Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO COLONEL JOSHUA FRY. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
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TO COLONEL JOSHUA FRY. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889-1893). Vol. I (1748-1757).
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TO COLONEL JOSHUA FRY.
23 May, 1754.
This day I returned from my discoveries down the Youghiogany, which, I am sorry to say, can never be made navigable. We traced the watercourse near thirty miles, with the full expectation of succeeding in the much desired aim; but, at length, we came to a fall, which continued rough, rocky, and scarcely passable, for two miles, and then fell, within the space of fifty yards, nearly forty feet perpendicular.
As I apprehended there would be difficulty in these waters, I sent the soldiers forward upon the road, when I left the camp, which was as soon as they could cross; therefore, no time has been lost; but the roads are so exceedingly bad, that we proceed very slow.
By concurring intelligence, which we received from the Indians, the French are not above seven or eight hundred strong, and by a late account we are informed, that one half of them were detached in the night, without even the Indians’ knowledge, on some secret expedition; but the truth of this, though it is affirmed by an Indian lately from their fort, I cannot yet vouch for, nor tell where they are bound.
I would recommend, in the strongest terms possible, your writing to the Governor for some of the treaty goods, or any others suitable for the Indians. Nothing can be done without them. All the Indians that come expect presents. The French take this method, which proves very acceptable; besides, if you want one or more to conduct a party, to discover the country, to hunt, or for any particular service, they must be bought; their friendship is not so warm, as to prompt them to these services gratis; and that, I believe, every person, who is acquainted with the nature of Indians, knows. The Indian, that accompanied me down the river, would go no further than the Forks, about ten miles, till I promised him a ruffled shirt, which I must take from my own, and a match-coat. He said the French always had Indians to show them the woods, because they paid well for so doing; and this may be laid down as a standing maxim amongst them. I think were the goods sent out, and delivered occasionally, as you see cause, that four or five hundred pounds’ worth would do more good, than as many thousands given at a treaty.
I hope I may be excused for offering my opinions so freely, for I can aver we shall get no intelligence, or other services from them, unless we have goods to apply to these uses. I am, &c.
The 24th. This Morning an Indian arrived in Company with the young Indian I had sent to the Half-King, and brought me the following Letter from him.
To the forist, his Majestie’s Commander offwerses—to hom this may concern:
On acc’t of a french armey to meat Mister Georg Wassionton therfor my Brotheres I deisir you to beawar of them for deisin’d to strik ye forist Englsh they see ten deays since they marchd I cannot tell what nomber the half king and the rest of the chiefs will be with you in five dayes to consel, no more at present but give my serves to my Brothers the English
I examined those two young Indians as best I could, concerning every Circumstance, but they did not give me much information.
They say there are Parties of them often out, but they do not know of any considerable Number coming this Way. The French continue raising their Fort; that Part next to the Land, is very well inclosed, but that next to the Water is much neglected, at least is without any Defence; they have only nine Pieces of Cannon, some of them very small, and not one mounted. There are two on the Point, and the others at some Distance from the Fort on the Land side.
They say that there are many sick among them, that they cannot find any Indians to guide their small Parties towards our Camp, these Indians having refused.
The same Day, at Two o’Clock, we arrived at the Meadows, where we saw a Trader, who told us that he had come that Morning from Mr. Gist’s where he had seen two Frenchmen the Night before; and that he knew there was a strong Detachment on the march, which confirmed the Account we had received from the Half-King: Consequently I placed Troops behind two natural Intrenchments, where I also placed our Waggons.
The 25th. Detached one Party1 to go along the roads, and other small Parties into the Woods, to reconnoitre. I gave the Horse-men Orders to examine the Country well, and endeavour to get some News of the French, of their Forces, and of their movements, &c—
At Night all these Parties returned, without having discovered any Thing, though they had been a great way towards the Place from whence it was said the Party was coming.
The 26th. Arrived William Jenkins. He had come express from Colonel Fry with a Letter from Colonel Fairfax, which informed me, that the Governor himself, as also Colonels Corbin and Ludwell, were arrived at Winchester, and were desirous to see the Half-King there, whereupon I sent him a message.
[1 ]The French reads: “Je détachai un parti à Chevert.”