George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Beverley Randolph, 14 April 1791

To Beverley Randolph

Richmond, April 14, 1791.


The Secretary of War having transmitted to me a copy of your Excellency’s letter to him, relative to the protection of the frontier counties of Virginia, with his answer thereto—I have now to observe that the Counties of Russell and Wythe, not having been considered as equally exposed with the others, were not included in the arrangements taken for defending the frontier1—But, as the protection to be afforded was intended to embrace every county that might be exposed to inroad or invasion, if it shall appear to your Excellency a necessary measure, I request that you will be pleased to direct such an extension of the defense as will cover these counties, and place them in equal security with the others.

Should it comport with the state of your Treasury to make an advance of Two thousand dollars, of the sum appropriated by the State of Virginia for federal purposes on the Potowmac, I beg that an intimation thereof may be given to Mr Johnson, Doctor Stuart, and Mr Daniel Carroll, who are the Commissioners, and who will take measures, in consequence, for drawing the money. This supply is very essential, and requires that the earliest intimation, which the state of your funds will allow, should be given to the Commissioners.2 I have the honor to be, with respectful consideration, Your Excellency’s most obedient Servant

Go: Washington

LS, PHi: Dreer Collection.

1For background to Gov. Beverley Randolph’s communications regarding the defense of the Virginia frontier, see Randolph to GW, 4 Jan. 1791 and note 1. Henry Knox wrote GW on 4 April: “I have the honor to enclose you a copy of letter of the 25th Ulto from the Governor of Virginia relative to the protection of the frontier counties and my answer there to. I conceived that it would have been improper for me to have written decissively to him respecting Wythe and Russell as you would probably be at Richmond. It appears that the danger of Russell and Wythe a rises from the Cherokees. If Governor Blounts proposed treaty should be effectual, this evil would be cured. But in the mean time, it would be good policy, to extend to Russell and Wythe, the same sort of protection as has been afforded to the other counties of the Ohio” (DLC:GW).

2For the money pledged by Virginia for the construction of buildings in the Federal City, see GW to the Commissioners for the Federal District, 13 April and notes 1 and 3.

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