Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN ROBINSON. 1 - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
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TO JOHN ROBINSON. 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).
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TO JOHN ROBINSON.1
Mount Vernon, 20 April, 1755.
I little expected, when I wrote you last, that I should so soon engage in another campaign; but, in doing it, I may be allowed to claim some merit, if it is considered that the sole motive, which invites me to the field, is the laudable desire of serving my country, and not the gratification of any ambitious or lucrative plans. This, I flatter myself, will manifestly appear by my going a volunteer, without expectation of reward, or prospect of attaining a command, as I am confidently assured it is not in General Braddock’s power to give a commission that I would accept. Perhaps with many others the above declaration might be construed into self-applause, which, unwilling to lose, I proclaim myself. But by you, Sir, I expect it will be viewed in a different light, because you have sympathized in my disappointments, and lent your friendly aid to reinstate me in a suitable command; the recollection of which can never be lost upon a mind, that is not insensible of, but always ready to acknowledge obligations.
This is the reason why I am so much more unreserved in the expression of my sentiments to you, than I should be to the world, whose censures and criticisms often place good designs in a bad light. But, to be ingenuous, I must confess I had other intentions in writing you this letter; for, if there is any merit in my case, I am unwilling to lose it among my friends, who, without this exposition of facts, might conceive that some advantageous offers had engaged my services, when, in reality, the case is otherwise, for I expect to be a considerable loser in my private affairs by going. It is true I have been importuned to make this campaign by General Braddock, as a member of his family, conceiving, I suppose, that the small knowledge I have had an opportunity of acquiring of the country, Indians, &c., was worthy of his notice, and might be useful to him in the progress of this expedition.
Colo. Carter Burwell,1 last Assembly, upon hearing that I had lost 50 odd pounds, during my acting as paymaster, desired I would petition the Committee of War, to have it refunded: assuring me, at the same time, that he would use his endeavors that the matter should be attended to. I declined it then, thinking it might not be well received as I had been allowed a commission. But if he should propose it at a future meeting, and it does not appear to carry with it the face of unreasonableness, I hope you will do me the favour to second him.
2 I must own, after meeting with the indulgencies I did, I should not have asked this, had it not been proposed by a member; and had I not been so considerable a loser in the service, in valuable papers, clothing, horses and several other things, some of which, and of no inconsiderable value, I carried out entirely for the publick use, and forbore mentioning of it before, as I knew you were greatly pestered with complaints of this sort from officers that were less able to bear them, tho’ more inconsiderable than mine. For I had unfortunately got my baggage from Will’s Creek but a few days before the engagement, in which I also had a valuable servant wounded, who died soon after. I thought it expedient just to mention these facts, that you might turn them to any advantage you see proper, or to drop it altogether, if you think the application is at all improper. I heartily wish a happy issue to all your resolves, &c.
[1 ]Speaker of the House of Delegates and Treasurer of the colony.
[1 ]Chairman of the Military Committee.
[2 ]He instances among other things “a very valuable and uncommon theodolite, calculated not only for superficial measure, but for taking of altitudes, and other useful purposes” which he expected to find useful in laying out fortifications.