Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1763. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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1763. - 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 CHS. LAWRENCE, TAILOR IN LONDON.
Virginia, 26 April, 1763.
Be pleased to send me a genteel suit of cloaths made of superfine broad cloth, handsomely chosen. I should have inclosed you my measure, but in a general way they are so badly taken here, that I am convinced it would be of very little service. I would have you, therefore, take measure of a gentleman who wares well-made cloaths of the following size: to wit, 6 feet high, and proportionably made;—if any thing rather slender than thick, for a person of that highth, with pretty long arms and thighs. You will take care to make the breeches longer than those you sent me last, and I would have you keep the measure of the cloaths you now make, by you, and if any alteration is required, in my next it shall be pointed out.
Note. for your further government and knowledge of my size, I have sent the inclosed, and you must observe that from the coat end—
To N° 1 & N° 3 is the size over the breast and hips;
N° 2 over the Belly, and
N° 4 round the arm and from the breeches end
To N° a is for waistband.
b thick of the Thigh
c upper button hole.
e for length of Breeches—therefore if you take measure of a person about 6 feet high of this bigness, I think you can’t go amiss. You must take notice the inclosd is the exact size without any allowance for seams, &c.1
TO ROBERT STEWART.
My Dear Stewart,
Your letters of the 18th January and 2d of March, came to my hands at the same time, about the 10th inst. I knew of no ship then on the point of sailing for any part of Great Britain, and therefore have been unavoidably silent till now; indeed I could have given but a very unsatisfactory answer before this. I participated in the pleasing prospect which seemed to flatter your wishes about the time of writing your first letter, as much as I felt for its reverse in the next; but human affairs are always chequered and vicissitudes in this life are rather to be expected than wondered at.
I wish, my dear Stewart, that the circumstances of my affairs would have permitted me to have given you an order upon any person, in the world, I might add—for £400 with as much ease & propriety as you seem to require it, or even for twice that sum if it would make you easy. But, alas! to show my inability in this respect, I enclose you a copy of Mr. Cary’s last account current against me, which, upon my honor and the faith of a Christian, is a true one and transmitted to me with the additional aggravation of a hint at the largeness of it. Messrs. Hanbury’s have also a ballance against me; and I have no other correspondents in England with whom I deal, unless it be with a namesake, for trifles such as cloaths; and for these I do not know whether the Ballance is for or against me.
This, upon my soul, is a genuine account of my affairs in England. Here they are a little better, because I am not much in debt. I doubt not but you will be surprized at the badness of their condition unless you will consider under what terrible management and disadvantages I found my estate when I retired from the publick service of this Colony; and that besides some purchases of Lands and Negroes I was necessitated to make adjoining me (in order to support the expences of a large family), I had Provisions of all kinds to buy for the first two or three years; and my Plantation to stock in short with every thing;—buildings to make and other matters which swallowd up before I well knew where I was, all the money I got by marriage, nay more, brought me in debt, and I believe I may appeal to to your own knowledge of my circumstances before.
I do not urge these things, my dear Sir, in order to lay open the distresses of my own affairs. On the contrary they should forever have remained profoundly secret to your knowledge, did it not appear necessary at this time to acquit myself in your esteem, and to evince my inability of exceeding £300, a sum I am now laboring to procure by getting money to purchase bills of that amount to remit to yourself; that Mr Cary may have no knowledge of the transaction since he expected this himself, and for which my regard for you will disappoint him—a regard of that high nature that I could never see you uneasy without feeling a part and wishing to remove the cause; and therefore when you complained of the mortification of remaining a subaltern in a corps you had frequently commanded the subs of I wanted you out, and hoped it might be effected—but I shall have done on the subject, giving me leave to add only that in case you should not have a call for the money (and your letter speaks of this) you will then be so good as to pay it to Mr. Cary, to whom I believe it will be no disagreeable tender and advise me thereof. The inclosed will inform you of what I have wrote to him on this head, which letter you may deliver or destroy at pleasure.
I am exceedingly obliged to you for your kind offers of services in London but I have nothing to give you the trouble of. I write in very great haste and know I may depend upon your Friendship to excuse any thing and every thing amiss in the Letter.1
TO ROBERT STEWART.
Mount Vernon, 13 August, 1763.
My Dear Stewart,
By Captain Walter Stuart I am favored with an opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 6th of June, and at the same time of forwarding the copy of my former (which was in readiness before that came to hand, and) which I incline to send, notwithstanding the original is got to hand, because it contains the second bills, and other matters entire as they ought to have been sent, and as I dare say Mr. Stuart will be so good as to deliver.
Another tempest has arose upon our frontiers, and the alarm spread wider than ever. In short, the inhabitants are so apprehensive of danger, that no families stand above the Conococheague road, and many are gone off below it. Their harvests are in a manner lost, and the distresses of the settlement appear too evident and manifold to need description. In Augusta many people have been killed, and numbers fled, and confusion and despair prevail in every quarter. At this instant a calm is taking place, which forebodes some mischief to Colonel Bouquet. At least those, who wish well to the convoy, are apprehensive for him; since it is not unlikely, that the retreat of all the Indian parties at one and the same time from our frontiers, is a probable proof of their assembling a force somewhere, and for some particular purpose, none more likely than to oppose his march.1
It was expected, that our Assembly would have been called, in such exigences as these; but it’s concluded, (as I have been informed,) that an Assembly without money could be no eligible plan. To comprehend the meaning of this expression you must know, the Board of Trade, at the instance of the British merchants, have undertaken to rebuke us in the most ample manner for our paper emissions; and therefore the Governor and Council have directed one thousand militia to be employed for the protection of the frontiers, five hundred of whom are to be drafted from Hampshire &c, and to be under the command of Colonel Stephen, whose military courage and capacity, (says the Governor,) are well established. The other five hundred, from the southern frontier counties, are to be conducted by Major Lewis; so that you may readily conceive what an enormous expense must attend these measures. Stephen, immediately upon the Indians’ retiring, advanced to Fort Cumberland with two hundred or two hundred and fifty militia in great parade, and will doubtless achieve some signal advantage, of which the public will soon be informed.
I think I have now communicated the only news, which these parts afford. It is of a melancholy nature, indeed, and we cannot tell how or when it is to end. I hope you may have got matters settled to your liking before this time. I should rejoice to hear it, as I should at every thing that gives you pleasure or profit.
Mrs. Washington makes a tender of her compliments, and you may be assured that I am, with great sincerity, dear Sir, your most obedient and affectionate servant.
October 15, 1763.
From Pocoson Swamp to Cyprus Swamp (which conducts more water into the Great Dismal Swamp than any one of the many that leads into it) is about 2½ miles. This also is dry at present, but appears to be 60 or 65 yards across in the wettest part.
The next Swamp to this is called Mossey Swamp, and distant about 3 miles. Near this place lives John Reddick on good land; but hitherto from Pocoson Swamp, the land lyes flat, wet and poor. This swamp is 60 yards over and dry.
Between Cyprus Swamp, and the last mentioned one, we went on horseback not less than ½ mile into the great swamp (Dismal) without any sort of difficulty, the horse not sinking over the fetlocks. The first quarter, however, abounding in pine and gallberry bushes, the soil being much intermixed with sand, but afterwards it grew blacker and richer with many young reeds and few pines,—and this, it may be observed here, is the nature of the swamp in general.
The Main Swamp of Oropeak is about ½ a mile onwards from this, where stands the Widow Norflets, Mi & Luke Sumner’s plantations. This swamp cannot be less than 200 yards across, but does not nevertheless discharge as much water as Cyprus Swamp.
At the mouth of this swamp is a very large meadow of 2 or 3000 acres, held by Sumner, Widow Norflet, Marmaduke Norflet, Powel and others, and valuable ground it is.
From Oropeak Swamp to loosing swamp is about 2 miles, and this 70 yards across.
From hence again to Bassey Swamp the lower road may be allowed 2 miles more, but this swamp seems trifling.
And from Bassey Swamp to Horse Pool (which is the last, and including swamp running into the Dismal) is about 2 miles more and 35 yards across only.
The whole land from Pocoson Swamp to this place and indeed all the way to Pequemin Bridge, is in a manner a dead level, wet and cold in some place sandy in others, and generally poor.
This last-named swamp, viz., the Horse Pool, is called 9 miles from the upper bridge on Pequemin River; within a mile of which lives one Elias Stallens, and within 5 miles is the lower bridge, from whence to the bridge, or ferry over Little River is 15 measured miles, ye course nearly due south, as it likewise is from Suffolk to the said bridge, ye Dismal running that course from that place.
From little River bridge (or ferry) to Ralph’s ferry on Paspetank is (I think we were told) about 16 miles, the course east or northeast, and from thence, if the ferry is not crossed along up the west side of the river to the River bridge of the said Paspetank is reckoned—miles, and about a north west course, ye Dismal bordering close upon the left all the way.
Note. Ye above account is from information only, for instead of taking that rout, we crossed from Elias Stallens (one mile above the upper bridge on Pequemin) across to a set of people which inhabit a small slip of sand between the said river Pequemin and ye Dismal Swamp, and from thence along a new cut path through the main swamp, northwardly course for five miles, to the inhabitants of what they call new found land, which is thick settled, very rich land, and about 6 miles from the aforesaid river bridge of Paspetank. The arm of Dismal, which we passed through to get to this new land (as it is called) is 3¼ miles measured; little or no timber in it, but very full of reeds and excessive rich. Through this we carried horses, without any great difficulty.
This land was formerly esteemed part of the Dismal, but being higher, though full of reeds, people ventured to settle upon it, and as it became more open, it became more dry and is now prodigious fine land, but subject to wets and unhealthiness.
It is to be observed here that the tide, or still water that comes out of the sound up Pequemin River flows up as high as Stallens, and the river does not widen much until it passes the lower bridge some little distance. At Ralph’s ferry upon Paspetank, the river is said to be 2 miles over, and decreases in width gradually to the bridge, called River bridge, where it is about 30 yards across, and affords sufficient water for New England vessels to come up and load.
From the River bridge of Paspetank to an arm of the Dismal at a place called 2 miles bridge is reckoned 7 miles, and a branch of Paspetank twice crossed in the distance.
This arm of the Dismal is equally good and rich like the rest, and runs (as we are informed) 15 or 20 miles easterly, and has an outlet (as some say) into Curratuck Inlet by North West River, or Tull’s Creek; but these accounts were given so indistinctly as not to be relied upon. However it is certain, I believe, that the water does drain off at the east end somewhere, in which case a common causeway through at ye crossing place would most certainly lay all that arm dry.
From this place, which is 2 miles over, to the Carolina line is about 4 miles, and from thence to North West Landing on North West River, a branch of Curratuck, is 3 miles more.
From the Great Bridge to Colonel Tucker’s Mills is about 8 miles, within which distance several small creeks, making out of South River, head up in the Dismal.
Farley’s plantation, at the forks of the road, is reckoned 5 miles from the aforesaid mills, near to which the Dismal runs.
From hence to Robert’s ordinary is 6 miles, and from thence to Suffolk 10 more. The lands from the Great Bridge to within a mile or two of Robert’s is generally sandy and indifferent. From hence to Cowper’s Mill they are good, and from thence to Colonel Reddick’s mean again.
[1 ]“We are much rejoiced at the prospect of Peace which ’tis hoped will be of long continuance, and introductory of mutual advantages to the merchant and planter, as the trade to this Colony will flow in a more easy and regular channel than it has done for a considerable time past.”—Washington to Robert Cary & Co., 26 April, 1763.
[1 ]“Signing of the definitive treaty seems to be the only piece of news, which prevails here at present, and diffuses general joy. Our Assembly is suddenly called, in consequence of a memorial of the British merchants to the Board of Trade, representing the evil consequences of our paper emissions and their Lordships’ report and orders thereupon, which, I suppose, will set the whole country in flames. This stir of the merchants seems to be ill-timed, and cannot be attended with any good effects, bad, I fear it will. However, on the 19th instant the Assembly meets; and till then I will suspend my further opinion of the matter.”—Washington to Robert Stewart, 2 May, 1763.
[1 ]The Shawanese, Delawares, Senecas and other Ohio tribes of Indians, had made a general and almost simultaneous attack upon all the remote frontier settlements and posts. They had committed many murders, and taken the forts at Le Bœuf, Venango, Presqu’Isle, and others on Lake Michigan, the Miami River, the Wabash, at Sandusky, and Michilimackinac. Fort Pitt (formerly Duquesne) was in imminent danger of falling into their hands. In July, Colonel Bouquet was despatched by General Amherst with five hundred men and a supply of military stores for the relief of that fort. He marched through Pennsylvania, following the same route, that had been pursued by General Forbes’s army. The Indians, who were then besieging Fort Pitt, heard of his march, and came out to meet him. They attacked his army on the 5th and 6th of August, in a defile near the head waters of Turtle Creek, (Bushy Run) and the contest was kept up during the two days, with considerable loss on both sides. Colonel Bouquet maintained his ground, and routing the Indians, marched without further molestation to Fort Pitt. The news of this action seems not to have reached Washington, when he wrote the above letter. General Amherst wrote to Sir Wm. Johnson: “Some random shots were fired on the army between Bushy Run and Fort Pitt; but this seasonable check I believe will put an effectual stop to any further mischief being done on that communication; particularly as Colonel Stephen with 4 or 500 men of the Virginia militia is advanced as far as Forts Cumberland and Bedford, with a view not only of covering the frontiers, but of acting offensively against the savages. This public spirited colony has also sent a body of the like number of men under the command of Colonel Lewis for the defence and protection of their southwest frontiers. What a contrast this makes between the conduct of the Pennsylvanians and Virginians, highly to the honor of the latter, but places the former in the most despicable light imaginable.” 27 August, 1763. The king signified his displeasure at the “supine and neglectful conduct” of the Pennsylvania legislature, and urged more vigorous measures upon all the colonies except Virginia and Maryland. Earl of Halifax to Sir Jeffrey Amherst, 18 October, 1763.