1815.069: Petition seeking Suffrage for All Taxpayers and Militiamen.

Published: 1815

Full Title: To the Legislature ... memorial ... citizens of [blank] county ...

Author: Citizens of Virginia.

Place Issued: Virginia.

Issuing Press: Uncertain

Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; 32 cm. x 20 cm. (broadside).


Petitioners ask for a state convention to effect changes to the state constitution that would extend suffrage to anyone paying taxes or serving in the state militia; this petition was part of a flood of petitions delivered to this session from western Virginia that asked for changes in either statute law or the constitution to democratize suffrage and representation. The tidewater-dominated Assembly deferred consideration of all of those petitions, which led to an extralegal convention of the western counties in Staunton in August 1816 which passed resolutions demanding a constitutional convention to address these multiple grievances. Only known copy, held in the state archives at the Library of Virginia, lacks colophon; three such petitions were received by the Assembly on December 12, 1815, from Brooke, Ohio, and Rockingham counties; those localities suggest either a Wheeling or Harrisonburg origin; but the wider effort for a constitutional convention mean it could have issued just as easily at any press office west of the Blue Ridge, so the indeterminacy here.

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