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TO LORD FAIRFAX. 2 - 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 LORD FAIRFAX.2
Winchester, 29 August, 1756.
It is with infinite concern, I see the distresses of the people, and hear their complaints, without being able to afford them relief. I have so often troubled your Honor for aid from the militia, that I am almost ashamed to repeat my demands; nor should mention them again, did I not think it absolutely necessary at this time to save the most valuable and flourishing part of this county from immediate desertion. And how soon the remainder part, as well as the adjacent counties, may share the same fate, is too obvious to reason, and to your Lordship’s good sense for me to demonstrate. The whole settlement of Conococheague in Maryland is fled, and there now remain only two families from thence to Fredericktown, which is several miles below the Blue Ridge. By which means we are quite exposed, and have no better security on that side, than the Potomac River, for many miles below the Shenandoah; and how great security that is to us, may easily be discerned, when we consider, with what facility the enemy have passed and repassed it already. That the Maryland settlements are all abandoned is certainly fact, as I have had the accounts transmitted to me by several hands, and confirmed yesterday by Henry Brinker, who left Monocacy the day before, and also affirms, that three hundred and fifty wagons had passed that place to avoid the enemy, within the space of three days.
I thought it expedient to communicate the above in order to inform your Lordship of the reasons for asking succours for these unhappy people, and how absolutely necessary it is to use, (without delay,) such vigorous measures as will save that settlement from total desolation.
We see, my Lord, the absurdity of the people’s arguments, and the consequences of leaving one county, nay, one part of the county, or, to go still farther, a single company, that is more exposed than another, to defend itself and the parts in danger. When Hampshire was invaded, and called on Frederick for assistance, the people of the latter refused their aid, answering, “Let them defend themselves, as we shall do if they come to us.” Now the enemy have forced through that county, and begin to infest this, those a little removed from danger are equally infatuated; and will be, I fear, until all in turn fall a sacrifice to an insulting and merciless enemy.
These observations may be improperly offered to your Lordship, but they occur in so refulgent a light to me, that I could not resist the impulse of dictating them. I am so weak-handed here, that I could not, without stagnating the public works, spare a man to these people’s assistance. Yet I look upon the retaining of them to be so essential to the well-being of the county in general, that I have ordered all the men, that can possibly be spared, to march thitherwards; and they accordingly set out to-morrow morning, to remain there until your Lordship can relieve them, that they may return to these works, which in my opinion are of no little importance to the safety of the county, if we should be attacked by numbers, as we have reason to apprehend. I hope your Lordship will exert your authority in raising men for this salutary end, and that you will think it advisable to make every company furnish their quota. This will redress the complaints of the people below, who say they cannot leave their families to the mercy of the enemy, while they are scouring the woods.
This is the reason given by some why Caton’s party consists but of ten men, while others say it proceeds from dislike to the man. I acquainted his Honor the Governor with your Lordship’s order for raising fifty men for this service, who approved thereof, and has been pleased to direct me to continue them there so long as I see cause.
I cannot conclude without again mentioning how agreeable it would be, if your Lordship would order a party immediately to these parts, that I may withdraw my men to their duty at this place. I am, my Lord, &c.
[2 ]Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax, possessed by inheritance a large tract of land in what was called the Northern Neck of Virginia, between the Potomac and Rappahannoc Rivers, estimated to contain five millions two hundred thousand acres. For a time he employed his cousin, William Fairfax, as agent to manage these lands, and, about the year 1739, he came himself over to Virginia. He stayed a year, and went back to England. Four years afterwards, that is, in 1745, he returned to Virginia, where he passed the remainder of his days. He resided a year in the family of Mr. William Fairfax, at Belvoir. At length he determined to establish himself on the western side of the Blue Ridge, where he built a hunting lodge, called Greenway Court, a few miles from Winchester, laid out a beautiful farm, and put it under high cultivation. Here he lived in the exercise of a plain but generous and elegant hospitality till his death, which happened December 7, 1781, in his ninety-second year.