George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Fairfax, 25 June 1757

To William Fairfax

[Fort Loudoun] June 25th 1757.

To Colo. Fairfax
Dr Sir,

Your favors of the 17th & 19th instant I have received. Captains Fairfax & Minor arrived here with their companies on tuesday last.1 The latter I have sent to Pattersons and Mendenhalls; small forts lying under the North-mountain and much exposed to the incursions of the Enemy.

The storm which threatned us with such formidable appearances is, in a manner, blown over. It arose in a great measure from a misunderstanding (in Captn Dagworthy) of the Indians, for want of a proper interpreter. The indians are nevertheless, unanimous in asserting that a large Body of French and Indians have marched from Fort Du Quesne; but without artillery; and that they pursued the Ray’s-town-road which leads very conveniently, to the three Colonies of Virginia, maryland and Pennsylvania.

I have for this reason, and because the enemy have already committed several depredations in this, as well as the neighbouring Colonies, since Sunday last, thought it expedient to detain what Militia have already arrived, a few days longer.

I do not think we have any occasion for more: and judge it necessary to apprize you thereof, knowing the Governor has ordered one-third of the Militia to repair to this place, that you may act as you shall see meet on this occasion, or ’till you may hear further from the Governor, to whom I wrote (on Tuesday last) an account of our subsequent intelligence.

Our Soldiers labour on the public works with great spirit and constancy, from monday morning ’till sunday night, notwithstanding there is a month’s pay due to them. We have no other assistance.

I have been exceedingly hurried of late, and still am so; which prevents my being explicit on the occurencies that have happened on this Quarter. Poor Spotswood, and a party that went towards du Quesne, with some cherokee indians are, I fear, lost! Lt Baker from the said place has brought 5 scalps, and a french officer, prisoner, after killing two others.

Kieruptica, a cherokee chief, is just come in with two scalps; which, according to his own account, he took within musket-shot of fort du Quesne. He is now permitted, by Mr Atkins, to go to Pennsylvania with Captn Croghan.2

Outossita came to town last night with 27 cherokee indians from his nation. and by him we learn, that a large party may soon be expected.3

These, I think, are the most material occurrencies.

I have been obliged to furnish your Militia with provisions and ammunition, but with a good deal of reluctance; as I was blamed for the like proceedings last year.4

I offer my compliments in the most affectionate manner, to the family at Belvoir. Yours,


LB, DLC:GW. Although GW carried on a regular correspondence with his friend and patron William Fairfax, as Fairfax’s letter to GW confirms, none of the receiver’s copies of the letters that GW wrote to Fairfax between the time GW became colonel of the Virginia Regiment in September 1755 until Fairfax’s death in September 1757 have been found. Furthermore, this is the only letter written to Fairfax during the two years that appears in GW’s letter book. One letter that GW wrote to Fairfax in 1754 and three that he wrote April-June 1755 are printed in volume 1 of Papers, Colonial Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series. 10 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1983–95. description ends . GW wrote William Peachey, 18 Sept. 1757, that he kept “no copies of Epistles to my friends.”

1“Tuesday last” was 21 June.

2See William Fairfax to GW, 22 Mar. 1757, n.2, George Mercer to GW, 24 April 1757, and GW to Dinwiddie, 10 June 1757, n.1, for references to Kieruptica and to the party of Cherokee that went to Pennsylvania with George Croghan.

3On 16 June 1757 Dinwiddie wrote Edmond Atkin that “a Party of 30 Indians under the Direction of Outassitie [Otacite Ostenaco], who have been 2 Days here, & very troublesome & avaritious, they come to Winchester to go out to fight the Enemy” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). See also Dinwiddie’s letter of 16 June to GW.

4In his Memorandum respecting the Militia, 13 May 1756, GW wrote: “Many complaints from the Officer’s of Militia abt the insufficiency of the allowance of Provisions for their Men . . . obligd me to order the Com[missar]y to deliver the Officer’s allowance to the Private Men,” but even this proved insufficient to satisfy the militiamen.

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