George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Stewart, 14 May 1760

From Robert Stewart

Winchester May 14th 1760

My Dear Sir

Three Days after I parted with you I got a Man to Inlist in the room of Allen, for about 50/. Expence, and wheneve[r] the Companies from Augusta arriv’d I found out Allen, but every argument I could use could not prevail upon him to engage for more than two years, nor would he take less than £20 per ann. his Terms are so extremely unreasonable that I have not apply’d for his Discharge, as I’m perswaded you will not have him at such an exorbitant rate, I cannot hear of any other of the Profession in the Regt. I shall write to Capt. McKinzie to enquire for one amongst the Troops at Pittsburg.1

We are here to our great surprise inform’d that the Assembly is to meet on the 19th Inst. in consequence of some Intelligence from So. Carolina—Various are our Conjectures—We are all impatience! most are of opinion that the Regt will be compleated and new one rais’d; should this affair whatever it may be, cause any considerable change in our Military affairs, I hope you will be so good as to have an Eye towards me, if it should be judg’d necessary to have a Major of Brigade, surely my long Services and having acted already in that Capacity gives me an undubitable right to it in preference to any other, and much more so to Mr Irwine.2

Colo. Byrd writes to the Governor on the Half Pay Scheme, and from the opinion of the House last Session our hopes are rais’d high and very sanguine, It would be a vast encouragement for us to have some Provision made for our future support before we enter on a new Sene of Dangers and Fatigues perhaps of the most horrible nature we have ever encounter’d3—Colo. Byrd has taken upon him to prevent my obeying Orders for Joining the R[oyal] A[merican]s for 8 or 10 Days longer, and if it was possible for you in that Time or a few Days more to inform me what I may hope or fear from the Half Pay Scheme it would be of the last Importance to me.4 I am really asham’d to be so extremely troublesome to you, but when you know that my welfare or misery depends on the determination I must make I flatter myself it will appologize for it I ever am with the highest Esteem and invariable Regard My Dear Colonel Your most Gratefull & Most Affecte hble Servt

Robert Stewart

Be so good as to present my humble respects to your Lady I hope ⟨s⟩he is got perfectly recover’d.5


1On 7 Jan. GW wrote Dr. James Craik at Winchester asking him “to engage me a Gardener from the Regiment” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 1:216–17). Capt. Robert McKenzie seems to have been no more successful than Craik or Stewart in finding a gardener in the Virginia Regiment for GW. Allen, or Allan, did come to Mount Vernon in December 1762 but did not stay.

2Governor Fauquier received a letter on or about 7 May from Lt. Gov. William Bull of South Carolina telling him of the outbreak of war with the Cherokee. On 8 May, Fauquier got a letter from Bull dated 28 April saying that the “Garrison at Fort Loudoun in the Cherokee Country” was under siege and asking that immediate relief be sent to the fort (Exec. Journals of Virginia Council description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia. 6 vols. Richmond, 1925–66. description ends , 6:158–59). The council urged the governor to issue at once a proclamation calling the colonial assembly into session on 19 May. When it convened, the assembly voted to provide £32,000 for the augmentation of the Virginia Regiment by 700 men to march to the aid of the fort with the 300 soldiers already stationed on Virginia’s southwestern frontier (7 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 357–63). For a fuller discussion of the act, see Stewart to GW, 3 June 1760, n.4. Stewart was not sent on Col. William Byrd’s futile expedition to Fort Loudoun; instead, he went north with a small detachment of the Virginia Regiment from Winchester to forts Pitt and Venango as part of Gen. Robert Monckton’s command. Stewart went by the title of major in this campaign. Mr. Irwine was Lt. Thomas Irwin (Erwin) of the 45th Regiment of Foot, whom Gen. Jeffrey Amherst permitted to serve as Col. William Byrd’s secretary (Amherst to Byrd, 22 Mar. 1760, in Tinling, Byrd Correspondence description begins Marion Tinling, ed. The Correspondence of the Three William Byrds of Westover, Virginia, 1684–1776. 2 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1977. description ends , 2:684).

5On 1 June Martha Washington wrote her sister Anna Maria Bassett: “I think my self in a better state of helth than I have been in for a long time” (PHi: Dreer Collection). Mrs. Washington had come down with a bad case of measles on 1 Jan. and evidently was slow in fully recovering her health. Dr. James Laurie came to Mount Vernon as late as April to bleed her (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 1:211, 215, 265).

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