George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Landon Carter, 26 February 1756

From Landon Carter

Feby 26. 1756


The Bearer Mr John Lawson having heard of nothing to discourage his Military inclination now comes to put himself in the Situation of a Cadet he is of a Family in Lancaster descended from the Steptoes by the mother side and I have told him that there are many waiting before him but as I learn there are three vacancys in the Company of Ensigns the number standing before him will be fewer[.] I have told him the duty of a Cadet is to take his turn on guard and no Wages allowd above a Common Man wch do not discourage him and as his charachter to me was pretty good I have ventured to recommand him to yo. and I shall be oblgd to yo. for yr Advice what it will be best for the Young man to do he has a little Patrimony and I have recommended great diligence, Circumspection & frugality to him & he has a Countenance that does not ill bespeak him.1 I am Yr most humble servt

Landon Carter


1After arriving with Landon Carter’s letter, John Lawson seems to have stayed on as a volunteer in the Virginia Regiment until Oct. 1756. Ens. Denis McCarty resigned his commission at that time, and GW promptly made Lawson an ensign. He was senior ensign in the regiment in June 1758 when Fauquier, on GW’s recommendation, promoted him to lieutenant to serve in Adam Stephen’s company. After surviving a case of smallpox at Raystown, Pa., that summer, Lawson continued with the regiment as a lieutenant until 1762. It was probably this John Lawson who at the outbreak of the Revolution commanded the Lancaster County militia and served as a member of its committee of safety and whose will was probated in that county in 1795. He was certainly related to two of Landon Carter’s overseers, Thomas and William Lawson.

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