George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Fairfax, 26 July 1755

From William Fairfax

Belvoir. 26. July 1755

Dear Sir

Your safe Return gives an uncommon Joy to Us and will no Doubt be sympathiz’d by all true Lovers of Heroick Virtue. From our first inexpressible affecting Intelligence by Colo. Innes of the total Defeat of our Forces,1 Genl Braddock and many Officers killd, the whole Artillery taken, We have been in torturing Suspence, Each One for their best belovd. Now You are by a kind Providence preserv’d and returnd to Us, We can say the Catastrophy might have been worse. You kindly invite Us over, rightly judging our Curiosity wants to be informd of some particulars yet unacquainted with, And if a Satturday Night’s Rest cannot be sufficient to enable your Coming hither to Morrow, the Ladys will try to get Horses to equip our Chair or attempt their Strength on Foot to Salute You so desirous are They with loving Speed to have an ocular Demonstration of your being the same Identical Gentn that lately departed to defend his Country’s Cause.2

Mr Carlyle rec’d a Letter yesterday from G. Fx, at Winchester after his Return from Will’s’s Creek, expressing his Concern for missing You and accounting that He staid there to meet Lord Fx in Order to consult on the necessary Measures to be taken by the Militia,3 as Colo. Dunbar Seems to intend Marching, its supposd, to Philadelphia or &c. Yrs affecty

W: Fairfax


1Much of the colony received first news of Braddock’s defeat from a brief letter that James Innes sent out from Fort Cumberland on 11 July addressed “To all to whom this may Concern” (Md. Archives description begins Archives of Maryland. 72 vols. Baltimore, 1883–1972. description ends , 31 : 70). See GW to Robert Jackson, 2 Aug. 1755, n. 1.

2GW arrived at Mount Vernon on this day, a Saturday. See letter of this date from Sarah Fairfax et al.

3George William Fairfax, who had gone to Wills Creek looking for the two horses and plowman that the army took from him, was colonel of the Frederick County militia, and Thomas, Lord Fairfax, was the county lieutenant. Dinwiddie had written to Lord Fairfax on 14 July, the day the first word of Braddock’s defeat reached Williamsburg, and requested that the Frederick and Hampshire militias be called out.

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