George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Bryan Fairfax, 24 June 1754

From Bryan Fairfax

Alexandria June 24th 1754

Dear Sir

The agreeable and long wished for News of the detachments under the Command of Major Muse and Capt. McKay having joined you in time to prevent the Success of any Attacks from the french was very satisfactory to me; whose mind was continually alarmed with the Apprehensions of your being forced to another battle when unprepared for it.1

The Triton arrived here the 22d with the two Companies from New York, tho’ not compleat.2 And a fair Wind yesterday brought up a Schooner with 107 Men, belonging to the No. Carolina Regiment that are on their March.

My Sisters are not yet returned from below, but expected in ten Days.3 With best Respects to the whole Corps, and wishing you all imaginable Success I remain Yr assured friend and Very humble Servt

Bryan Fairfax


Bryan Fairfax (1736–1802) was the son of William and Deborah Clarke Fairfax of Belvoir. As a boy he lived for a time with his mother’s relatives in Salem, Mass. At the age of 18 he went to work briefly for an uncle who was a merchant in Barbados. He returned to Virginia in 1754 as a clerk for his brother-in-law John Carlyle of Alexandria. His father secured a commission for him in GW’s regiment in 1756, and he joined Capt. George Mercer’s company as a lieutenant in the summer of 1756 and served until he resigned in December. He later married Elizabeth Cary, sister of Sarah Cary Fairfax, and was GW’s lifelong friend and neighbor. In 1789 he was ordained an Episcopal priest, and in 1800 he became eighth Baron Fairfax of Cameron.

2Dinwiddie wrote Horatio Sharpe on 20 June 1754: “The two Independt Compas from N.Y. are gone up to Alexa in the King’s Ship Capt. Whitwell Commander” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers).

3Bryan Fairfax is probably referring to his unmarried sister Hannah Fairfax and his sister-in-law Sarah Cary Fairfax, wife of George William Fairfax of Belvoir. On 5 July 1754 William Fairfax wrote GW from Belvoir that “Mrs Fx, Miss Bety Cary & Miss Hannah returnd to Us last Sunday.”

Index Entries