George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Livingston, 14 June 1757

From James Livingston

Fort Cumberland [Md.] 14th June 1756 [1757]
6 at night


I am desird by Capt. Dagworthy to accquaint you that their is a great body of the Enemy one their way too these frontiers where they intend is not Certain the Intellegince Comes from 6 of Capt. Spotswoods party that arrivd hear about 3 oClock this afternon, Says Capt. Spotswood left them 10 days ago these 6 Seprated themselfs from the Rest and went to Fort De Quisnie where they Stay’d Some days and saw the preparations making for the march.1 but Wanting provisions Was forc’d to Come of to Some Distance to fire their Guns as their was none to be got by their arrows, they heard a great gun fire’d near where the Battle of mononghela was fought which they had Cros’d the Ground 10th Instant and desires all their Brothers to Come as Soon as possible to their assistance[.] Liut. Baker marcht this day at 11 oClock with all the Indians only 2 left with the Swallows Son which I’m afraid will die, Ive wrote to Mr Baker to Detain them at pearshalls untill they hear from you but am afraid it will not be in his power as they are fully bent to Se the Great man that is Come from King George and Expects presents they Stay’d but 4 hours after the letter was Explain’d to them2 Capt. Dagworthy would have wrote to you but being busey in writing to Colol Stanwix and their Govr had no time3 you will Excuse my hurry as we are in great perpexilty hear at fort Cm. I am yr Humbe Servt

James Livingston

P.S. Since my writing they have made us Sensible that they Were one their march with a nomber of Wheel Carridges and men in inumberabl and had marcht 2 days befor they Quit the mononghela waters they furture Say they Saw them Cross the Said River and Guns Greater then any at this fort youll observe this is Indian news which I Realey belive to be true not a white men Come in yt and furture Says they found a Stocking belonging to one white man which Caus⟨es⟩ Suspition hear the whole is Cut of ⟨Keenifftikee⟩ is not come in ⟨with five⟩ men which is expected hourly. Capt. Dagworthy desires ⟨you will send⟩ ane Express to Coll Stanw⟨ix and Governor Sharpe⟩ in Case the Express may ⟨be taken he has⟩ Sent, further the Six that ⟨Came in three of them is⟩ wounded and one of them ⟨was killed being seven in⟩ nomber when they Seprated ⟨from Captain Spotswood by a Party of French⟩ Indians near the bear Ca⟨mp they stayed ’till dark⟩ and went back for their Baggage and Came in 4 Days from the French Fort they are momenty giving fresh Intelegince therefor must Conclud with this Confus’d Paragraph.4


a Safe Delivarence never was in Greater Jeopardy no men no provision &c. this is the Cry of This Garrison this is the second Express This Man has been sent and no pay for it vzt when Trent Came in and the Catabaw Indian5 the next Colol I belive may be from Montreal for never Such a Set was Collected as We have to defend a Garrison for my part I am Easey if Indians I must fight but if french as long as Wee can but am afraid the Great Guns wont be Loaded a second time by us.

ALS, DLC:GW. The ALS is torn; the missing words supplied in angle brackets were taken from the copy of the letter in Browne, Proceedings of Md. Council, 1753–1761 description begins William Hand Browne, ed. “Correspondence of Gov. Horatio Sharpe, 1754–1765.” In Archives of Maryland, vol. 31 (Baltimore, 1911): 469-572. description ends , 227–28.

1GW reported to Dinwiddie on 10 June that Capt. Robert Spotswood had gone out with ten soldiers and twenty Indians “toward Fort Du Quesne.” On 10 July 1757 GW wrote John Robinson that three men from Spotswood’s party had come in after being attacked by Indians. Spotswood never returned.

4Bear Camp was about twenty-one miles beyond Fort Cumberland on the road to Fort Duquesne.

5William Trent, the Pennsylvania frontiersman, was at Fort Cumberland and subsequently at Winchester in June 1757. He wrote the following letter from Winchester on 16 June 1757 to William Cox (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , Col. Rec., 7:601):

“Dear Sir:

“By an Express arrived here last Night, from Captn. Dagworthy, at Fort Cumberland, we learn that Six Cherokees were arrived there, who report that they lay about Fort Duquense some Days, where they saw a large Body of French and Indians, and a great Number of Carriages & Horses. That they were obliged to go a Distance from there in order to hunt, as they were afraid to shoot nigh the Fort, and cou’d get Nothing to kill with their Bows and Arrows. After they had got some Provisions, they returned to the Fort, where they stayed till they see them set off, and dogged them till they crossed the Monongehela, at the Place where General Braddock was defeated; then they sent off these Cherokees with the News, and the rest of the Party follow’d them, in order to send Intelligence, from Time to Time, of their Motions. The Virginians, in these Parts, have not above 230 Soldiers. Colonel Washington is sending off to raise the Militia. There is about 80 Indians in these Parts. A Party of Cherokees fell in with Ten french Men, killed & took Six, Four of which were Commissioned Officers; One Officer, the only Prisoner they saved, is expected in Town to Night; The Swallow Warrior was killed, & his Son wounded, which was the reason of their killing the Prisoners. Tis said the French Army consists of Two Thousand. In haste, I am, Dear Sir, Your most humble Servant.

William Trent.”

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