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French and Indian War

Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie to George Washington, June 1756

extracted from

The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Volume II, R. A. Brock, editor
(Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1884), pages 434-435.


Governor Dinwiddie to Colonel Washington.
[June __, 1756.]

Sir:

Last Night I rec’d y’rs of the 25th Ult’o. [I] am sorry for the Delay of the Waggon w’th the Tools, probably occasion’d by the Badness of the Horses, but I hope e’er this they are w’th you. I approve of y’r consult’g at a Council of War in regard to the building of Forts, w’ch I foresee will be attended w’th very great Delays from the small No. of Men Yo. have, and I think it will not be proper to divide Y’r Men at too great Distances, therefore Yo. must build them one after another, so that on occasion you may collect a proper No. to repell any force that may appear against Yo., as the Six Nations have summon’d the Delawares and Shawnees to Onondago. I hope they will comply therew’th, and in course be order’d to live peacable w’th ‘em. Inclos’d you have a L’re to Capt. Hogg, and another to the Commanding Officer of the Militia in Augusta, and I desire you will give Capt. Hogg y’r Opinion and Direction in regard to the building of Forts on their frontiers, w’ch I hope will answer the Intent of protecting our frontiers by Forts. I very much approve of the field Officers having each a Company, w’ch you may now put in Execution, tho’ I am sorry to think we have so many Officers and so few rank and file. I am surprised there are no more than 246 draughted Men, and so bad as three to be disbanded; send me Acco’t of the No. from each County. If the six Quakers will not fight you must compell them to work on the forts, to carry Timber, &c., if they will not do [so] Confine them w’th a short Allowance of Bread and Water, till Yo. bring them to reason. I am glad Gov’r Sharp is building a Fort w’ch will be so usefull, but the Assembly of Maryland alows no more than 11,000 £ to enlist and maintain 200 Men, to build a Fort and three block Houses, and I dare say the Gov’r will not exceed the Vote of Assembly. I consulted the Treasurer, now here, about the Militia, &c., he is of Opinion they will all desert; therefore he and I agree that those that will not remain sh’d be returned to their counties to make Drafts of their Militia agreeable to the Act of Assembly and send them up to You by the Maj’r of each County, but if you can prevail on any of them to remain till Dec’r let them know they will be p’d as Militia to that Time. I recomend You to perswade those that are Tradesmen and can handle an Axe, &c, to remain build’g the Forts and you may Augment their Pay as You and they can agree, and I am fully convinc’d the few Men you will have remaining are not sufficient for Defence and building the Forts, or can I at present propose any Method to augment Y’r Regim’t and am realy asham’d of the dastardly pusillanimous Spirits of the People in general at this Time of danger, and we must expend much more on the protection of Heaven than the second Means expected from us by God. I recommend You to his Guidance, wishing You Health, I remain,

S’r, Y’r mo. h’ble Serv’t.

[P. S.] – I hope you will be able to send a proper Roll of all our Men by this Express; we have no Acco’t of L’d Loudon’s Arrival.


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