I encountered David Ross once again. This time on a 1813 deed of trust in Fluvanna County, VA.
(copy made by John Timberlake), 1815, of David Ross to Jacob Myers, William Pasteur, and Frederick Augustus Ross for the benefit of Elizabeth Maria (Bancroft) Ross Barrett and Anna Maria (Ross) Johnson for 1,500 acres in Fluvanna County, Virginia. Witnessed by William Roper and James Shepherd and bears affidavits of James Currin, John Johnson, John PRYOR, and Thomas Ritchie, and a schedule of slaves belonging to David Ross.
The deed was dated a few years before Ross died in 1819, so perhaps he was cleaning up his estate. John Timberlake, the man who made a copy of this deed, was married to Elizabeth Pryor, daughter of John Pryor and Mary Dennis.
I found in the Virginia chancery court suits that David Ross was sued in Amelia County in 1794. He was sued by Jane Dennis widow of Henry Dennis and their son Richard Dennis. The suit discusses that in 1774 and 1775 Ross was engaged in a trading company (Eilbeck, Ross & Co.) that Henry supplied with tobacco in trade for sundry merchandise. In Seagrave’s Dinwiddie County, Virginia: A Brief History it sounds like Ross’ trading company disrupted in the early days of the Revolution by an embargo of British goods.
However, I don’t think that the John Pryor who witnessed the deed was Timberlake’s father in law because that John Pryor died in 1785. John and Mary didn’t have any grandchildren named John Pryor who were old enough to witness a legal document. Perhaps once again this was Major John Pryor of Richmond.
Well, I may not be able to identify John Pryor in this post, but I found an interesting historical letter directed to Ross’ company written by the British Home Office six months after the Revolution began:
22 Oct 1775
Walter Chambre, Whitehaven
to Mssrs. Eilbeck, Ross and Co., Norfolk, Virginia
If you can by any means, be not so much attached to that side (the Provincials). I do not blame them so much as many on this side, who have deceived their friends or yours in persuading to belief that there was such a faction in England would easily force the Government into a compliance with such requests as America choose to make. The contrary is now evinced, and such a preparation going forward as makes me shudder to think of. Government must finally conquer, — first ruining America, and then surely making examples of such as too zealously abet her cause.
Calendar of Home Office Papers of the Reign of George III: 1760 …, Volume 4
By Great Britain. Public Record Office, Richard Arthur Roberts
Poor Mr. Ross who was just trying to run a business — The colonists were sending his cargo back to England and the English were asking him not to get so friendly with the rebeling colonists.