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From George Washington to Sarah Cary Fairfax, 14 May 1755

To Sarah Cary Fairfax

[Fort Cumberland, Md., 14 May 1755]

To Mrs FairfaxBelvoir
Dear Madam.

I have, at last, with great pains and difficulty, discover’d the Reason why Mrs Wardrope1 is a greater favourite of with Genl Braddock’s than Mrs Fairfax; and met with more respect at the late review, in Alexandria.2

The cause I shall communicate, after rallying you for neglecting the means that introduced her to his favour which, to say truth was, in part means which produced the effect—and what do you think they were?—why, nothing less I assure you thanerasure⟩ a present of dilicious Cake, and potted Wood cocks; that wrought such wonders ⟨illegible⟩ upon the Heart of the General as well as upon those of the gentlemens that they became instant Admirers which so affected the palate, as to leave a deep impression upon the hearts of all who tasted of them—How then could the General do otherwise than admire, not only of the charms, but of the Politeness of this Fair Lady.

We have a favourable prospect of halting here three Weeks or a Month longer for Waggons, Horses and Forage; so that iIt is easy to conceive therefore that my situation will not be very pleasant and agreeable, when I dreaded this (before I came out) more than every all the other Incidents that might happen during in the Campaigne.3

I hope you will favour me with your corrispondance since you see my willing desiresous’s ness4 to deserve the Honour, and of approveing myself Your most Obedt & most Humble Servt

Go: Washington

LB (original), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

GW failed to note on this letter “not sent” as he did on the four others that he wrote on this date. In order to prompt a written response from Sally Fairfax he may, in fact, have forwarded it through his brother Jack as he originally intended or delivered it in person at Belvoir a few days leter as he passed through Fairfax County on his way to Williamsburg. See GW to John Augustine Washington, 14 May 1755, n.5, GW to John Augustine Washington, 28 May 1755, and GW to Sarah Cary Fairfax, 7 June 1755. On the other hand, the unanticipated opportunity to see Sally may have obviated any need for the letter as in the case of his other correspondents of this date, and he may have retained it as he did the other letters but failed to record that fact in the letter book. See GW to Augustine Washington, 14 May 1755, n.7.

1“Mrs Wardrope” was probably Letitia (Lettice) Lee Wardrop (d. 1776), daughter of Philip Lee (d. 1744) of Blenheim in Charles County, Md. She was the wife of James Wardrop (d. 1760), originally of Ampthill, Chesterfield County, Va., who was a merchant in Upper Marlboro, Md., and a member of the Ohio Company. After James Wardrop’s death in 1760 his wife married Dr. Adam Thomson (d. 1767), a prominent Scottish physician who practiced in Philadelphia. Mrs. Wardrop seems to have been married yet a third time to Col. Joseph Sim of Prince Georges County, Md.

2Braddock reviewed the 44th and 48th regiments and his detachment of artillery on the morning of 31 Mar. 1755. “The Army,” complained one officer after the defeat, “never [was] seen by the Genl. but once Comeing along the line as Comr in Cheif” (“Anonymous Letter on Braddock’s Campaign,” 25 July 1755 in Pargellis, Military Affairs in North America description begins Stanley Pargellis, ed. Military Affairs in North America, 1748–1765: Selected Documents from the Cumberland Papers in Windsor Castle. 1936. Reprint. Hamden, Conn., 1969. description ends , 112–24).

4GW probably intended this word to be desirousness.

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