Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE. 1 - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE. 1 - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE.1
Great Meadows, 10 June, 1754.
Yours of the 1st 2nd and 4th ulto. I received by the post, and return your Honour my hearty thanks for your kind congratulation on our late success, which I hope to improve without risquing the imputation of rashness, or hazarding what a prudent conduct would forbid. I rejoice that I am likely to be happy under the command of an experienced officer, and man of sense.2 It is what I have ardently wished for.3 I shall here beg leave to return my grateful thanks for your favour in promoting me to the command of the regiment. Believe me, Hon’ble Sir, when I assure you, my breast is warmed with every generous sentiment, that your goodness can inspire. I want nothing but opportunity to testifie my sincere regard for your person, to whom I stand indebted for so many unmerited favours.
Your Honour may depend, I shall myself, and will endeavour to make my officers, shew Captain Mackay all the respect due to his rank and merit; but should have been particularly obliged, if your Honour had declared whether he was under my command, or independent of it.1 However, I shall be studious to avoid all disputes that may tend to publick prejudice, but, as far as I am able, will inculcate harmony and unanimity. I hope Captain Mackay will have more sense, than to insist upon any unreasonable distinction tho’ he and his have commissions from his Majesty.2 Let him consider, tho we are greatly inferior in respect to profitable advantages, yet we have the same spirit to serve our gracious King as they have, and are as ready and willing to sacrifice our lives for our country as they. And here, once more, and for the last time, I must say, this will be a cancer that will grate some officers of this regiment beyond all measure, to serve upon such different terms, when their lives, their fortunes, and their characters are equally, and, I dare say, as effectually exposed, as those who are happy enough to have King’s commissions. I have been solicitous on this head, have earnestly endeavoured to reconcile the officers to their appointments, and flatter myself I have succeeded, having heard no mention thereof latterly. I considered the pernicious consequences, that would have attended a disunion, and therefore was too much attached to my country’s interest to suffer it to ripen, after I received your advising letters.
I am very thankful to you for ordering an assortment of Indian goods, which we daily find still more necessary. I shall take care, while they are under my direction, that they are judiciously applied, and shall be particularly careful in consulting Mr. Croghan and Mr. Montour, by whom I shall be advised in all Indian affairs agreeably to your directions.1
I shall with great pleasure wear the medal, which you were pleased to compliment me with, and shall present the others to Indian chiefs, as I have already done one to the Half-King.
Major Muse, with Captain Montour, joined us yesterday, and brought the wampum you sent to the Half-King, which I presented, with the medal and speech. He is very thankful for the notice you have taken of him. Major Muse brought nine of the swivels, with some powder and balls; and this day I have engaged fifty or sixty horses to bring up more of the balls and other stores from Will’s Creek, if there should be no provisions to load them with. The balls are to be brought in leather bags made for the purpose. I hear that Captain Mackay, who was to have brought the artillery, has marched without it, as wagons could not be procured. I shall write to Mr. Gist to procure wagons, if he is obliged to go to Pennsylvania for them, to bring out the artillery, if not, when Colonel Innes comes up we shall have nothing in readiness, and shall let slip this best season for action.
[1 ]Under date 10 June, Mr. Sparks prints a long letter from Washington to Dinwiddie, another version of which is given in the Dinwiddie Papers. A cursory examination proved that an error had been made, Mr. Sparks combining three letters in one, and the editor of the Dinwiddie printing parts of two as one. I may not have succeeded in separating the parts as they were written, as I have been compelled to depend on internal evidence mainly.
[2 ]James Innes came from Scotland and settled in New Hanover, N. C., serving in the expedition of 1740-41 against Carthagena. Dinwiddie had intended to give him the chief command of this Ohio expedition from the first.
[3 ]Upon the death of Col. Fry, Washington was given the command of the Virginia troops. Innes who had come with about three hundred and fifty men from North Carolina did not reach Winchester until June 30, but was put in command of the expedition by Dinwiddie on Col. Fry’s death. He found that Col. Washington’s Virginia regiment and Mackay’s South Carolina, “together did consist but of four hundred men, of which a good many were sick and out of order.” The North Carolina troops disbanded before they could join Washington. The pay of their men was 3s. a day, and under such a charge the £12,000 appropriated for the expedition was soon exhausted.
[1 ]Captain Mackay commanded an Independent Company of one hundred men from South Carolina. See Washington’s letter to Robert Sinclair, 6 May, 1792.—Post.
[2 ]Dinwiddie had written to Col. Fry in May: “As the officers of the independent companies are gentlemen of experience in the art military, have served in several campaigns, are jealous of their own honor, and are well recommended, I hope you will conduct yourself towards them with prudence, and receive their advice with candor.” He admitted that it was unusual for any of the King’s troops to be subject to the commands of an officer holding a commission from a Governor. To Washington he wrote (June 4) in similar terms.
[1 ]Croghan was an Indian trader of note, and had been employed on public affairs in the Indian country by the governor of Pennsylvania.