George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 14 June 1755

To John Augustine Washington

[Martin’s Plantation, Md., 14 June 1755]

To Mr Jno. Auge WashingtonMount Vernon
Dear Jack Brother

I receivd Your’s of the 8th Instant from Fredericksburg,1 and am sorry to find that Allan is become importunate for a Debt of so short standing; but it is the way of the World, & therefore not to be wonderd at.2

I am pleasd to find that you have a prospect of settling thate affair with Patrick Kendrick, and shoud be very glad to hear you entertaind hopes of disrecovering my young Mare, as I had conceivd high expectation’s of her.3 My Negro’s Cloaths I hope you will take care to get in time, and employ Cleo’s leizure hour’s in makg them.4 I am exceedingerasure⟩ly5 rejoyc’d that Tobo is likely to keep up its price, and doubt not but you’ll endeavour to make the most of mine, & of every thing else I have entrusted to your care, as you know how necessary it is & what entireerasure⟩ confidence I repose in your managemt.

I receivd a Letter Yesterday from my Brothr Saml who desires a division of our deep run tract of Land this fall, which I6 am will be very agreeable to me and I shall abide by any settlement you shall make on my behalf.7 in this business.

As I have wrote to you twice since the first Inst.,8 I shall only add that the difficulty’s arising in our March from havg a number of Waggon’s, will, I fear, prove an insurmountable obstacle unless some scheme can be fallen upon to retrench the Waggon’s, & increase the back Loads no. of Bat Horses which is what I recommended at first, & I believe is now found to be the most salutary means of transporting our Provision’s & Stores to the Ohio.9 I am Dr Jack yr &ca Camp at George’s Creek 14th June 1755

P:S: I have been able to procure Townshend Washington a Comn to be assistant Comy with pay at 5/: Sterg pr Day10 and Anthony Strother a pair of Colour’s in Colo. Dunbars Regiment.11

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

Martin’s plantation, the location of Braddock’s second camp west of Fort Cumberland, was on a ridge near the upper reaches of Georges Creek overlooking the site of present-day Frostburg, Md. The army marched from Spendelow’s Camp on the morning of 13 June in the two brigades that Braddock had earlier designated. See GW’s Memorandum, 30 May–11 June 1755, n.7. Despite the measures approved by the Council of War on 11 June, it continued to encounter difficulties in covering the 5 or so miles of “excessively mountainous and rocky” road to Martin’s plantation (“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 , 333). The first brigade reached the camp that night, but the second one did not arrive until about 11 A.M. on 14 June. The remainder of that day was devoted to resting the men and horses.

1The letter has not been found.

2Allan may be the Fredericksburg joiner James Allan (1715–1799). See GW to George Fraser, 5 Dec. 1755, n.1.

3Patrick Kendrick, whose bond for £50 GW had held since sometime in 1754, partially discharged his obligation with an initial cash payment of £23 13s. 1d. on 15 Jan. 1755 and a second one of £6 7s. 9d. on 10 Feb. 1755. On 10 Feb. GW credited another £6 to his account for a young mare purchased from him 3 days earlier. Kendrick paid the balance of £13 19s. 2d. in cash to John Augustine Washington apparently about this time. See Ledger A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 14, 19, DLC:GW.

4“A Negro Woman calld Clio” was one of two slaves that GW bought at William Buckner’s sale in Caroline County on 9 Jan. 1755. She cost him £50 (ibid., 18).

5The original word may be “excessively.”

6GW apparently forgot to strike out “I,” which in the manuscript appears on a different line from “am.” The clerk omitted “I” when he recopied the document.

7The Deep Run Tract, which had been devised to GW and his brother Samuel in 1743 by their father, Augustine Washington, consisted of approximately 2,400 acres of land lying near the fork of Deep Run and Green Branch, about 15 miles northwest of Fredericksburg. The tract was soon divided as agreed, without GW being present, and Samuel Washington subsequently sold his part of the land to Lawrence Washington of Chotank. GW gave his part in Aug. 1796 to his nephew Robert Lewis, who after inspecting the land wrote GW on 4 Dec. 1796: “I am well convinced . . . that fair play has not been exercised in the division in regard to you.” The area that had been allotted to GW, he reported, was much the inferior part of the tract in its quality, a circumstance that apparently was more disturbing to Lewis as the new owner than to GW who had neglected the land for more than 40 years. Lewis’s letter is owned by William Claiborne Buckner, Kansas City, Mo.

8Only the letter of 7 June 1755 has been found.

9Bathorses were packhorses that carried officers’ baggage in the field or, when circumstances required it, provisions, ammunition, and other military supplies. For Braddock’s previous attempts to reduce the number of wagons in his column and to make use of the officers’ bathorses, see GW Memorandum, 30 May–11 June 1755, n.13. The line of march was not again altered until 17 June when the army was camped at Little Meadows. See GW to John Augustine Washington, 28 June–2 July 1755, particularly notes 8 and 14.

10Townshend Washington (b. 1736) was a son of Townshend Washington (1705–c.1744) of Greenhill on Chotank Creek in Stafford (now King George) County. The position to which he was appointed was apparently that of assistant to Braddock’s commissary general Robert Leake.

11Anthony Strother (1736–1790) was a son of Anthony Strother (1710–1765) of Fredericksburg. “A pair of Colour’s” was the term for an ensign’s commission. GW was apparently allowed by Braddock to recommend “Young Gentlemen of his acq[uaintanc]e” for some of the eight ensigncies that it had been found necessary to add to the normal complement of officers in the 44th and 48th regiments (GW Biographical Memorandum, Oct. 1786, ViMtvL photostat). “The Nature of the Country,” Braddock explained to Robert Napier on 19 April 1755, “made this Step unavoidable as I am oblig’d to make a Number of small Detachments with every one of which the Service requires an Officer, and without this Expedient the Regiments must have sometimes been left without a Sufficient Number of Subalterns” (Pargellis, Military Affairs in North America description begins Stanley Pargellis, ed. Military Affairs in North America, 1748–1765: Selected Documents from the Cumberland Papers in Windsor Castle. 1936. Reprint. Hamden, Conn., 1969. description ends , 81–84). The extra ensigns were to serve without pay until vacancies occurred among the regularly allotted ensigns.

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