Gabriel Prosser Plot 1800

Event:  Gabriel Prosser Plot 1800
Letter from William Mosby to Gov. James Monroe
Sept 1800

Dear Sir

On Saturday the 30th of August last about 10 or 11 o’clock I received information from Mr. Mosby in Richmond, that the negroes that night intended to rise kill and destroy the white people and that their place of rendezvous was on their brook near Mr. Thomas H. Prosser and that Mr. Prosser, Mr. Johnston and myself were the first that were to fall a sacrifice and that they were then to move on to Richmond.  I asked him how he come by his information; He answered, that he had received it from a negro immediately from the Country, who had come down that morning for the express purpose than he was agitated in such a manner when telling him that he was induced to believe it was true.  I  contest that I was very much alarmed, and communicated the news to Captain William Austin who promised to go out to the brook that night with his troop of horse in order to meet W. Danbury Williamson, myself with what men we could raise, but there came out the most powerful perhaps that ever fell in the same space of time which prevented out Junctions; however Captain Gregory and myself together with some other who had met at Priddie’s Tavern for the purpose, patrolled as far as Mr Prosser and from there down to the brook but made no discovery.  We then returned to the tavern again where I said perhaps till 8 or 9 o’clock next morning.  Then went home and being very much fatigued I laid myself down.  I had been on the bed but a very little while, before a negro woman of my own came to me—the first words she spoke were “You must not tell.”  I then asked her when they were to meet she said “somewhere below Mr. Prosser’s, and they did not meet last night they would meet tonight.” I asked her how many she understood were to meet there,  she said three or four hundred some from town and some from the county and that there were to be a number of them mounted on horseback were to go at a distance and kill and destroy all or they meant to I understood, to kill them in their beds.  And that the main body were to move on to Richmond.  This, Sir, is the information I received at the beginning of the alarm, delivered, as near as can be recollected in the words I received it.

I have the honor to be
Your Humble Servant William Mosby