The Stamp Act and Captain Berry
At the peak of his career, Mercer was selected by the Ohio Company of land speculators to represent their interests in London. The hated 1765 Stamp Act was enacted by Parliament while he was traveling. Not fully aware of sentiments at home, he accepted an appointment as Stamp Master for Virginia. He was overtaken by a mob and forced to resign when he returned to Virginia. Though the cheering crowd carried him out of the capitol in Williamsburg in celebration, Mercer soon left the colony for good.
Less than two years later, the Frederick Committee of Safety chose Thomas to lead a new company of Provincial soldiers, which was then assigned to the 8th Virginia Regiment. He continued to lead his men until their enlistments expired at Valley Forge in April of 1778 and then returned home to lead what appears to have been a quiet life. He died in 1818.
Benjamin, the older brother, was the founder of Berryville—a town just north and west of the old Mercer property. Benjamin is better remembered because of his namesake town, but Thomas’s military service deserves to be remembered as well.
Read More: "Lost & Found: James Kay & Thomas Berry"
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is researching the history of the Revolutionary War's 8th Virginia Regiment. Its ten companies formed on the frontier, from the Cumberland Gap to Pittsburgh.
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