George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Robinson, 15 September 1754

From John Robinson

Septr 15th 1754


I have the pleasure to acquaint You that the House of Burgesses have taken particular Notice of the Bravery of Yourself, and the rest of the Officers and Soldiers under your command, in the gallant Defense of your Country, and have ordered me to return you their Thanks for it, which I cant do better than by transcribing the Order. “Ordered, That the Thanks of this House be given to Colo. George Washington, Captn Mackay of his Majesty’s independent Company, and the Officers under his Command;1 Major Adam Stephens, Captns Robert Stobo, Peter Hog,2 Andrew Lewis, George Mercer; Lieutenants Thomas Waggener, William Polson, John Savage[,]3 James Towers; Ensigns William Bronough,4 John Mercer[,]5 William Peyronie, and James Craig,6 for their late gallant and brave Behaviour in the Defense of their Country; and That the Speaker be desired to acquaint him of the same, to desire him to inform the other Gentlemen of it, and to communicate to the Soldiers the just Sense this House have of their Bravery also.” I heartily wish you Success in all your Undertakings and am Sir Your Most Obedient Servant

John Robinson

ALS, DLC:GW. Although the word “copy” appears at the end of the letter, this document is in Robinson’s hand, and was certainly given to GW after his arrival in Williamsburg on 21 Oct. It is addressed “To Colo. George Washington”; docketed “recd at Wmsburg 23d of Octr.”; and endorsed: “from the Honble Jno. Robinson esqr 15th Sepr 1754. Inclosing an answer and an address in return for one recd from the House of Burgesses.” The phrase beginning “Inclosing an answer” indicates that GW filed this with his own “answer” (GW to Robinson, 23 Oct. 1754) and his address (GW to Speaker John Robinson and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses, Oct. 1754). The address that GW “recd from the House of Burgesses” was approved on 30 Aug. 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).

1Two officers were purposely omitted: George Muse, for alleged cowardice, and Jacob Van Braam, suspected of duplicity in translating the articles of capitulation. See “The Capitulation of Fort Necessity,” 3 July 1754.

2Peter Hog’s date of rank, 9 Mar. 1754, made him the senior captain in the Virginia Regiment after it was formed. He was at Fort Necessity at the capitulation. In the summer of 1755 he commanded a detachment guarding the workmen building Braddock’s road from Wills Creek. In Sept. 1755 after Braddock’s defeat GW sent Hog to take command of Andrew Lewis’s company of the Virginia Regiment at Fort Dinwiddie in Augusta County, where Hog settled after leaving the regiment in 1757.

3Lt. John Savage, who was with GW at Fort Necessity, served with the Virginia forces until 1756. He did not see action in the Braddock expedition, but he was one of the lieutenants who was promoted to captain after GW took command of the new Virginia Regiment in Sept. 1755.

4William Bronaugh, a first cousin of George Mason, held the rank of ensign at Fort Necessity and after the capitulation was given the rank of lieutenant, dated 20 July 1754. He took part as a lieutenant in Braddock’s expedition and served as a captain in GW’s Virginia Regiment from Sept. 1755 until the summer of 1757.

5John Fenton Mercer (1735–1756), a son of John Mercer (1704–1768) of Marlborough, was commissioned third ensign in the Virginia Regiment effective 26 Mar. 1754. He was the ensign in Andrew Lewis’s company in late June 1754 but gave the company report for Jacob Van Braam’s company following the Fort Necessity capitulation. He was promoted to lieutenant effective 21 July 1754, and he became a captain in Sept. 1755 in the new Virginia Regiment. In Jan. 1756 he was in command of the 8th company of the regiment and was killed in April 1756 while leading his company in a skirmish with Indians.

6James Craik (c.1730–1814), a Scot, entered the Virginia Regiment as a surgeon in Mar. 1754 and held the rank of lieutenant from July 1754, after the defeat at Fort Necessity, until the regiment was disbanded in 1762. He and GW remained friends until GW’s death.

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