George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William La Péronie, 5 September 1754

From William La Péronie

[Williamsburg] September 5 1754


As I imagine you By this time, plung’d in the midst of dellight heaven can aford: & enchanted By Charms even stranger to the Ciprian Dame1 I thought it would Contribue a litle to the variety of yours amusement to Send you few lines to peruse.

I shan’t make Bold to describe the procedings of the house, which no doute you have had already some hint of.2 I only will make use of these three expresion related to those of the oracle: furtim venerunt/ invane Sederunt/ & perturbate Redierunt.3

But all that is matere of indifference to the wirginia Regiment Collo. Wasington will still Remain att the head of it, and I spect with more esplendour than ever: for (as I hope) notwistanding we will Be on the British stabichment, we shall be augmanted to Six houndred & by those means entitle you to the Name not only of protector of your Contry But to that of the flower of the wirginians, By the pouvers you’ll have in your hands to prove it So.4

Many enquired to me about Muses Braveries; poor Body I had pity him ha’nt he had the weakness to Confes his Coardise him Self, & the inpudence to taxe all the reste of the oficiers withoud exeption of the same imperfection.5 for he said to many of the Cousulars and Burgeses that he was Bad But th’ the reste was as Bad as he.

To speak francly had I been in town at the time I Cou’nt help’d to make use of my horse’s wheup for to vindicate the injury of that vilain.

he Contrived his Business so that several ask me if it was true that he had Challang’d you to fight: my answer was no other But that he Should rather chuse to go to hell than doing of it. for had he had such thing declar’d: that was his Sure Road—I have made my particular Business to tray if any had some Bad intention against you here Below: But thank God I meet allowais with a goad wish for you from evry mouth each one entertining such Caracter of you as I have the honnour to do my Self who am the Most humble And Obediant of yours Servants

Le Chevalier De Peyrouny

His honour the Governor did Grand me the Capt. Comission after having being recomand to him from the house of Burgess and parlament6 and you Sir to whom I am infinitly oblig’d[.]7 If th’ was your pleasure I Should stay some few dais more here below I should take it as a great favour not beeng yet well recoverd from my wond I beg’d it already from the governor which granted. I hope the same indulgence from you when you’ll be please to send me your orders my adress is at williamsburg at Mr finis.8


1This is presumably a reference to Aphrodite (Venus), worshiped by ancient Cyprians as the goddess of love. The term was used in the eighteenth century to denote a licentious person, more specifically a prostitute. After “Dame” there is a plus sign surrounded by dots which refers to his marginal note: “M’s Nel.”

2William Fairfax wrote to him on this date about the recalcitrance of the House of Burgesses. See also Fairfax’s letter of 5 Sept., nn.2, 5.

3“They came furtively, they sat idly, they departed in confusion.”

4On 6 Sept., following his proroguing of the assembly in which the supply bill died, Dinwiddie wrote Horatio Sharpe: “I fully intendd to Augmt our regimt to eight Compas of 70 Men each, which with Officers want’d, w’d have made 600 Men” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers).

5For the actions of George Muse, GW’s second in command at the Battle of Fort Necessity, see Dinwiddie to GW, 3 Aug. 1754, n.4.

7See Robert Dinwiddie to GW, 11 Sept. 1754; JHB, 1752–1755, 1756–1758 description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 198, 199; and GW to Dinwiddie, 20 Aug. 1754.

8This was probably Alexander Finnie (d. 1769), a wigmaker and tavern keeper in Williamsburg. When GW was in Williamsburg in Oct. 1754, he usually dined at “Finnies” (Ledger A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 10, DLC:GW).

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