Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1761. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
1761. - 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).
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 RICHARD WASHINGTON.
Mount Vernon, 14 July, 1761.
Since my last, by Mr Fairfax, I have had the pleasure of receiving your obliging favors of the 16th October and 1st of January following. A mixture of bad health and indolence together has kept me from paying that due respect to your letters, which I am sure they much merited at my hands till this time; and now, having nothing to relate that could in any wise claim your attention, I think I was inclined to a further delay, when it came into my head that having put six hogsheads tobacco on board the Phœnix, Captain McGachin, to your address, it would not be amiss to secure some part of the value by insurance, that in case the ship should meet with the fate attending many others in the same trade, I might not lose the whole; and therefore, Sir, I beg the favor of you to insure five pounds a hogshead on the tobacco accordingly.
The entire conquest of Canada, and dispossession of the French in most parts of North America, becoming a story too stale to relate in these days, we are often at a loss for something to supply our letters with. True it is, the Cherokee nation, by a perfidious conduct, has caused Colonel Grant to be sent once more into their country with an armed force; but I believe their supplies from the French on Mobile River come in so slac, that they are more sincerely disposed to peace now than ever they were before. This pacifick turn may be caused in some measure, too, by another regiment in the pay of this colony, which is ordered to penetrate into their country by a different passage. But it is generally thought, that their submission will put a stop to any further progress of our arms.1
We have received the account of Belle Isle’s reduction, and hear of another expedition fleet destined for some service, of which we are ignorant. But that, which most engrosses our attention at this time, is the congress at Augsburg, as I believe nothing is more sincerely desired in this part of the world, than an honorable peace.
Colo. Fairfax very much surprizes his friends in Virginia by not writing to any of them. Just upon his arrival at London he favored a few with a short letter advertising them of that agreeable circumstance and I have heard of no other letter that has come from him since, altho’ I have seen some from the ladies, the superscription of which has been in his handwriting. I am &c.
TO REVEREND CHARLES GREEN.1
The Warm Springs, 26th Aug., 1761.
I should think myself very inexcusable were I to omit so good an opportunity as Mr. Douglass’s return from these Springs, of giving you some account of the place and of our approaches to it.
To begin then;—We arrived here yesterday, and our journey as you may imagine was not of the most agreeable sort, through such weather and such roads as we had to encounter; these last for 20 or 25 miles from hence are almost impassible for carriages, not so much from the mountainous country, (but this in fact is very rugged,) as from trees that have fallen across the road and rendered the way intolerable.
We found of both sexes about 200 people at this place, full of all manner of diseases and complaints; some of which are much benefited, while others find no relief from the waters.—Two or three doctors are here, but whether attending as physicians or to drink of the waters I know not.
It is thought the Springs will soon begin to lose their virtues, and the weather get too cold for people not well provided to remain here. They are situated very badly on the East side of a steep Mountain, and inclosed by hills on all sides, so that the afternoon’s Sun is hid by 4 o’clock and the fogs hang over us till 9 or 10 which occasion great damps, and the mornings and evenings to be cool.
The place I am told, and indeed have found it so already, is supplyed with provisions of all kinds; good beef and venison, fine veal, lambs, fowls, &c. &c., may be bought at almost any time, but lodgings can be had on no terms but building for them; and I am of opinion that numbers get more hurt by their manner of lying, than the waters can do them good. Had we not succeeded in getting a tent and marquee from Winchester we should have been in a most miserable situation here.
In regard to myself I must beg leave to say, that I was much overcome with the fatigue of the ride and weather together. However, I think my fevers are a good deal abated, although my pains grow rather worse, and my sleep equally disturbed. What effect the waters may have upon me I can’t say at present, but I expect nothing from the air—this certainly must be unwholesome. I purpose to stay here a fortnight and longer if benefitted.
I shall attempt to give you the best discription I can of the stages to this place, that you may be at no loss, if after this account you choose to come up.
Toulson I should recommend as the first; Majr. Hamilton’s or Israel Thompson’s the 2d; ye one about 30, the other 35 miles distant. From thence you may reach Henry Vanmeter’s on Opeckon Creek or Captain Pearis’s 4 miles on this side, which will be about 35 miles; and then your journey will be easy the following day to this place.
I have made out a very long, and a very dirty letter, but hurry must apologize for the latter, and I hope your fondness will excuse the former. Please to make my compliments acceptable to Mrs. Green and Miss Bolan and be assured Revd. Sir that with a true respect I remain &c.
P. S. If I could be upon any certainty of your coming, or could only get 4 days previous notice of your arrival, I would get a house built such as are here erected, very indifferent indeed they are tho’, for your reception.
Since writing the above, Mr. Douglass lost his horse and was detained, but I met with a Fairfax man returning home, who is to be back again immediately for his wife. This person I have hired to carry some letters to Mrs. Washington, under whose cover this goes; by him you are furnished with an opportunity of honoring me with your commands, if you retain any thoughts of coming to this place. I think myself benefited by the waters, and am now with hopes of their making a cure of me. Little time will show now.
TO RICHARD WASHINGTON.
Mount Vernon, 20 October, 1761.
Since my last, of the 14th July, I have in appearance been very near my last gasp. The indisposition then spoken of increased upon me, and I fell into a very low and dangerous state. I once thought the grim king would certainly master my utmost efforts, and that I must sink, in spite of a noble struggle; but, thank God, I have now got the better of the disorder, and shall soon be restored, I hope, to perfect health again.
I dont know, that I can muster up one tittle of news to communicate. In short, the occurrences of this part of the world are at present scarce worth reciting; for, as we live in a state of peaceful tranquillity ourselves, so we are at very little trouble to inquire after the operations against the Cherokees, who are the only people that disturb the repose of this great continent, and who, I believe, would gladly accommodate differences upon almost any terms; not, I conceive, from any apprehensions they are under, on account of our arms, but because they want the supplies, which we and we only can furnish them with. We catch the reports of peace with gaping mouths, and every person seems anxious for a confirmation of that desirable event, provided it comes, as no doubt it will, upon honorable terms.1
On the other side is an invoice of clothes, which I beg the favor of you to purchase for me, and to send them by the first ship bound to this river. As they are designed for wearing-apparel for myself, I have committed the choice of them to your fancy, having the best opinion of your taste. I want neither lace nor embroidery. Plain clothes, with a gold or silver button, (if worn in genteel dress,) are all I desire. I have hitherto had my clothes made by one Charles Lawrence, in Old Fish Street. But whether it be the fault of the tailor, or the measure sent, I cant say, but, certain it is, my clothes have never fitted me well. I therefore leave the choice of the workman to your care likewise. I enclose a measure, and, for a further insight, I dont think it amiss to add, that my stature is six feet; otherwise rather slender than corpulent.
[1 ]Colonel Grant had an engagement with the Cherokees, near the place of Colonel Montgomery’s ambuscade, which lasted for several hours, but the Indians were repulsed. He then destroyed all the villages and provisions, that came in his way, and took post for some time in Fort Prince George. Here the Cherokees, through their Chief, Attakulla-kulla, sued for peace, which was conceded to them, and which continued till the breaking out of the revolutionary war.
[1 ]Rev. Charles Green was minister of the old Pohick Church from 1738 to 1765.
[1 ]“We have little or no news stirring. Our Assembly is at present convened to grant supplies for carrying on the war against the Cherokee Indians, should they choose to continue it; but this I am persuaded they are by no means inclined to do, nor are they prepared for it, as they have been soliciting peace for some time past. I wish the powers of Europe were as well disposed to an accommodation as these poor wretches are. A stop would soon be put to the effusion of human blood, and peace and plenty would resume their empire again, to the joy and content, (I believe,) of most ranks and degrees of people.”—Washington to Robert Cary & Co., 3 November, 1761.