By Jeannette Holland Austin (Profile)
American politicans were not always liars and corrupt. If there exists a consolation to this generation, we must not forget that our country was first led by admirable men. From the time that the Virginians appeared at the First Continental Congress in Philadephia on September 2, 1763 and John Adams recorded in his diary, "The gentlemen from Virginia appear to be the most spirited and consistent of any." and before the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835, American had the greatest leaders of all time. Brilliant men who were revolutionaries paid dearly for freedom. It was not just because of such intellectually stimulating and brilliant figure as Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Marshall, or the great state leaders like Peyton Randolph, Richard Bland, George Wythe and Edmund Pendleton who astounded seeded the country for greatness, but they were true statesmen: the genuises of the age.
This inspired group of gentlemen dressed in colonial clothes sitting around a table expressing creative ideas of freedom and the means of acquiring it, even if it meant a war. Virginians were the elite planters willing to serve government and serve it well! It was the enlightened attitude of these leaders who unselfishly bore their offices and responsibilities to the people. As Thomas Jefferson put it, "eternal viligance" was required of them. Thus, the republican values of freedom were born, the common bond being land and tobacco crops which provided planters and small farmers alike the same economic interests, especially east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. So it was then that the less-affluent farmer found it to their best interest to elect prosperous neighbors to the House of Burgesses because the farmers neither had the time nor money to serve in public office. You see, the Virginian regarded public service as an honorable profession and felt deeply compelled to take care his neighbors. They served because they believed in noblesse oblige, that power and privilege accompanied responsibility. It is gravely misleading and disconcerting when writers of this modern age question the integrity of the founders. Bad writing, I would say, authorized by persons several generations removed from the truth. It was a splendid era of gentle integrity when a man's word was his "bond" and cheaters were shunned as quot;blacksheeps" Source: The Road to Independence: Virginia 1763-1783. more history
County and Probate Records to Help you Find your Virginia Ancestors