French and Indian War

Governor Robert Dinwiddie to Horace Walpole, October 25, 1754

extracted from

The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Volume I, R. A. Brock, editor
(Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1883), pages 370-372.

Governor Dinwiddie to Horace Walpole.
Octr 25th, 1754.

Rt Hon.:

Yr kind Lets of the 1st June, and 15th of July, I had the Honr of receivg Yesterday, and am much obliged for the Approbatn You are pleasd to give on my Transactions in regard to His Mys Revenue of Quit Rents. The Petitn of the Ho. of B., against the Pistole Fee, was rejected by the Council, and ordered yt the Bd of Trade shd regulate yt Fee for the Future. They have accordingly directed yt no Fee shd be taken for Lands less than 100 Acres, or on the Rights of Families, imported agreeable to an Act of Assembly, wch is perfectly right, and wt never was demd. And, further, yt no Fee shd be taken [for] Grants of Land [the] other Side of the Mounts, as His Majesty is graciously pleased to exempt them from Quit Rents for 10 Years. As I am determind punctually to obey any Orders sent me, I shall not insist on any Fees for Lands so exempted from Quit Rents. They are further pleased to direct and order yt I shd grant Patents for the Lands so long taken up and Possessed before my Arrival witht being brot to the Rent Roll, witht any Fee; but their Lds. are silent as to the Arrears of Quit rents, wch, if given up, these People [will] obtain all they desired, and my Applicatn for the Arrears will be defeated. I am willing to think it may be an Omission or Oversight at that Bd, therefore I decline Signing their Patts till further Orders, For I offered to sign their Patents witht the Fee if they wd pay the Arrears of Quit rents. However, if its the design of their Lds. to give up the Arrears, I shall give due Obedience to their Comds, but tho it is proper to apprise you therewith. And for my Conduct for the future, in regard to His Mys Quit rents, I am hbly of Opinion yt I shd have an Instructn directg Patents to be made out and executed immediately on the Return of the Works and Improvemts to the Secrys Office. This will regulate the Quit Rent Roll for the Future, and much improve yt Revenue, and this is the Practice in the Northern Neck, under Ld Fairfaxs Proprietary, and it is hbly submitted to You. Their Lds. have further directed, yt no Person have a Patent for more than 1,000 Acres, wch I shall duly attend to. The granting of large Quantities to one Person has been of Service in settling the back and remote Parts of this Domn, as these great Grants have been subdivided to poor People yt come from the other Colonies, and are not able to be at the Charge of coming here and taking out Grants for small Quantities of land; however, the Rule prescribed shall be observed, and any Inconveniences yt may occur shall be hereafter represented. We are at present in a State of War, the French have very unjustly invaded His Mys Lands; they have taken a Fort I ordered to be built by the Kings Comds, near the River Ohio; they continue in Arms and threaten Us with further Invasions and depredats, and our Assemblies on this Contt are seized with a lethargic Supineness, by not granting proper Supplies to defeat their Designs; I have done all in my Power to awaken them to a Sense of their danger, and to endeavor to get proper. Supplies, but to very little Purpose. His My has been graciously pleased to order me 10,000 [] in Specie, and Directs to draw for 10,000 [] more, wch was a most agreeable Supply, and I shall take the proper Care of applying it with Frugality to the Uses designed. Our Militia being very raw and unskilful in Military Affairs, I have represented the Necessity of havg two Regimts of Regulars to put us on a proper Footing with the Fr. Forces, who have a great many Regulars in their Army at the Ohio; they threaten us much, and, indeed, I have reason to think they aim at a general overthrow of all our Colonies on this Contt. and to reduce them to the Obedience of their Grand Monarch, but I trust in God, if we are reinforced from, and assisted by our neighbouring Colonies, yt next sumer we shall be able to drive them from His Mys Lands on the Ohio. This is wt I have much at Heart, and shall do all in my Power for yt purpose, wch might have been done before [if] the Assemblies of the different Colonies had with a proper Spirit granted mutual Supplies. I flatter myself yt now they begin to see their Danger, and hope they will in duty comply with the Comds of His My on this Head. I am ashamed of the dirty Transactn in regard to the Pales; I believe I told Mr. Blair of the Ship,. But if I had seen the Bill of Lading, I shd [have] shewn the injustice of leaving the Freight so open to the owners of the Ship. I must say, the Owner does not appear to have acted with Honr in reducg them to square Feet and then charging equal Freight with Perishable Comodities. Mr. Blair has sent Yr Dpty, Mr. Smith, an Affidavit, wch I wish may answer the End, or expose the Owner. Before I left Londo., You mentd Yr Intentn of having Pales from this [Colony] and I wrote You on the Head, but You answd You wd not trouble me, but had wrote to Mr. Blair. Yr Honr surely must think Nothing cd be trouble to me in executing Yr Comds, wch I shall always think myself in Duty bound to do, as I shall never forget the Obligats I am under to Yr Fdship and Patronage. It gives me much Joy to hear You are in a perfect State of Health. Pray God continue it for His Mys Service and the Happiness of Your agreeable Family.

I remn with Gratitude and due respects.

Rt Hon, Yr most obedt and most humble servt.

French and Indian War Documents

West Virginia Archives and History