George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Christopher Gist, 15 October 1755

From Christopher Gist

Opechon,1 Octr 15th 1755

Dear Sir

I got home last night af getting Business Settled with proper Certificates Recorded &c.

Colo. Dunbar with the Army took Shiping at Amboy 9 days this day for Albany and whither after I cannot tell2 Som people would Not be sorry ⟨if⟩ It was to heaven. Yor Name is more talked off in Pensylvenia then any Other person of the Army and every body Seems willing to Venture under your command and if you would Send Some descreet person doubt not but They will Inlist a good Nomber and Especially to be erigulars for all their Talk is of fighting in the Indian way. The Assembly of Pensylvenia is now Setting and will for a fornight Mr Franklin and Indeed Mr Peters both Told me if you was write pressing Letter to them informing them of the Damage and Murders and Desire their Assistance you would now get it Sooner then any one in Amerrica.3 I will do you All the Service in My Power if you have any business or Commands for me please to let Me know it as soon as possable[.] Ther is great Expectation that Genl Shirly will Send Me to Get the Cattawbees Indians for yr Assistance and perhaps Woods men and the Charokees in Spring[.]4 Should be glad you would be Quick in Dispatches for Pensylvenia as I Doubt not but it will Rase both Men and Money very quick[.] I have Told them you will want blankets Stockings and shoes for Winter as I knew the New rased Men Must be Naked. I would Come to you but have Noe cash to Carry Me any Where I am yr Well wisher and Most Humle Servt

Christr Gist


1For a description of Gist’s home, Opeckon, near the New Store, see William Trent to GW, 19 Feb. 1754, n.1.

2After Braddock’s defeat, Col. Thomas Dunbar marched to Philadelphia with two regiments and three independent companies and encamped on Society Hill from 29 Aug. until leaving with his army for New York on 1 Oct. Dunbar resigned command of the 48th Regiment in November in order to become lieutenant governor of Gibraltar. “This Climate,” he explained to Robert Napier in a letter written at Fort Cumberland 24 July 1755, “by no means Agrees with My time of Life and bad Constitution, I was willing to try and hoped I should be Able to go through all that came in My Way, but find it otherwise” (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 , 111). He held his post at Gibraltar until his death in 1767, becoming a major general in 1758 and a lieutenant general 2 years later.

3The newly elected Pennsylvania Assembly met on 14 Oct. and adjourned on 18 Oct. unaware that an Indian attack on settlers at Penn’s Creek on 16 Oct. had shattered Pennsylvania’s immunity from the raids that were throwing the Virginia and Maryland frontiers into a panic. Richard Peters (c.1704–1776) as provincial secretary superintended Indian affairs for Pennsylvania, and Benjamin Franklin had been the moving spirit in Pennsylvania’s assembly. Both men knew GW by reputation, but it is very unlikely that either had yet met him.

4It was Dinwiddie, not William Shirley, who took the initiative in seeking aid from the Catawba and Cherokee Indians. See especially Dinwiddie to GW, 14 Dec. 1755, and Dinwiddie to Shirley, 24 Jan. 1756, in Brock, Dinwiddie Papers description begins R. Alonzo Brock, ed. The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1751–1758. 2 vols. Richmond, 1883–84. description ends , 2:328–36.

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