George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Kirkpatrick, 14 August 1756

From John Kirkpatrick

Williamsbg Augt 14 1756


An opportunity offering to Fredericksbg I thought it requisite to Acquaint you of Our progress, & prospects of dispatch.

The Speaker was from home when we call’d—its Said on Courtship of Miss Chiswell1—and only came to town last night—today he proposes a Committee, but the uncertainty of Collecting a Sufficient Number is so great that I fancy this day Will Stand a Blank in Business—& then we can expect, he says, no Committee before Tuesday—However we must assume patience, and waite the Conveniency of the Grandees of Government.2

Nothing new here to inform you—Colo. Bird I am told has repudiated his Wife, who is now in a Dilirium for his Behaviour and is Resolved to make a Campaign under Lord Loudon—he has committed his Estate to the Charge of Some Friends, & Settled all wt. a design never to return to Virginia3—Monsr La Force had like to have escap’d but luckily catch’d4—Brookes was not to be found when I pass’d there, but desired Capt. Lewis to Consult him, & to advise You the result.5 I am in haste—Tho’ wt. great Esteem—&c. Sir. Your Very Obt & Hume Servt

Jno. Kirkpatrick


1Susanna Chiswell, daughter of Col. John Chiswell of Williamsburg, was shortly to become Speaker John Robinson’s third and last wife.

2The committee supervising the expenditures of public funds for the defense of the colony met and passed the accounts of the Virginia Regiment on Tuesday and Wednesday, 17 and 18 Aug. 1756. It was composed of ten leading members of the House of Burgesses, including Treasurer John Robinson, Atty. Gen. Peyton Randolph, and Charles Carter of Cleve. Any seven of these members, “with the consent and approbation of the governor or commander in chief of this dominion,” could act as the committee (7 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 9–25).

3Sometime after his return in April from his mission with Peter Randolph to the Cherokee, William Byrd III (1728–1777) sent his three oldest children (ages 7, 5, and 4) to live with relatives in England; put the management of his affairs in the hands of his business manager, three friends, and two brothers-in-law; and went off to join Loudoun in New York, leaving behind at Belvidere at the falls of the James River his wife Elizabeth Hill Carter Byrd and two babies. Byrd later succeeded GW as colonel of the 1st Virginia Regiment and was with the regiment in 1760 when his wife was killed by accident or died by her own hand.

5Brookes may have been Richard Brooke (died c.1792), a large landowner living near Fredericksburg, or possibly Bibby Broocke, a sergeant at this time assigned to Capt. William Peachey’s company.

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