George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Henry Fairfax, 23 April 1758

To William Henry Fairfax

Fort Loudoun 23d of April 1758.

Dear Sir

I shoud have been greatly puzzled to have found an excuse for my silence if I had ever receivd any of those many favours Captn Stewart tells me you were kind enough to intend for me. I assure you Sir, no pleasure woud greatly have exceeded that arising from the receipt of your Letters but I never had the satisfaction of getting more than one, and that just containd an Account of your Reception and resolution of entering a Volunteer in the 44th Regiment upon which I had determind to write to Colo. Gage in your favour when I heard you had purchasd in Brags.1 I never got a Line from Captn Stewart during his absence thô he several times wrote to me such villainous usage does Letters meet with from People who are impertinently inquisitive.2

This Colony have voted 2000 Men for the Expedition to be Commanded by General Forbes, besides Militia to protect their Frontiers. Already have 700 Indians marchd to this place, and other Parties of them daily expected; so that without some signal Interposition of Providence against us, we have I think, no great Reason to despair of Success.

I hope Sir, if it shoud ever lye in my power to serve you here, or elsewhere in any shape whatever, you will freely Command me; for be assurd I don’t offer my Services as an unmeaning compliment only, I am sincerely disposd to do you every kindness that may lye in my power, being very truely.3

Captn Stewart informing me that you had not met with regular remittances from Colo. Carlyle (which I suppose may be attributed to miscariage of Letters) I have taken the liberty of sending you by Mr Chew, and to the care of Beverley Robinson Esqr. a small sum to clear Quarters with, knowing the impossibility of your living upon your Pay. I beg, that you will put yourself to no kind of inconvenience to ⟨return the money, to have⟩ it Seven years hence will suit my purposes as well as the present time.4 I am with most sincere esteem Dr Sir Yr affecte Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, PPRF. It should be noted that GW ordinarily did not make and retain copies of personal letters to friends. See GW to William Peachey, 18 Sept. 1757, and notes.

1Philip Bragg was colonel of the British 28th Regiment of Foot from 1734 to 1759. GW is referring to William Henry Fairfax’s letter of 9 Dec. 1757.

2Capt. Robert Stewart of the Virginia Regiment on 16 Dec. 1757 left Fort Loudoun, where he had been senior officer since GW’s departure on 9 Nov., and traveled to Pennsylvania and New York in order to talk to John Stanwix, Lord Loudoun, John Forbes, James Abercromby, and other senior army officers about obtaining a commission in the British army. Forbes wrote Abercromby on 20 April: “You will see that Capt Steuart wants very much to have the Commission given him, that Sir john [St. Clair] tells me he had spoke off to you, and had recommended it with great sincerity. He says it was a Lieutcy in order that he might not be left without bread, upon a peace—” (James, Writings of Forbes description begins Alfred Procter James, ed. Writings of General John Forbes Relating to His Service in North America. Menasha, Wis., 1938. description ends , 65–66). His appointment to a lieutenancy in the Royal American Regiment on 7 Jan. 1759 by no means satisfied Stewart (see Stewart to GW, 16 Jan. 1759, and subsequent letters).

3GW appears to have attempted to erase the last three words.

4Mr. Chew probably was Ens. Colby Chew of the 1st Virginia Regiment though it may have been his younger brother Larkin Chew, who became an ensign in the 2d Virginia Regiment. See Joseph Chew to GW, 10 May 1758. GW sent young Billy Fairfax £50 which his brother Bryan Fairfax repaid in 1761, a year and a half after Billy’s death on the Plains of Abraham (Ledger A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 50).

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