George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Landon Carter, 7 October 1755

From Landon Carter

Octor 7. 1755.

Dr Sir

Captain Peachey calling to give me the Compliment of his departure gives me opportunity of acknowledging the obligation you laid on me in the favour by Mr Brockenbrough.1 And you must give me leave to encrease the debt by a further recommendation of Mr Peachey From experience I say his Merit has intitled him to every respect I can shew him and I shall forever acknowlege myself mistaken if he does not in every matter committed to his Care distinguish himself by a Close attachment to your example Calmness, Diligence & Resolution Perhaps I shall not transgress if in my Expectations I say he will even oblige others to confess that every Countenance shewn him is but a consequence of what he will deserve But it is time to let him speak for himself by his behaviour.2 And now Dear Colo. let me exhort you to tread the same Path that you first cut out to your own Glory that your Country may in the end feel the good effects that she promises her self from your Singular Virtues & Fortune.

Shall I recommend to you the outmost Caution never to depend on a fancy’d security nor trust too far to the information of those who may be benefitted by deception.3 And always in your Leizure hours regard the inward Man for in Very Deed the Hand of the Lord bringeth mighty Things to Pass. I am Sr Yr hearty Well wisher & Most humble Servt

Landon Carter

P.S. Let Colo. Stephen know that I will shortly pay my debt to him for his kind Letters.


1Five letters from Landon Carter to GW, all written between 25 Sept. 1755 and the end of April in 1756, have survived. GW is known to have written Carter at least twice during these months, though no letter dated before 1776 has been found. GW probably sent the letter Carter refers to here by a young neighbor of Carter’s, Austin Brockenbrough, when Brockenbrough left Williamsburg to go recruiting after the Virginia Regiment was formed on 3 Sept.

2See GW to William Peachey, 11 Sept. 1755, for GW’s orders to Peachey and for a summary of his career.

3The “information of those who may be benefitted by deception” is perhaps an allusion to GW’s reliance on Jacob Van Braam to interpret the articles of surrender at Fort Necessity. See “The Capitulation of Fort Necessity,” 3 July 1754, Document I, n.4, Document II, n.1, Document III, n.2. In Aug. 1754 Landon Carter confided to his diary that Van Braam “was himself the only unpardonable blunder that Washington made by making a Confidant of him, for . . . when the French called for this Rascal, he went and brought terms of Capitulation, which he deceived the Colo. in, for he read them quite different in English from what they were in French” (Greene, Landon Carter Diary description begins Jack P. Greene, ed. The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter of Sabine Hall, 1752–1778. 2 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1965. description ends , 1:111).

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