George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George William Fairfax, 7 June 1755

To George William Fairfax

[Fort Cumberland, Md., 7 June 1755]

To George Wm Fairfax Esqr.Belvoir1

I had not the pleasure of receiving your favour till after my return from Williamsburg, when it was not in my power to be so serviceable in the affair of your Horses as I coud have wish’d; for they were sent out with a Detachment of 500 Men a few days before. I made immediate enquiry, and application for them; and believe I shall be able, notwithstanding our gt want of Horses, to procure their liberty when we come up with the Detachment; but when that will be, or in what order you may receive them, I cant absolutely not say; for w We are informd they have killd some of their Horses outright, and disabled other’s, for which Reason I think it woud be too great much to expect that your’s will escape the Calamitys that befall those of other’s not partake in these sufferings:2 They are appraisd (as I saw by one of the Waggon Master’s Books)3 to £16 the two; which with your Servant Simpson, is all that I can understand is here, belonging to you.

As I have taken embraced this oppertunity of writing to Colo. Fairfax,4 and being just at this time a am a good deal hurried, which prevents me from enlargeing so fully as I otherwise would, I shall beg to I shall not enlarge but shall refer you to him for what little News is stirring in the Camp. Please to make my Compliments to all Friends who think me worthy of their enquireys. I am Sir Yr most Obedt & most Hble

Go: W——n

LB (original), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

1George William Fairfax probably left Williamsburg during the 3–week recess from 2 to 24 June which the House of Burgesses was obliged to take because of Speaker John Robinson’s attendance on his gravely ill wife. Fairfax may have spent some time at Belvoir before going on to Fort Cumberland. See William Fairfax to GW, 28 June 1755, n.4.

2George William Fairfax’s letter to GW has not been found, but it clearly was written to enlist GW’s aid in recovering two horses belonging to Fairfax. The horses had been impressed for the army, as had his plowman Simpson. See William Fairfax to GW, 28 June 1755. GW returned to Fort Cumberland from Williamsburg on 30 May, the day after Sir John St. Clair’s advanced party left the fort for the Little Meadows. See GW Memorandum, 30 May–11 June 1755, n.3. See also GW to John Augustine Washington, 28 June–2 July 1755, written from the Great Crossing of the Youghiogheny, in which GW reported that he could find neither Fairfax’s horses nor his plowman.

3To maintain control of the wagons as well as of the horses that had to be released daily to graze in the surrounding woodlands, Braddock “appointed a waggon Master General, and under him waggon masters over every forty waggons; and horse Masters over every hundred horses, and also a drover to every seven horses; the waggon and horse masters with the drovers were to go into the woods with their respective divisions, to muster their horses every night and morning and to make a daily report to the waggon master General, who was to report to the General” (“Captain Orme’s Journal,” in Sargent, Braddock’s Expedition description begins Winthrop Sargent, ed. The History of an Expedition against Fort Du Quesne, in 1755; under Major-General Edward Braddock, Generalissimo of H.B.M. Forces in America. Philadelphia, 1856. description ends , 314).

5The dateline is written entirely in GW’s later hand.

Index Entries