George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Daniel Campbell, 28 June 1754

From Daniel Campbell

Falmo. 28 June 1754

Dr Sir

I was agreeably favour’d with yours of 31st March last1 & would have wrote you sooner but was prevented for want of a proper opporty; I have since had the pleasure of Seeing the Bearer Mr Splittdorff with the fruits of your Victory over the French, the Sight of whom gave me & your other friends such satisfaction as is only felt by those who have hearts full of Mutual affection & friendship.2 In this affair of the Skirmish the world hereabouts with whom I am conversant talks of you as I would have them, & I hope this is only a prelude to your further Conquests. I am very certain that you have grander & more beneficial Objects in view than sitting down to read & write Letters of no importance to the Publick, but if you knew what pleasure I receive by hearing of your Circumstances & welfare you would steall a little time, if it was no more than to say you are well &c., But I hope you are not so much pinch’d for time but that you can enter on particulars, which I would now do to you but nothing remarkable or worth your ear has happen’d here. The converted Brethren whom you justly Stile so, have answer’d that Character, & nothing reigns but peace & harmony of which I wish the Continuance;3 On the first Saturday of this month (Our Lodge Day) Coln. John Thorton was unanimously voted to the Chair, as was Dr Halkerston to the Senior Wardenship & Mr Wm McWilliams to the Junior, Mr James Strachan Treasurer & Mr Jas McKittrick Secretary.4 I intend (God Willing) Shortly for Scotland which I hope will not break our Correspondance for we can at least have an intercourse by letters yearly & I shall take care to write you from thence, as you may to me Via Falmouth.5 Your Mother &c. whom I frequently see are well, very lately I had the honour to dance with her, when your health was not forgot, Mr Splittdorff waits on her this Evening for her commands to you.6 I sincerely thank you for the countenance you shew’d Angus McDonald on my Account. I have been lately surpris’d with a story that he was Shot for stricking one of his Officers, which I hope is false if not I pity his fate, & rather wish he had dyed as a Soldier in the field of Battle, If he is alive please desire him to write me under your Cover.7 I hear that there are 270 Men at Alexandria of New York & Carolina forces which are to Join you soon, This day Mr Innis (who I hear is to have the command in Room of Colnl Fry) passed through this town in his way to you, as did also two of the French deserters in their way to Williamsburgh, five more are Expected to Morrow.8 I expect you’ll embrace the first convenient opporty of writting me either by Winchester or Alexandria & if you have time be particular as to your own & the French Circumstances; Mr Alexr Wodrow9 & your Falmo. friends desire to be remembred to you. With such wishes as you would desire from the sincerest friend & Brother I am Dr Sr Your affectt & Hue Servt

Daniel Campbell

PS Make my Complts to Messrs Vanbraam, Stephens, Mercer & Stobo.


1The letter has not been found.

2Carolus Gustavus de Spiltdorf had helped conduct the French prisoners taken in the Jumonville skirmish to Dinwiddie and was returning to GW, with whom he had been serving as a volunteer. See GW’s first letter to Dinwiddie, 29 May 1754, n.19.

3Apparently there had been some controversy within the Fredericksburg Masonic Lodge. There were at least four separate elections of officers in 1753.

4The Masonic Lodge of Fredericksburg was active by 1752, but it did not get its charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland until 1758. The newly elected Master of the Fredericksburg lodge in 1754, Col. John Thornton (d. 1777), succeeded Daniel Campbell. Thornton lived near Fredericksburg and represented Spotsylvania County in the House of Burgesses. One of his daughters later married GW’s younger brother Samuel Washington. Robert Halkerston was a physician in Fredericksburg who later moved to Charles County, Md. William McWilliams, Sr., was a founding member of the Fredericksburg lodge. James Strachan became senior warden in 1755 and was named treasurer in the charter from Scotland in 1758. He lived in Fredericksburg and was married to GW’s mother’s half sister Elizabeth Johnson Bonum Strachan. James McKittrick became a member of the lodge in Nov. 1753. GW entered the lodge in Fredericksburg as an apprentice in Nov. 1752, passed Fellowcraft in Mar. 1753, and was raised to Master Mason on 4 Aug. 1753.

5Falmouth was founded on the north bank of the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg. It was in King George County and, after 1776, in Stafford County.

6Mary Ball Washington lived on the Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg. Though the farm was GW’s major inheritance from his father when he came of age in 1753, his mother continued to live there until GW bought her a house in Fredericksburg in 1772.

7Angus McDonald (c.1727–1778) came to Virginia from Scotland and lived for a time in Falmouth. He enlisted as a private in the Virginia Regiment on 4 Mar. 1754 and was present at the Battle of Great Meadows. He thereafter settled in Winchester where he became a vestryman, a lieutenant colonel in the county militia, and in 1775 the sheriff of Frederick County. He led an expedition against the Shawnee in Dunmore’s War in 1774. On 16 Mar. 1777 GW offered McDonald a lieutenant colonel’s commission in the Continental Army, which Adam Stephen urged him to accept, but he declined the offer on 20 April.

8Campbell is undoubtedly referring to the group of nine deserters from Fort Duquesne who showed up near GW’s camp on 12 June. See GW to Dinwiddie, 10 June 1754, n. 14.

9Alexander Wodrow (c.1733–1777) was a merchant in Falmouth. He was also GW’s fellow Mason in the Fredericksburg lodge and served as a sutler with Virginia troops during the French and Indian War.

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