George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Cuninghame, 16 October 1757

From James Cuninghame

New York 16th Octr 1757

Dear Sir

I had the pleasure to receive a letter from you by Mr Fairfax, to whome I shall shew every civility in my power. Mr Hall continues extremely deserving of any favour that may have been shewen him, I have it only in my power to assist Mr Fairfax with my Advice, which is to Continue with the Army & persue the necessary Steps towards obtaining a Commission soon, which is that of serving as Volunteer in Genl Abercrombys Regt who patronises every Young man that is deserving, & if I can Judge well of Mr Fairfax, he will soon obtain his favour.1 I have laboured under an Indisposition several Weeks, and my disuse to writing makes it awkward to me, as you will see by this Scrall which is my first Attempt And Which I wish you may receive as I am Indebted to you a former letter.2

Continue Sir to Inform me of Any Gentleman that you wish to serve that may be determined to follow an Army life & they shall have always my best Advice & when in my power my Assistance shall not be wanting As I shall be glad to Shew that I esteem Col: Washington & that I am his very faithful & Obt Servant

Jas Cuninghame

P.S. Your Countryman Mr Byerd3 Still does us the honor to remain Amongst us. & makes us all very happy in his Company. I mention him to You because he seems to have that good opinion of you that you deserve.


James Cuninghame, a captain in the 45th Regiment, was aide-de-camp to the commander in chief of the British forces in America, the earl of Loudoun.

1GW’s letter has not been found, but both George William Fairfax and William Henry Fairfax left Belvoir for New York shortly after the funeral of their father William Fairfax at the end of September. Cuninghame is referring to William Henry Fairfax. For Fairfax’s account of his dealings with Cuninghame and his success in buying a commission, see William Henry Fairfax to GW, 9 Dec. 1757. For John Hall’s appointment to the 44th Regiment of Foot, see John Hall to GW, April–May 1757.

2No letter to James Cuninghame after Cuninghame acknowledged on 27 Feb. 1757 the receipt of GW’s letter of 28 Jan. 1757 has been found.

3Cuninghame may be referring to William Byrd III, who went to New York in the summer of 1756 to join Lord Loudoun as a volunteer. Byrd returned with the army to New York in the late summer of 1757 after the unsuccessful campaign in Canada.

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