeal the law. But printers and lawyers, small shopkeepers and laborers, who would be hurt if business stopped, wanted to disregard the Stamp Act entirely. These groups called themselves Sons of Liberty.
Both methods of resisting the law were employed to some extent. The printers went on printing newspapers. A good deal of trade was carried on without stamped clearance papers. The courts did some business without stamped papers, but the higher courts were closed much of the time. Merchants formed an agreement not to import British goods. In general there was a marked interference with business, and the poorer classes suffered greatly in the winter of 1766 for want of employment. The result was that rioting and disturbances were common.
This resistance helped to bring about the repeal of the law. Certain men in Great Britain, notably William Pitt the Elder, came to the assistance of the Americans. British merchants, whose trade was seriously cut, pressed for the repeal of the act. There was also a change in the ministry. The result of all of these influences was the repeal of the Stamp Act in March 1766. This step, however, was accompanied by a Declaratory Act setting forth Parliament's supreme power over the colonies in matters of taxation as well as in all other matters of legislation. (See also Revolution, American.)
Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia
Copyright (c) 1994, 1995 Compton's NewMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved
During the Stamp Act controversy a Maryland lawyer, Daniel Dulany, wrote that although Parliament might lay external taxes on the trade of the colonies, it could not rightfully impose internal taxes to be collected directly from the people. This distinction became immensely popular at the time. When Charles Townshend was chancellor of the British Exchequer, he framed his famous revenue act of 1767 in line with the colonial view. Duties were placed on lead, paint, glass, paper, and tea, when imported into the colonies. The money collected was to be used to support British officials in the American service. Opposition to these taxes was not foreseen.
The colonists, however, objected strenuously. Their spokesman this time was John Dickinson of Pennsylvania. In his widely read 'Letters of a Farmer in Pennsylvania', he made a new distinctionbetween taxes levied to regulate trade and those intended to raise revenue. If the purpose was to promote imperial commerce, the tax was justifiable. But if England could levy taxes simply to obtain revenue, the colonial rights of self-government would soon be at an end. Only through their power to withhold the salaries of British governors had the colonial assemblies been able to keep them in hand. If England paid such salaries from Parliamentary taxes, the governor would dominate the assembly.
Tea and the "Tea Party"
In 1770, a new prime minister, Lord North, believing it unwise for England to hamper the sale of its own wares in outside markets, secured the repeal of most of the Townshend duties. At the request of King George III the duty on tea was retained, in order to assert the right of England to tax the colonies. The American merchants accepted this compromise, and the agitation in the colonies soon died down. The remaining duty was evaded by smuggling: the odious tax was not paid on about nine tenths of the tea imported after 1770.
Then, in 1773, Parliament passed another act that set all the elements of discord in motion. This measure allowed the British East India Company to ship tea to the colonies without paying any of the import duties collected in England. The nearly bankrupt company had on hand an immense quantity of unsold tea. It could now sell this tea more cheaply in the colonies than local merchants, who had to pay high duties, could sell the tea that they imported. The company was quite willing to pay the Townshend tax of threepence a pound when its tea was unloaded in America.
In the colonies this cheap tea was greeted as a bribe offered to the people for their consent to a British tax. The merchants everywhere were alarmed. If the East India Company could receive a monopoly for the sale of one article, it might receive other privileges and thus deprive the local merchants of most of the colonial trade. In New York and Philadelphia the company's ships were not allowed to land. Meanwhile, in Boston, a group of citizens disguised as Indians tossed L15,000 worth of the offensive tea into the harbor. This incident, afterward known as the Boston Tea Party, brought about the greatest pre-Revolutionary War crisis, for it was the first act of resistance to end in the destruction of a large amount of private property. Since the East India Company was carrying out a British law, Lord North and George III felt that the colonial opposition must not go unchallenged.
The Five "Intolerable Acts"
Parliament replied to the Boston Tea Party with the five "punitive," "coercive," or "intolerable" acts of 1774. The first of these closed the port of Boston until the East India Company was paid for the lost tea. Since commerce was the lifeblood of Boston, this act inflicted hardships on all the townspeople the innocent and the guilty alike. The second modified the Massachusetts charter of 1691, taking away many highly prized rights of self-government which that province had long enjoyed.
The third measure provided that British officials accused of committing crimes in a colony might be taken to England for trial. The fourth measure allowed the governor of Massachusetts to quarter soldiers at Boston in taverns and unoccupied buildings. The fifth act was not intended to punish the colonies. It extended the boundaries of the province of Quebec to the Ohio River and gave the Roman Catholics in the province both religious liberty and the double protection of French and English law.
Acceptance of the "intolerable acts" by the colonists would have meant yielding nearly all their claims to the right of self-government. Neither the colonists nor England could now back down without a complete surrender.
Why did the final break occur? Ever since the beginnings of settlement, England and America had been growing apart. In 1774, England was still an aristocracy, ruled by men born and bred to a high station in life. Their society was one of culture and refinement. The common people, deprived of abundant opportunity at home, accepted a position of dependence. They regarded hard work, deference to superiors, and submission to rulers as their lot in life.
Old England and the "New Englands"
But in America things had taken a different turn. The tone of society was essentially democratic. There were no lords or hereditary offices. Manners were yet crude and society wore a garb of rustic simplicity. The wilderness had attracted men of independent spirit, and the stern conditions of the frontier had bred self-reliance and self-respect. The Americans did not like to look up to superiors, nor were their leaders set apart by privileges of birth and inherited wealth. The opportunities of the New World made men enterprising, energetic, and aggressive. Restraints were few, custom counted for little, and rank for less. Between these two societies there could not be much in common. Convention, decorum, and formality guided the aristocracy of England. Its leaders looked down upon the crude manners of the Americans their uncouth dress and speech, their boisterous ways, their lack of formal education, and their aspirations for independence and self-rule. Most ancestors of the Americans had belonged to that humble class which was still without political rights or influence in England. What magic of the American woods could transform these lowly folk into peers of the chosen few who lived on the fat of England's fertile soil?
Equally wide was the gulf that separated the colonists and England in their political thinking. By 1750 British statesmen believed that Parliament had complete authority over the colonies. It could tax them, make laws for them, and even abolish their elected assemblies.
All this the patriot leaders in America denied. Parliament was not a free agent, they said. It was bound to respect certain natural rights of man; any of its acts which tried to take these away from British subjects was automatically void. The king, not Parliament, was the link that really bound the colonies to England. They had been planted under his auspices, and the colonial governments rested on charters that he alone had issued. These charters were regarded as contracts between the king and the first settlers, giving them and their descendants the rights of life, liberty, and property. Should England try to take away these rights, the original contract would be broken and the Americans released from their duty of allegiance to the king.
Taxation Without Representation
Foremost among these rights was the one expressed by the saying "a subject's property cannot be taken from him without his consent." The colonists denied that they were represented in Parliament; therefore they did not give their assent to taxes it imposed. The English leaders, on the other hand, held that members of Parliament looked after the best interests of the whole empire. They said that the colonists were as fully represented as the great mass of English people, who did not have the right to vote at home. Believing themselves unrepresented in Parliament, the Americans argued that only a locally elected assembly could tax them. In fact, the revolutionary leaders eventually placed the assemblies on a par with Parliament. It should have no more power over them than they had over it. This view meant that the colonies were virtually independent states, held to England by ties of sentiment but not subordinate to it. By 1750 the king could do scarcely anything without the consent of Parliament. Thus the Americans, by asserting that the colonies were subject solely to him, recognized only an ineffectual authority.
Misgovernment and Exploitation
The defects of British rule also contributed to the final break. For a long time England had let the colonies drift along with little restraint. There was no central colonial office which was supposed to supervise them; executive authority in England was divided among several ministers and commissions that did not act quickly or in unison. The Board of Trade, which knew more about the colonies than any other body, did not have the power either to decide things or to enforce decrees. English politics were honeycombed with corruption, and agents sent to America were often bribe-taking politicians too incompetent for good positions at home. Distance also counted against England. "Seas roll, months pass between the order and the execution," wrote Edmund Burke. Just before the Revolution, England was governed by rapidly changing party factions that did not hold to a consistent course.
Ascending the throne in 1760, George III endeavored to check the growing power of Parliament and to become himself the ruling force in English affairs. His arbitrary acts raised up powerful opponents in England, who regarded the colonists as fellow sufferers in a far-flung struggle between liberty and tyranny. Divided counsels at home, corruption and inefficiency in government, authority divided at the top, sudden changes of policy, measures boldly announced but feebly enforced all these brought England's claims over the colonies into disrepute. When the Americans had resisted, they had usually gained their point.
The Colonies as a Source of English Profits
England always treated the colonies as sources of profit to itself, regarding them as dependencies and endeavoring to utilize their resources for its own gain. In the New England woods it tried to prevent the local lumbermen from sawing planks out of trees capable of furnishing masts for the Royal Navy. After 1763 it proposed to control the granting of land in the West with an eye to its own advantage. Since land was the principal source of wealth among the colonists, they could not prosper to the utmost until its fruits were freely accessible to all the people.
England also controlled the commerce of the empire in order to increase its own wealth. In accordance with England's "mercantile theory," the colonies were directed to produce what Britain was unable to produce and to exchange their products in British ports for British goods. As far as possible, the profits of American trade should go to British merchants, and the ready money of the colonies should come to Britain in payment of colonial debts. The assemblies should do nothing to restrict the sale of British merchandise in America, nor should the colonists produce the kind of wares which Britain could supply. These principles were given force by a series of Acts of Trade that greatly limited the economic opportunities of the colonies.
Meanwhile the colonists became increasingly dissatisfied with this condition. The agricultural produce that they sold abroad did not bring enough revenue to buy all the manufactured goods that they needed. After they became indebted to British merchants, they often felt that they were being exploited by their creditors. Denied the right to develop local manufactures, they produced an ever-growing surplus of a few agricultural staples, which flooded the available markets and lowered the final sales price abroad.
The remedy for this condition was to reduce the agricultural surplus by developing local manufactures and by engaging in free commerce with all the world. A vast share of America's wealth went to British manufacturers, shipowners, and merchants. If the American colonists performed the services formerly supplied by Britain, their wealth would increase, their debts would decrease, and economically they would be able to stand on their own feet.
While the colonies were sparsely peopled and undeveloped, the settlers realized that the benefits they derived from England outweighed the losses inflicted by British restrictions. Now, however, in 1775, the American people were approaching the stature of manhood. Their population exceeded 2 1/2 million, and their growing wealth was able to support new enterprises, of which England disapproved.
The time had come when it seemed that the Americans could do for themselves what England had done for them before. The increase of wealth which freedom promised was expected to overbalance the cost of defending their frontiers, of maintaining a navy, and of securing commercial privileges for their products abroad in free trade with other countries besides England.
The Organization for Revolution
In order to act together in resisting the measures of Britain, the colonists established an effective revolutionary organization. In structure it resembled a pyramid. The bottom stones consisted of committees of correspondence. The first of these committees were set up in the New England towns through the influence of Samuel Adams and at the suggestion of Boston. Elsewhere committees of correspondence were generally established in the counties. They enabled the people of each locality to act together and to communicate with fellow colonists in remote places. When the break with England came, these and similar committees took charge of the work of local government (see Adams, Samuel; Lee, Richard Henry).
The next layer of the pyramid consisted of provincial congresses. Some of these were the former assemblies, meeting in defiance of the English governors. Others were unauthorized bodies composed of delegates selected by the committees in the towns or counties. When England's authority was rejected, these congresses were ready to make laws and to provide soldiers and money for carrying on the war.
At the apex of the pyramid stood the Continental Congress. Nearly all the delegates who attended its first meeting at Philadelphia in 1774 were members of local committees of correspondence, and many of them had been selected by the provincial congresses. They elected Peyton Randolph, a Virginia lawyer, as president. The Congress denounced parliamentary taxation and the five "intolerable acts." It signed a Continental Association, intended to destroy all trade with England if the British did not yield. The Congress prepared to enforce this agreement by means of the local committees.
The only authority which the Congress had came from the people themselves. Consequently, England did not regard its acts as legal. When the Congress attempted to force everybody to follow a certain course of action, it functioned as a de facto government. The colonial leaders had now divided into two camps the Patriots, who were willing to accept the Congress as their guide, and the Loyalists, who counseled submission to Parliament's decrees.
Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia
Copyright (c) 1994, 1995 Compton's NewMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved
CONTINENTAL CONGRESS. From 1774 to 1789 there was a group of men who spoke and acted for the people of the 13 British North American colonies that in 1776 became the United States of America. This body of delegates, called the Continental Congress, came into existence to deal with complaints that the colonies had against Great Britain, particularly the Coercive Acts that had been passed by Parliament earlier in 1774.
The first of these acts, which were also known as the Intolerable Acts, was the Boston Port Bill. It closed Boston Harbor until the cargo destroyed in the Boston Tea Party of 1773 would be paid for. The Massachusetts Government Act revoked the Massachusetts colony's charter of 1691 and installed a military government. The Administration of Justice Act was to protect British officials charged with capital crimes by allowing them to go to Britain or another colony for trial. The fourth act made arrangements for housing British troops in the colonies.
In June 1774 political leaders in Massachusetts called for a congress to meet, and all of the colonies except Georgia responded by sending delegates. Georgia did not participate in this Continental Congress, but did in a second congress convened in 1775.
The first congress met at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia on Sept. 5, 1774, with 44 delegates in attendance. Latecomers brought the total to 56. Peyton Randolph of Virginia was unanimously chosen president. (The use of that term for the presiding officer, as well as the use of the word congress, carried over into the formation of the new government under the Constitution of 1787.) At the insistence of the smaller colonies, each colony was given one vote regardless of its population.
Among the membership of the first congress were such notables as George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Jay, John Adams, and Samuel Adams. The membership of the 1775 congress was much the same, with the addition of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
Meeting in secret session, the first congress rejected a plan by Joseph Galloway of Pennsylvania to somehow blend British authority with colonial freedom. Members voted instead for a declaration of rights, including those of life, liberty, property, assembly, and trial by jury. They also demanded amends for grievances that had been accumulating since 1763.
By the time the congress of 1775 opened, fighting had begun between the colonies and Britain in Massachusetts. The congress took over the new American army and put George Washington in charge. It also directed the war effort and acted as the provisional government for the colonies by issuing and borrowing money, setting up a postal service, and creating a navy. By mid-1776 the conflict was so far along that the congress gave up on a peaceful settlement and adopted the Declaration of Independence (see Declaration of Independence).
The congress, in addition to directing the war, also prepared the Articles of Confederation, which, after ratification in 1781, became the first constitution of the United States (see Articles of Confederation).
Although the congress promoted the war effort and attempted to govern the newly independent states, it had little real authority. Too much power was left with the states, and each guarded its authority jealously. Even the location of the congress was not permanent: the course of the war forced it to move from Philadelphia to other cities, ending finally in New York City. After the new constitution was ratified and went into operation in 1789, the Continental Congress ceased to exist.
The presidents of the congress, after Peyton Randolph, were John Hancock, from 1775 to 1776, Henry Laurens (1777), John Jay (1778), Samuel Huntington (1779-80), Thomas McKean (1781), John Hanson (1781), Elias Boudinot (1782), Thomas Mifflin (1783), Richard H. Lee (1784-85), Nathaniel Gorham (1786), Arthur St. Clair (1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788).
Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia
Copyright (c) 1994, 1995 Compton's NewMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved
More About Thomas Posey:
Fact 7 1: General in Army.
Fact 7 2: Appointed U.S. Senator from Louisiana October 8, 1812..
Fact 7 3: As Speaker he was also Lt. Governor of Kentucky..
Fact 7 4: Elected to Kentucky State Senate.Served as Speaker of Senate 1805-06..
Fact 7 5: On his cemetery marker it reads, "He was an honest man, a pious Christian.".
Fact 7 6: President Madison appointed him Governor of Indiana Territory in 1813..
Fact 8: "Rover's Delight" was the Posey Plantation, Maryland..
Immigration: Sometimes seen as George Thomas Posey..
Occupation: Died 67 years, 8 months, 10 days..
More About Thomas Posey and Martha Mathews:
Marriage: November 30, 1772, Virginia.
More About Thomas Posey and Mary AlexanderThornton:
Marriage: January 22, 1784, Spotsylvania County, Parish of St. George, Virginia.
Children of Thomas Posey and Martha Mathews are:
- Thomas Posey, Jr., b. 1773, d. date unknown.
- +John Posey IV, b. September 19, 1774, Botecourt County, Virginia, d. November 25, 1851, Henderson, Kentucky.
Children of Thomas Posey and Mary AlexanderThornton are:
- +Fayette Posey, b. October 24, 1784, Virginia, d. October 5, 1829, Henderson, Kentucky.
- Lloyd Posey, b. June 16, 1786, d. August 6, 1820.
- Thornton Alexander Posey, b. February 21, 1788, d. September 17, 1817.
- William Churchill Posey, b. May 13, 1789, d. July 12, 1849.
- +Eliza Maria Posey, b. August 26, 1792, d. February 2, 1849, Henderson, Kentucky.
- John Alexander Posey, b. September 20, 1794, d. December 8, 1834.
- Addison Posey, b. September 13, 1796, d. August 1, 1797.
- Washington Adams Glassel Posey, b. January 30, 1799, d. date unknown.
- +Sarah Ann Thornton Taliaferro Posey, b. August 20, 1800, d. date unknown.