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French and Indian War

Governor Robert Dinwiddie to the Governor James Glen, October 25, 1754

extracted from

The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Volume I, R. A. Brock, editor
(Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1883), pages 377-379.


Governor Dinwiddie to Governor James Glen.
Octír 25th, 1754.

Sir:

I recíd both Yír Letírs of the 19th Septír, with the Report of Yír Comittee, and am sorry to find You complain of the Style of my Letír. I have great reason to do so both as the method and Substance of Yírs. You object greatly to the Treaties of Lancaster and Logstown; the first was long before I came to my Govít, and is generally esteemed a very proper Treaty, the last was to confirm it, and to have the Consent of the Indís to build Forts on the Ohio. You and Your Committee think I ought to have represented the Injuries done by the Fr., to the Govír of Canada, wích is quite contrary to my Instructís from Home, being Comíd to send to the Comídít of the Fr. Forces in the very Manner I have done, and as such an Answer, to take the Steps I followed. I am sorry You or Yír Comittee doubts His Míyís Right to the Lands on the Ohio. In his Comíds to me, he assertains his Right to those Lands and orders Forts to be built, and [for me] to resist any foreign Power that shall presume to settle them. The Accít you have, and depend on, from John Shaw, thoí swore to, is certainly false, and I suppose he is a Deserter and ought to be put in Prison and returned here. Yír Observatís attending the late unlucky Action at the Meadows is ungenerous. My orders were not to engage the Enemy till the Forces were joined, but they were taken on Surprize, and the other Forces were very dillatory, otherways, they might have joined them before the Action; we cíd not march the whole Body together for want of convenient Carriages for the Provisions, wích was the reason of marching in Detachmíts. As to our Militia (thoí not near the No. You mention) [they] cannot be comanded to march over the Allegany Mountís, by an Act of Assembly now subsisting. The Fort Mr. Washington went to, is on Buffalo Creek, that runs into the Ohio, and on His Míyís Land, if You will read the Treaty of Ulrich, wích confirms it, as it is on the Land of the Six Natís or Iroquois [and] ceded to us by Treaty. The Complaints made me of the Frenchís unjust Treatment of our People were not confirmed before Mr. W. left this [place] on that Message, wherefore, I cíd not be particular thereon in my Letter, but desired him to inquire into it when he came to the Ohio, and if true, to represent the same to the Comídír of the Fr. Forces, wích he did, but Yír Committee does not think proper to take any Notice thereof. It is beyond my Power or Instructís to contest His Míyís Titles to these Lands with the Govír of Canada, or do I think such Powers will ever be vested in any Govír. Itís sufficient for me, yít His Míy asserts his Right to them, and orders me to build Forts, and to prevent any other Natín settling them. I think there can be no greater Act of Hostility yín taking a Fort begun to be built by His Míyís imediate Comíds, and this must be esteemíd the first Breach from the Fr., and wít followed in taking some of their People Prisoners, and killing others, was in Consequence thereof. The[re] is a Plan for an Union of the whole Colonies, now lying before the King and Council, and probably [it] will be enforced by an Act of Parliamít, but I think we are not to be idle and tacitly allow the Enemy to continue their unjust Encroachmíts till yít is finished. My sending Expresses far and near, so ludicrously noticíd by Yír Committee, is in Obedience to my Instructís from Home. You may [justly] think I have no great Satisfactín in writing so many Letters and being at so great Expence, [and would not do so] if it was not in Obedience to my Mastírís Comíds. I must think it a bad Step of You to write the Catawbas to stay at Home after their Promise to assist me, and His Majestyís Servíce so much wanted it. Yír several repeated Complíts of my entertainíg and giving Presíts to the Cherokees and Catawbas is entirely wrong, as these Things are done by Orders from Home, but if it interfered with the private Intít of any Govír, it ought to be laid aside at the Time of so iminít [a] Danger. I observe You and Yír Legislature were adverse to granting any Supplies, wích I think they might have done in a more genteel Manner yín in complaining of my Conduct. I must and cannot shun observing [that] Yír Letír and Argumíts wíd have been more proper from a Fr. Officer yín from one of His Míyís Govírs. I have the honír, Satisfactín, and Pleasure to assure You, yít my Conduct on the whole of this Expedition was met with His Míyís gracious Approbatín, and yít of his Ministers; I am sorry it has not recíd yít of Yírs. Enclosed, I send You a Letír yít came by His Míy Ship, Garland, now stationíd here. I am again orderíd to give further Presíts to the Catawbas and Cherokees, if I see proper, wích I shall be ready to do on a suitable Occasion; I am further directed to assist You, if necessary, in building a Fort in the Upper Cherokee Coítry, wích I think absolutely necessary at this Time, to protect them from the Invasions of the Fr., and I, agreeable to my Instructís, now offer all the Service in my Power, and the sooner itís begun, the better, wích I presume You now have particular Orders to put in emediate Executín, and no doubt before this, You are informíd properly if the French have attempted to build Forts among them. I shall be glad, [if] all private Views may be laid Aside, or any particular Provincial Interest, wín his Míyís Service so earnestly calls for the action of our utmost Endeavours and Strength to oppose the comon Enemy, and not to be so particular in scrutinizing the Conduct of Yír neighbouring Govírs, without knowing the Purport of his Instructís, wích a Person of Yír Sense and Penetratín well knows, it is not proper they shíd be particularly made public.

His Míy has ordered me 10,000 £ in Specie and 10,000 £ Credit, and this Colony, has this last Assembly granted 20,000 £ for conducting this necessary Expeditín; but these Sums all come far short of the Expence to pay and maintain a suitable Force to drive the Enemy from the Ohio, however, I shall with great Frugality manage it for the Service it is intended. His Míy has been pleased to appoint H. Sharpe, Esqír, Govír of Míyílíd, to be Comdír in Chief of the combined Forces on this Expedition, with Orders to consult and advise with me in every Thing; he is now here, and we are consulting a Plan of Operatís, to be put in Executín this Winter, or early in the Spring. I shall be glad of Keepíg up a Correspondíce with You in any Thing for his Míyís Service, but shall be careful not to trouble You with any more Expresses, as I find it disagreeable to You and Uír Committee. I heartily wish Success to the presít Expeditín, and that the different Colonies wíd join as one Man in defeating the mischievous Designs of the Fr., and their unjust Encroachmíts. I hope this will find You perfectly recovered from Yír late Illness, and sincerely wish You a thorow Confimatín of Yír Health, and I remín sincerely,

Yír Ex. most híble Servít.

P. S. In all public Affairs of Consequence, I always conduct myself with the Advice of the Council.


French and Indian War Documents

West Virginia Archives and History