Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Politics of Charles Buck I

When Charles Buck I moved to the Shenandoah Valley (about 1735), it was a colony of England. Although considerably different than today, politics were part of normal life – especially for landowners such as Charles Buck.

William P. Buck wrote that "In July, 1758, he voted for Colonel Martin and Mr. West as representatives from Frederick County to the House of Burgesses. He, therefore, voted against Colonel George Washington (they voted for two of the three). Washington won the election."

To put his vote in proper perspective, it is important to realize that Charles Buck (probably) knew George Washington personally and certainly knew him or of him on a different basis than as the “Father of his Country”. When George Washington famously surveyed the wilderness of the Virginia Valley in 1748, Charles Buck had already lived there for some thirteen years! During the French and Indian Wars, Washington had built Fort Loudoun at nearby Winchester to be his headquarters from about 1755 to 1758. Washington bought land in Frederick county and a lot in Winchester. It was the ownership of this land that enabled Washington to be elected to the House of Burgesses from 1758 to 1765; however, Washington did not actually live there.

Charles Buck held a number of appointed and therefore somewhat political positions during his life: vestryman, lieutenant in the militia, overseer of roads, trustee of the town of Strausburg. He just didn’t vote for the future first President of the United States.