George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Bryan Fairfax, 1 October 1777

From Bryan Fairfax

At my Lodgings near Camp Octor the 1st 1777.

Dear Sir,

Tho’ I have so lately taken Leave it seems to be some Alleviation of my Concern to leave a few Lines for Yr Excellency to be put in your Pocket and read at Leisure.

Your Kindness hath affected me, so that I feel more Uneasiness at partg than I expected. What You mentioned lately in Conversation hath also revived very tender Ideas concerning those I have left behind, especially with regard to one who deserves every Regard.1 It is a hard Necessity just at this time to be forced to a disagreeable alternative. I seemed to have been impelled by one Reason following another till I had no Rest in my mind in staying. The Event will more Clearly determine the Propriety of my Conduct. I am Yr Excellency’s most obliged & affect. hble St

Bryan Fairfax


GW on this date wrote a passport that reads: “The bearer hereof Bryan Fairfax, Esqr. together with his son Mr. Thomas Fairfax and their baggage has permission to pass all guards on their way to New York and the Commanding Officer at any advanced post is requested to furnish a Flag and give any other assistance to effect this purpose. Given under my hand, etc.” (Fitzpatrick, Writings description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799. 39 vols. Washington, D.C., 1931–44. description ends , 9:298 n.32). Fairfax proceeded to New York, but he returned home to Virginia by December (see Fairfax to GW, 8 Dec. 1777, DLC:GW).

1Fairfax probably is referring to his wife, Elizabeth Cary Fairfax (1738–1788), a younger sister of Sarah Cary Fairfax who was married to his half brother George William Fairfax (see Fairfax to GW, 8 Dec. 1777, DLC:GW).

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