Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
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TO GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE. - 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 GOVERNOR DINWIDDIE.
Winchester, 17 October, 1755.
Last night by the return of the express, who went to Captain Montour, I received the enclosed from Mr. Harris at Susquehanna.2 I think no means should be neglected to preserve what few Indians still remain in our interest. For which reason I shall send Mr. Gist, as soon as he arrives (which I expect will be to-day), to Harris’s Ferry,1 in hopes of engaging and bringing with him the Belt of Wampum and other Indians that are at that place. I shall further desire him to send an Indian express to Andrew Montour, to try if he cannot be brought with them.2
In however trifling light the French attempting to alienate the affections of our southern Indians may at first appear. I must look upon it as a thing of the utmost consequence, that requires our greatest and most immediate attention. I have often wondered at not hearing this was attempted before, and had it noted among other memorandums to acquaint your Honor with, when I should come down.
The French policy in treating with the Indians is so prevalent, that I should not be in the least surprised, were they to engage the Cherokees, Catawbas, &c. unless timely and vigorous measures are taken to prevent it. A pusillanimous behaviour now will ill suit the times; and trusting to traders and common interpreters, who will sell their integrity to the highest bidder, may prove the destruction of these affairs. I therefore think, that if a person of distinction, acquainted with their language, is to be found, his price should be come to at any rate. If no such person can be had, a man of sense and character, to conduct the Indians to any council that may be held, or superintend any other matters, will be found extremely necessary. It is impertinent, I own, in me to offer my opinion in these affairs, when better judges may direct; but my steady and hearty zeal for the cause, and the great impositions I have known practised by the traders &c, upon these occasions, would not suffer me to be quite silent. I have heard, from undoubted authority, that some of the Cherokees, who have been introduced to us as sachems and princes by this interpreter, who shares the profits, have been no other than common hunters, and bloodthirsty villains.
We have no accounts yet of the militia from Fairfax, &c. This day I march with about one hundred men to Fort Cumberland. Yesterday an express informed me of eighty odd recruits at Fredericksburg, which I have ordered to proceed to this place; but, for want of that regularity being observed, by which I should know where every officer &c. is, my orders are only conditional, and always confused.1 The commissary is much wanted; therefore I hope your Honor will send him up immediately; if not, things will greatly suffer here. Whatever necessaries your Honor gets below, I should be glad to have sent to Alexandria; from whence they are much more handy than from Fredericksburg. Besides, as provision is lodged there, and none at any other place, it will be better for the men, to be all sent there, that can any ways conveniently. For we have met with insufferable difficulties at Fredericksburg, and in our march from thence, through neglect of the commissary, who is greatly wanted up here. Therefore, I hope your Honor will order him.
[2 ]Shamokin, at the forks of the Susquehannah.
[1 ]John Harris, who had settled at the mouth of Paxton Creek, Pa., and kept a ferry there. He died about 1762.
[2 ]Did Montour bring 60 Indians (the number contained in a company) he was to receive a captain’s commission and ten shillings a day, payable “once a month regularly.” Further encouragement would be given, did he bring more men. The Shawnees and Delawares were in arms against the English, and rumors were rife of French machinations among the Southern tribes.
[1 ]To a captain he wrote;—“Your late disobedience of orders has greatly displeased me. It is impossible to carry on affairs as they ought to be, when you pay so little regard to a military order. You must be conscious, that your crime is sufficient to break the best officer, that ever bore a commission.”