George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Dinwiddie, 8 August 1757

From Robert Dinwiddie

Williamsburg Augst 8th 1757


the Bearer hereof Sam. Akerling has desir’d my Leave to go to see his Brothers, near the Monongahely proposing to give Security with You of his return to be here in the Octr Court; as I am a Stranger to the Evidence against him on Suspicion of being a Spy, which he sincerely denies & begs to be tried, but that cannot be ’till Octr—wherefore I refer him to You, & if You have any favorable Circumstances in his Affair, I give You Leave to allow him to go to his Brothers, giving Security for his Return by the above Time; & then the Evidence against him must be collected & sent here.1

I have several Letters from Augusta, Halifax & Bedford, giving Acct that the Enemy has murder’d some2 of our poor People & taken 11 Captives, praying my Assistance—I have order’d out some Companies but wrote them You was to send a Detachment from the Regiment, which I hope You have done, if not, I desire You will immediately do it agreeable to what was concerted at Philada.3

I expected Mr Atkin before this—we are inform’d here that there has been a great Breach & Uneasiness among the Indians, from some of them being put in Prison, but as I have no Particulars of that Affair, I hope it’s without Foundation.

By Your long Silence it’s to be expected You are in great Peace & Quietness. I remain with Respect Sir Your mo. humble Servant.

Robt Dinwiddie

LS, DLC:GW; LB, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers. The letter-book copy is dated 9 Aug. 1757.

1“Sam. Akerling” is the Dunker (Dunkard) Samuel Eckerlin who came with his brother Israel Eckerlin to Virginia in the 1740s. Since 1755 they had lived with other Dunkers on the Cheat River to the west of Fort Cumberland. For Eckerlin’s subsequent dealings with GW and Dinwiddie, see GW to Dinwiddie, 5 Oct. 1757, Dinwiddie to GW, 24 Oct. 1757, Robert Stewart to Dinwiddie, 9 Nov. 1757, and Robert Stewart to GW, 24 Nov. 1757, and enclosure.

2The letter-book copy says “7.”

3Dinwiddie wrote to Clement Read on 3 Aug.: “Yr Letter of the 28th Uto I recd on Monday last, Im heartily sorry for the Information Yo. have of the Fre: & Indns invadg our Frontrs, & committing cruel Murders, &ca—I hope the Affair is not so bad as is represented to You. . . . However, if the News shd be confirm’d as reported to You I desire some Compys may be order’d out to the Assista. & protection of the poor People on the frontrs till the Detachment of 200 Men arrives on the frontrs from the Virga Regimt. . . . And as Colo. [Peter] Fontaine is nearer to the Place where the Murders are committed, I think if the Accot is confirm’d that he shd send 2 Compys out to repell their Force, & I desire Yo. to write him that this is my Orders.” On 6 Aug. Dinwiddie received a letter from Col. John Buchanan dated 23 July confirming “the many Murdrs & Captives the Enemy have made” (Dinwiddie to Buchanan, 8 Aug. 1757, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). On 15 Aug. Dinwiddie got a letter dated 8 Aug. from Andrew Lewis indicating that he had arrived in Augusta County with the detachment of the Virginia Regiment.

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