Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON. 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 AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON. 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 AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON.1
Mount Vernon, 2 August, 1755.
The pleasure of your company at Mount Vernon always did, and always will, afford me infinite satisfaction; but, at this time, I am too sensible how needful the country is of the assistance of all its members, to have a wish to hear that any are absent from the Assembly. I most sincerely wish that unanimity may prevail in all your councils, and that a happy issue may attend your deliberations at this important crisis.
I am not able, were I ever so willing, to meet you in town, for I assure you it is with some difficulty, and with much fatigue, that I visit my plantations in the Neck; so much has a sickness of five weeks’ continuance reduced me. But tho’ it is not in my power to meet you there, I can nevertheless assure you, and “others whom it may concern” (to borrow a phrase from Governor Innes), that I am so little dispirited at what has happened, that I am always ready and always willing, to render my country any services that I am capable of, but never upon the terms I have done; having suffered much in my private fortune, besides impairing one of the best constitutions.
I was employed to go a journey in the winter (when, I believe, few or none would have undertaken it), and what did I get by it? My expenses borne! I then was appointed, with trifling pay, to conduct a handful of men to the Ohio. What did I get by this? Why, after putting myself to a considerable expense, in equipping and providing necessaries for the campaign, I went out, was soundly beaten, lost them all!—came in and had my commission taken from me, or, in other words, my command reduced, under pretence of an order from home! I then went out a volunteer with General Braddock, and lost all my horses and many other things; but this being a voluntary act, I ought not to have mentioned this; nor should I have done it, was it not to show that I have been upon the losing order ever since I entered the service, which is now near two years. So that I think I cannot be blamed, should I, if I leave my family again, endeavour to do it upon such terms as to prevent my suffering; (to gain by it being the least of my expectation).
I doubt not but you have heard the particulars of our shameful defeat, which really was so scandalous, that I hate to mention it. You desire to know what artillery was taken in the late engagement. It is easily told. We lost all that we carried out, excepting two six-pounders, and a few cohorns, that were left with Colonel Dunbar; and the cohorns have since been destroyed to expedite his flight. You also ask, whether I think the forces can march out again this fall. I answer, I think it impossible, at least, for them to do the French any damage (unless it be by starving them), for want of a proper train of artillery; yet they may be very serviceable in erecting small fortresses at convenient places to deposit provisions in, by which means the country will be eased of an immense expense in the carriage, and it will also be a means of securing a retreat, if we should be put to the rout again. The success of this tho’ will depend greatly upon what Governor Shirley does at Niagara; for, if he succeeds, their communication with Canada will be entirely cut off.
It is impossible for me to guess at the number of recruits that may be wanting, as that must depend altogether upon the strength of the French on the Ohio, which, to my great astonishment, we were always strangers to.
I thank you, very heartily, for your kind offer of a chair, and for your goodness in sending my things; and, after begging you to excuse the imperfections of the above, (which, in part, are owing to my having much company that hurries me,) I shall conclude, dear Sir, your most affectionate brother.
[1 ]Augustine Washington was an elder brother by the father’s first marriage, and was now at Williamsburg as a member of the Assembly.