Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN A. WASHINGTON. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO JOHN A. WASHINGTON. - 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 JOHN A. WASHINGTON.
Winchester, 25 May, 1755.
I came to this place last night, and was greatly disappointed in not finding the cavalry, according to promise. I am obliged to wait ’till it does arrive, or ’till I can procure a Guard from the militia, either of which, I suppose, will detain me two days, as you may with (almost) equal success, attempt to raise the dead, as the force of this country! and that from Will’s Creek, cannot be expected in less than the forementioned time, without they are now upon their march.
The drought in this Country, if possible, exceeds what we see below; so that it is very reasonably conjectured, they won’t make corn to supply the inhabitants: and as for tobacco, they have given up the expectation of making any.
The inhabitants of this place abound in news; but as I apprehend it is founded upon as bare a foundation as some I heard on my way down, I think it advisable to forego the recital, till a little better authority confirms the report. Then you may expect to have a narrative of it.
I should be glad to hear that you live in perfect harmony and good fellowship with the family at Belvoir, as it is in their power to be very serviceable upon many occasions to us, as young beginners. I would advise your visiting there often, as one step towards it; the rest, if any more is necessary, your own good sense will sufficiently dictate—for to that family I am under many obligations, particularly to the old gentleman.
Mrs Fairfax and Mrs Spearing having expressed a wish to be informed of the time and manner of my reaching this place (with my charge), you may acquaint them that I met with no other interruption than what proceeded from the difficulty of getting horses. After Mrs. F—x’s grew lame, I was obliged to get a fresh one every 15 or 20 miles, which rendered the journey tedious. I should have been more refreshed from the fatigues of my journey, and my time would have been spent much more agreeably, had I halted below, instead of being delayed in this place; but I little imagined I should have had occasion to wait for a guard, which ought to have waited for me—if either must have waited at all. * * *
P. S. As I understand the County of Fairfax is to be divided, and that Mr. Alexander intends to decline serving it. I should be glad if you could come at Colo. Fairfax’s intentions, and let me know whether he purposes to offer himself as a candidate. If he does not, I should be glad to take a poll, if I thought my chance tolerably good.
Majr. Carlyle mentioned it to me in Williamsburgh in a bantering way, and asked how I would like it, saying, at the same time, he did not know but they might send me, when I might know nothing of the matter, for one or t’other of the counties. I must confess I should like to go for either in that manner, but more particularly for Fairfax, as I am a resident there.
I should be glad if you could discover Maj. Carlyle’s real sentiments on this head; also those of Mr. Dalton, Ramsay, Mason, &c, which I hope and think you may do without disclosing much of mine, as I know your own good sense can furnish you with contrivances.
If you should attempt any thing in this matter, pray let me know by the first opportunity how you have succeeded in it, and how those gentlemen stand affected. If they seem inclinable to promote my interest, and things should be drawing to a crisis, you then may declare my intentions, and beg their assistance. If, on the contrary, you find them more inclined to favour some other, I would have the affair entirely dropped.
The Revd. Mr. Green’s and Capt. McCarty’s interests in this matter would be of consequence, and I should be glad if you could sound their pulse upon that occasion. Conduct the whole ’till you are satisfied of the sentiments of those I have mentioned, with an air of indifference and unconcern; after that, you may regulate your conduct accordingly to circumstances.
Capt. West, the present Burgess, and our friend Jack West, could also be serviceable, if they had a mind to assist the interest of, Dear Jack, Your loving brother.
30 May .
Upon my return from Williamsburgh, I found that Sr. John St. Clair, with Maj. Chapman and a detachment of 500 men, had marched to the Little Meadows, in order to prepare the roads, establish a small post, and to lay a deposit of provisions there. The 2d of June Mr. Spendelow discovered a communication from Fort Cumberland to the old road, leading to the crossing of the Youghiogany, avoiding the enormous mountain which had proved so destructive to our waggon-horses. This communication was opened along a branch of Will’s Creek, and finished by the 7th, when Sr. Peter Halket, with the First Brigade of the Line, began its march, and encamped within a mile of the old road (which is about 5 miles from the Fort) the same day. This encampment was first called Grove Camp, but was afterwards altered to that of Spendelow’s Camp.
This day also, Captn. Gates’s Independent company, the remaining companies of the Provincial troops, and the whole park of artillery, were ordered to hold themselves in readiness to march at an hour’s warning, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Burton: and they accordingly did so on the 9th following, but with great difficulty got up to Sir Peter Halket’s brigade at Grove, or Spendelow’s camp, the same day.
This march, from the number of waggons, occasioned a council of war to be held upon the arrival of the General (with Colo. Dunbar’s regiment) at this camp. In this council it was determined to retrench the number of waggons, and to increase the transportation by pack-horses. In order thereto, the officers were called together, and the Genl. represented to them the necessity there was to procure all the horses possible for His Majesty’s service, advised them to send back such of their baggage as they could do without and apply the horses (which by that means could be spared) to carry provisions for the army. This they accordingly did with great cheerfulness and zeal.