French and Indian War

Governor Robert Dinwiddie to John St. Clair, August 11, 1755

extracted from

The Writings of George Washington, Volume II, by Jared Sparks
(Boston: Charles Tappan, 1846), pages 147-148.

Governor Dinwiddie to Sir Jno. St. Clair
Aug. 11th, 1755.


Y'r Let'r of the 1st of y's Mo. I rec'd, and I am very glad You are in a fair way of recovery, w'ch I wish may be soon, and w'n able to travel I shall be glad to see You here. Our Assembly [is] now [sitting], and have voted [ ] 40,000, on w'ch, as soon as they rise, I propose compleat'g Forces. As to the Numb's You discharg'd, &c., I shall not trouble You on y't Head till I have the Pleasure to see You. The officers who suffer'd in the late Action by loosing their Baggage I have recommended to the Assembly, and I hope they will be consider'd. Probably the Scheme I proposed in my Letter to Colo. Dunbar may appear to some as impracticable, but as I now c'd reinforce him with 1,000 [men] I think they ought to have made a second attempt, if the Panick y't seiz'd the Private Men c'd have been dispell'd; but y't was not tho't proper. Pray, Sir Jno., is it eligible y't Colo. Dunbar sh'd march to Winter Q'rs the middle of Sumer? The service the Regulars have done is they have open'd the Road from F't Cumb'l'd to the Ohio, w'ch will facilitate the Invasion of the Enemy on our Frontiers, w'ch are left to be defended by 400 Sick and wounded and the Remains of our Provincial Troops. I think his leav'g us in so distress'd [a] Condit'n is with't Precedent. And do not You think w'm the Enemy hears the Regulars are march'd for Philad'a, upwards of 200 miles from F't Cumb'l'd, may they not take the Advantage of y's Step, robb, plunder our People, burn their Habitat's and murder all y't may venture to resist them? I do not know the Rules of the Army, but I expected D____r c'd not have left our Frontiers with't Orders from Gen'l Shirley, to whom I sent an Express ten Days ago. I can not say it is an unexpected Thing, and it has rais'd great Uneasiness among our People y't after H. M'y's great Fav'r in send'g over these Forces for our Protect'n y't they have actually been a great Disservice to us by open'g the Road to the Ohio and leav'g us to defend the Frontiers. As I cannot assign any Reason for Colo. Dunbar's sudden March to Winter Q'rs, I suspend say'g any more till I see You. Pray take Care of Y'r Health, and I hope from Y'r good Spirits You will soon recover. My W[ife] and G[irl]s join me in kind Respects, and I am,

S'r, Y'r most h'ble serv't.

[P. S.] - H. M'y's poor Subjects on the Frontiers of y's Dom'n are left to the Mercy of an inhuman Enemy. A Dismal Situat'n indeed!

French and Indian War Documents

West Virginia Archives and History