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French and Indian War

George Washington to Robert Stewart, August 13, 1763

extracted from

The Writings of George Washington, Volume II, by Jared Sparks
(Boston: Charles Tappan, 1846), pages 339-341


To Robert Stewart.
Mount Vernon, 13 August, 1763

My Dear Stewart,

By Captain Walter Stewart 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 one, which was in readiness before that came to hand, and which I incline to send, notwithstanding the original has reached you, because it contains the second bills, and other matters entire as they ought to have been sent, and as I dare say Mr. Stewart will be so good as to deliver them.

Another tempest has arisen upon our frontiers, and the alarm spread wider than ever. In short, the inhabitants are so apprehensive of danger, that no families remain above the Conococheague road, and many are gone below it. Their harvests are in a manner lost, and the distresses of the settlement are evident and manifold. In Augusta many people have been killed, and numbers fled. 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 proof of their assembling a force somewhere, and for some particular pupose, and none more likely than to oppose his march.

It was expected, that our Assembly would have been called, in such exigences as these; but it is concluded, as I have been informed, that an Assembly without money would be no eligible plan. To comprehend the meaning of this expression you must know, that 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 and other counties, 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, 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 the affair will 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.


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