From Philip Ludwell
Williamsburgh Augt 8 1755
I most heartily congratulate your safe return from so many Dangers & Fatigues & by this Time I hope you are well enough recovered to give us the pleasure of seeing you here which all your Friends are extremely desirous of.
The House has voted 1200 Men but it is very probable they will determine at last for 4000.1 In Conversation with the Govr about it, I said if this should be done, I supposed his Honour woud give the Command of them to Col: Washington for I thought he deserved every thing that his Country cou’d do for him. The Govr made a reply much in yr Favour; tho’ I understand there is anor warm Sollicitation for it; & if we coud be so happy as to have you here at this Time, & that it were known you were willing to take such a Command; I believe it woud greatly promote the Success of our Endeavours with the Assembly. Mine, as they have allways been, uniformly continue to procure for such eminent Merit the utmost Encouragement: for, Dear Colo: whilst I am serving so deserving a Man I think with pleasure that I am serving my Country as well as testifying the Sincerity with which I am Sir Your most Obedt Servt
Philip Ludwell (1716–1767) of James City County was a member of the governor’s council from 1751 to 1767. He stood well with the lieutenant governor, who in 1756 called him “an advocate . . . in supporting the Perogative of the Crown, and otherways a very sensible Gentleman and a worthy Member” (Dinwiddie to the Board of Trade [Feb.–April] 1756, P.R.O., C.O. 5/1328, f. 193). In July of the same year Dinwiddie and the council sent Ludwell to New York to congratulate the earl of Loudoun upon his appointment as governor of Virginia and commander in chief of the British forces in America.
1. Alarmed by the news of Braddock’s defeat, Dinwiddie called the Virginia General Assembly into session on 5 Aug. On 6 Aug. the members of the House of Burgesses, sitting as a committee of the whole, resolved to increase the colony’s forces to 1,200 men “for the Protection of our Frontiers” and to raise £40,000 for the men’s support (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 , 300). At the same time it voted to strengthen, by amendment, two militia acts (6 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 530–50). Most of the session was devoted to the enactment of these measures, to which the lieutenant governor gave his approval shortly before he prorogued the assembly on 23 Aug. The “Act for raising the sum of forty thousand pounds, for the protection of his majesty’s subjects on the frontiers of this colony” (6 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 521–30) provided for the issuing of £40,000 in treasury notes at 5 percent interest backed by annual taxes of 1s. per tithe and 1s. 3d. on 100 acres of land, to run through 1760. The notes were to be legal tender and to be redeemable on 30 June 1760. A committee of 15 was named to supervise expenditures, and the colonial treasurer, John Robinson, who was also chairman of the supervisory committee, was authorized to issue the notes on the committee’s demand. The act provided that militiamen could be drafted if a sufficient number of men did not enlist.