Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN ROBINSON. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
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TO JOHN ROBINSON. - 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.
Winchester, 27 April, 1756.
In my last I omitted to observe one thing touching the defence of our frontiers by a chain of forts, and it is this:
If the province of Maryland makes no provision for its frontiers, we shall have a long, unguarded space quite open and defenceless from Wills Creek to the mouth of Shanandoah, where the enemy may have, and have already given proof of, free egress and regress in crossing Potowmack; plundering, burning, murdering and destroying all before them. It is matter of moment, and worthy the Assembly’s notice. For we must secure that weak side, if our neighbours are so indifferent as to disregard their own safety, because of its connexion with ours. In this case the number of forts will be increased to two or three more. Another material point to be regarded by the Assembly, and of very great importance to the inhabitants, is the situation of these forts intended along the frontiers. As I mentioned to you before, that placing them on the former utmost frontier, would be of small service to defend the present frontier settlements, now so remote from the former.
For the enemy would still make incursions, and carry off their booty with impunity, without a considerable number of men posted at these forts constantly patrolling in order to interrupt them. And without such defence and protection, the people will never be induced to return again to their plantations.
Again, if the forts are built upon the present exterior settlements, the former lands will remain unsettled: nor need we expect that the inhabitants will extend their improvements beyond these forts, while such disturbances continue.
I would again urge the necessity of a large and strong fort at this town1 for very cogent reasons, as I hinted in my former, it being the center of all the public roads, and a place of the most importance on the frontiers. I would advise its being large, as it will be the sole refuge for the inhabitants upon any alarm, where they may be received and protected until they can return with safety to their plantations. And as it must be the magazine of stores, to supply many other forts, the country and soldiers with provisions, ammunition, &c., it ought, of consequence, to be large and pretty strong.
Had such a place of defence been here, it would have hindered some hundreds of families from moving further than this, that are now lost to the country. The women and children might have been secure, while the men would have gone in a body against the savages, whereas the number of men now left is so small, that no assistance or defence can be made to any purpose. Winchester is now the farthest boundary of this county—no inhabitants beyond it: and if measures are not taken to maintain it, we must retire below the Blue Ridge in a very short time.
Let me therefore recommend to yours and the Assembly’s particular care, that no time be lost in this salutary proposal: for should this panic and fear continue, not a soul will be left on this side the Ridge: and what now remain, are collected in small forts (out of which there is no prevailing on them to stir) and every plantation deserted.
I have exerted every power for the protection and peace of this distressed, unhappy people, and used my utmost to persuade them to continue, until assistance come, though to little effect. I have repeatedly urged Lord Fairfax to send for the militia of the adjacent counties, and have sent myself several expresses to hurry them on.
If the Assembly approve the scheme of erecting a fort here and at other places, tools of all kinds will be wanting, and must be sent up immediately, that no time may be lost. Carpenters from below should likewise be engaged; and every proper method for dispatching so desirable and so general a good, as this defence for Frederick, &c. * * *
[1 ]A fort was ordered to be built at Winchester.