George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Christopher Gist, 10–12 July 1758

From Christopher Gist

Winchester July 10[–12]th 1758


I take this Opertunity which I hope is a Safe one, to Send the following Acct from Augusta. Vizt

Morris Griffith[,] John Draper⟨,⟩ Smith and an Other Man,1 on their way to the Lower Shannoe Town, in a Buffeloe Bote untill about two miles beloe the Mouth of Sandy Creek they had got their Boat up a Little Creek on the S.E. Side of the Ohio, where they Laid by all day,2 one of the men went to their boat to get Provission (they intended to go by water all night) he discover’d a Party of Indians & French, in Battoes, he ran & let the others know it, they watch’d them but unluckeyly the Indians come on Shore & Discover’d their Boat, & track’d them; they all ran a way except Griffeth, who hid himself Stay’d all night and watch’d the enemy Saw they were about 3 or 400 Steering for Fort Du Quesne the other men with Draper got Safe in bleiveing Griffeth was killed by the enemy.

But Griffeth after Seeing the enemy Settled to their work up the Ohio he went on for the Lower Shannoe Town and with in 10 Miles of which, he discover’d two Indians on horse back, he then ran up a Steep hill from the toop of which, he could See the Indians come to his tract, get off their horses follow him a little, then Made hast toward their Town. after which he found a mare on which he rod and is com in Safe this News come to Me yesterday by Joseph Langdon who was Sent Express by Gover. Glen to the Cherokees.3

This Seems to be the foundation of the News we had Sometime past of a Number of white Men and Indians Makeing for Bedford County.

I thought proper to give you this as I have it from Langdon. I am Dr Sir yr Most Obdt Humbl. Servt

Christr Gist

I made Burrows Stay to March tomorrow with 28 Indians but understanding by Mr Finney Provissions was not Plenty I have now Sent him at 4 OClock July 12th 1758.4

C. Gist

the Indians will Come with the Command.

ALS, owned by the earl of Dalhousie, Brechin Castle, Angus, Scotland, on deposit at Scottish Record Office.

1Morris (Morrice) Griffith (d. 1763) and John Draper were experienced frontiersmen in the New River and Holston River area of Augusta County in Virginia. Draper’s wife Betty Robinson Draper and his sister Mary Draper Ingles were captured by a party of Shawnee in the massacre at Draper’s Meadows on 31 July 1755, and on 12 August 1755 Morris Griffith was captured in a raid on Vause’s fort and escaped. Smith was probably ranger captain John Smith who was captured at Vause’s fort in July 1756 and had only recently returned home from England where he went after a period of imprisonment by the French.

2In early 1756 Andrew Lewis and his forces tried to reach the Shawnee towns on the Ohio River by way of Sandy Creek, but they ran out of supplies and had to turn back.

3Joseph Langdon was, in March 1753, a captain of the Augusta County militia, and in 1762 he was named a justice for Frederick County.

4Burrows was undoubtedly Thomas Burris whom GW at this time was employing to carry letters back and forth between Fort Cumberland and Winchester and Alexandria. See particularly Charles Smith to GW, 7 Sept., n.7, and 18 Sept. 1758, n.3.

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