George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Robinson, 27 January 1756

From John Robinson

Janry 27. 1756

Dear Sir

I recd your Letter by Capt. Mercer and as the Sum he mentioned was more than I cared to issue without the direction of the Com. I went the next day to Wmsburgh and summoned a Com. tho. I could not get one to meet before friday, when they directed me to send you £3000—which I have now done by Capt. Mercer, I could not possibly dispatch him sooner, as there were no large Bills ready for me [to] sign, but I hope his delay will be of no prejudice to you.1 I am very sorry to hear of the very odd situation you are at present in, and tho’ I have at present very little Interest at Court, I waited on the Govr the night I got to Town to acquaint him of your desire to wait upon the General to sollicit the Affair in person, he told me he had recd a Letter from you to the same Purpose, and as there would be a Council the next day he would take their Advice upon it, and I have heard that it was agreed you should go, of which I suppose he will inform you himself, tho’ I am afraid your Journey wont answer your Expectation, as the Govr said he had received a Letter from the Genl wherein he acquainted him that he had left the Matter to be settled by Mr Sharpe, and he further in discourse let fall some Expressions as if Govr Sharpe would have the Command of the Forces, however I heartily wish my Fears may be groundless, and that you may in this and every other undertaking meet with the desired Success.2 I mentioned to the Com. what you said about the Officers being paid what was due to them from the Men that were dead killed or deserted out of the Arrears that were due to them, but they were of Opinion that the Officers ought to lay their Accts before them, and indeed seemed to think that as the Officers had received full pay for their Companies when they were seldom compleat, they would be made amends by it for any loss they had sustained by the others, Mr Finney producd an Acct to the Committee for some pay advanced to several of the men, but was to⟨ld⟩ and directed to send their Receipts that it might be stoped out of the Arrears of such that are in the Service, as to any other Matters that were agreed on Capt. Mercer can acquaint you with them and therefore I shall not trouble you any further about them.

I have inclosed a letter for my Bror in New York3 which I hope you will take the trouble of delivering yourself, I am with my unfeigned Wishes for your health and Prosperity Dr Sir Your Sincere Freind & Servt

John Robinson


1GW’s letter to Robinson, probably written on 13 or 14 Jan., has not been found. GW sent his aide, Capt. George Mercer, to Treasurer Robinson at his place, Mount Pleasant, on the Mattaponi River to give an accounting of how GW’s military chest of £10,000 had been spent and to get more money for the Virginia Regiment. See GW to Dinwiddie, 13 Jan. 1756. Robinson was chairman of the committee appointed in Aug. 1755 to supervise the expenditure of £40,000 for defense.

2The minutes of the meeting of the colonial council on 24 Jan., or shortly before, in which Dinwiddie and his council discussed Gen. William Shirley’s letter of 30 Dec. 1755 and GW’s request for permission to go to Boston to see Shirley, have been lost. Shirley enclosed in his letters of 30 Dec. to Dinwiddie and to other colonial governors a plan for dealing with the southern Indians (“Measures Proposed by William Shirley for the Western Governments,” in Lincoln, Shirley Correspondence description begins Charles Henry Lincoln, ed. Correspondence of William Shirley: Governor of Massachusetts and Military Commander in America, 1731-1760. 2 vols. New York, 1912. description ends , 2:364–66) and the minutes of the council of war held in New York, 12–13 Dec. 1755 (Md. Archives description begins Archives of Maryland. 72 vols. Baltimore, 1883–1972. description ends , 31:92). It seems that Shirley alluded to the Dagworthy “situation” in the letter to Dinwiddie of 30 Dec. as well as in his preceding letter to Dinwiddie of 4 Dec. 1755. In reference to the earlier letter, Dinwiddie observed that “you [Shirley] say Govr Sharpe is to write Capt. Dagworth to remove the Difficulties now subsistg between Washington & him in respect to Rank” (2 Jan. 1756, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). For the allusion to Dagworthy in the second letter, see Shirley to Horatio Sharpe, 30 Dec. 1755, n.1, in Lincoln, Shirley Correspondence description begins Charles Henry Lincoln, ed. Correspondence of William Shirley: Governor of Massachusetts and Military Commander in America, 1731-1760. 2 vols. New York, 1912. description ends , 2:370–72. That Shirley did instruct Sharpe to settle the Dagworthy matter is confirmed in his letter to Sharpe on 5 Mar. 1756 (in which he enclosed the extract of Dinwiddie’s letter of 24 Jan. that GW had brought to him): “You [Sharpe] was pleased to assure me at New York [in Dec. 1755] that you would send such Orders to Capt Dagworthy as would put an end to this dispute and afterwards that you had actually done it” (Browne, Sharpe Correspondence description begins William Hand Browne, ed. Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe. 3 vols. Archives of Maryland, vols. 6, 9, and 14. Baltimore, 1888–95. description ends , 1:347–48).

3GW saw Beverley Robinson in New York both on his way up to Boston in February and on his way back from there in March, and he may have stayed in Robinson’s house on both occasions.

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