Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN ROBINSON. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO JOHN ROBINSON. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. II (1758-1775).
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TO JOHN ROBINSON.
Camp atFort Cumberland, 1 September, 1758.
My Dear Sir,
We are still encamped here, very sickly, and quite dispirited at the prospect before us.2
That appearance of glory, which we had once in view, that hope, that laudable ambition of serving our country, and meriting its applause, are now no more; but dwindled into ease, sloth, and fatal inactivity. In a word, all is lost, if the ways of men in power, like (certain) ways of Providence, are not inscrutable. But why may not? For we, who view the actions of great men at a distance, can only form conjectures agreeably to a limited perception; and, being ignorant of the comprehensive schemes, which may be in contemplation, might mistake egregiously in judging of things from appearances, or by the lump. Yet every fool will have his notions,—will prattle and talk away; and why may not I? We seem then, in my opinion, to act under an evil genii. The conduct of our leaders, (if not actuated by superior orders,) is tempered with something I do not care to give a name to. But I will say they are NA1 or something worse to P—j—v—n2 artifice, to whose selfish views I ascribe the miscarriage of this expedition; for nothing now but a miracle can bring this campaign to a happy issue.
In my last, (if I remember rightly,) I told you, that I had employed my small abilities in opposing the measures then concerting. To do this, I not only represented the advanced season, the difficulty of cutting a new road over these mountains, the little time left for that service, the moral certainty of its obstructing our march, and the miscarriage of the expedition consequent thereupon. But I endeavored to represent, also, the great struggle Virginia had made this year in raising a second regiment upon so short a notice, and the great expense of doing it, and her inability for a future exertion in case of need. I spoke my fears concerning the southern Indians, in the event of a miscarriage, and in fine I spoke all unavailingly, for the road was immediately begun, and since then from one to two thousand men have constantly wrought on it. By the last accounts I have received, they had cut it to the foot of Laurel Hill (about thirty-five miles); and I suppose by now fifteen hundred men have taken post at a place called Loyal Hanna, about ten miles further, where our next fort is intended to be constructed.
We have certain intelligence, that the French strength at Fort Duquesne, on the 13th ultimo, did not exceed eight hundred men, Indians included, of whom there appeared to be three or four hundred. This account is corroborated on all hands—two officers of the first Virginia regiment, vizt. Chew and Allen, having come from thence, since that time (both in different parties, and at different times,) after lying a day or two concealed in full view of the fort, and observing the motions and strength of the enemy. See, therefore, how our time has been misspent. Behold how the golden opportunity is lost, perhaps never more to be regained! How is it to be accounted for? Can General Forbes have orders for this? Impossible. Will, then, our injured country pass by such abuses? I hope not. Rather let a full representation of the matter go to his Majesty. Let him know how grossly his glory and interest, and the public money, have been prostituted. I wish I were sent immediately home, as an aid to some other on this errand. I think, without vanity, I could set the conduct of this expedition in its true colors, having taken some pains, perhaps more than any other man, to dive to the bottom of it. But no more.
Adieu, my dear Sir. It hath long been the luckless fate of Virginia to fall a victim to the views of her crafty neighbors, and yield her honest efforts to promote their common interests, at the expense of much blood and treasure! whilst openness and sincerity have governed her measures. We now can only bewail our prospects, and wish for happier times, but these seem to be at so remote a distance that they are indeed rather to be wished, than expected.
Colonel Byrd, (who is really unwell,) joins me in compliments to you, the Attorney-General, and the rest of our friends.1
[2 ]On the next day he received orders to march by Braddock’s road, and take position at Salt Lick.
[1 ]Blank in MS.
[2 ]Probably Pennsylvanian.
[1 ]General Forbes arrived at Raystown on the 15th, and Colonel Washington was called to that place. Fort Cumberland was garrisoned by Maryland militia, under the command of Governor Sharpe.