MacPherson, Christopher: Petition, Richmond City
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I do hereby certify that sometime about the year 1798 whilst Christopher McPherson resided near to the Town of Columbia in Fluvanna County and acted as [illegible] clerk in the office of David Ross Esqr I resided in the said Town; and there commanded a Battalion of the Militia that sometime on a Sunday Evening, notice was given to me that a large number of negroes had collected near to Mr. Ross's office in a most riotous manner and that it was apprehended some of them would be murdered as they had taken sides and were on the point of engaging in battle with sticks, clubs &c. I instantly mounted my horse, and rode in haste with my sword & Pistols to the place. when I came near the spot I found that the information I had read was correct; and seeing about 30 or 40 Negroes collected and having only one or two white men with me, I was apprehensive it would be difficult to reduce them to order, as most of them appeared to be drunk and all violently enraged. I however rushed in among them and having ordered the first I came up with to be silent and not move a step from the spot untill I could have the whole collected and brought into town for Trial before a Magistrate and not being obeyed proceeded to strike two or three of them - just at this moment I perceived Christopher McPherson at some small distance from me in the edge of the woods with a sword drawn, (and he being a Mulatto) I did not know notwithstanding his general good and peaceable behavior) but he might be concerned in the riot. I rode instantly towards him and as soon as I could hear distinctly what he said I heard him declare that he would cut off the arm of the first negroe who should strike a blow, and endeavouring by every means in his power to suppress the riot which with his assistance was shortly done, and the principals punished. I have been acquainted with Christopher McPherson about 15 or 16 years and always found him a well behaved, orderly and peaceable man and in the instance above mentioned he acted in a most exemplary & courageous manner exposing his own person to immenent danger to preserve peace and order. Given under my hand this 25th day of November 1810. John Quarles